Friday, October 8, 2021

A Harsh Result

  • The City of Las Vegas will appeal ruling in Badlands case. [KTNV]
  • Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson is under consideration to be U.S. Attorney for Nevada pending Biden nomination. [TNI]
  • Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts recommended the case brought by a client of Leslie Stovall against Cristiano Ronaldo be dismissed. [RJ]

48 comments:

  1. Random Thought: I have worked in three professions in my life and being a lawyer is the only one where I hear almost constant foul language. Now I work in Family Law so it is not that I'm a fragile flower and upset by it - but it just sounds so unprofessional in front of clients, etc. Is this something we should eliminate? Is it just family law? Do you civil lawyers, criminal, etc. talk like roughnecks on a Saturday night?

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    1. It is all areas of law. I am a frequent participant, but sometimes find myself questioning this very thing. Interested to hear the other comments.

      And yes, I've seen the news articles which claim studies support the proposition that people with salty language are more intelligent. If you or I are smart there are other ways to flex our intellect.

      And no, I'm not a prude. People who get bent out of shape about others using profanities are irritating and unreasonable.

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    2. I find that my clients appreciate my directness. Some potential clients don't like it when I tell them the truth about their case (like no dude, you aren't getting custody of your kids because you were arrested for strangling their mother right in front of them), but most clients want to be told the hard facts so they know what to expect. Sometimes that includes cussing, sometimes it doesn't. I could not care less if another attorney cusses in front of me or to me. Get over it. If you don't want to cuss, don't. But ffs, don't whine like bitch if I do.

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    3. There are some attorneys, men and women, who think salty language makes them sound/look tough. Over 35 years of practice in two states, I have never heard a really good lawyer swear.

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    4. Good for you 10:43. In just over a decade of practice I've heard really good lawyers cuss and I've heard really good lawyers refrain from cussing. Putting on your prissy pants and denigrating a whole swath of colleagues because they aren't like you is lame and frankly, not true. I am absolutely certain that in 35 years you've come across some really good attorneys who cuss. Maybe you just didn't know because you're such a prude, they avoid you outside of the courtroom.

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    5. "I have never heard a really good lawyer swear."

      I read this with "lawyer swear" as the direct object/noun. But I was probably wrong.

      And either way, it's not true. I've definitely heard a war story or two with well-placed profanities that added color and character to the story. I've also heard top-notch lawyers string together f-bombs like they just walked off the set of the Big Lebowski. Sometimes, a well-timed and well-delivered 'fuck' can really tie the story together. Without it, one might feel like a child who wanders in without a frame of reference. Either way, I didn't watch my buddies die face down in the muck so that some strumpet could come on this blog and tell me that I can't swear.

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    6. My reaction to this topic:I think attorneys should be direct with their clients, and avoid unrealistic expectations. Very true, and that is the honorable, ethical approach.

      But that doesn't mean that in order to relate to them on their level and/or show how tough and street we are, that we should use vile profanity. Mild(or even moderate) profanity, for emphasis or to display frustration, is fine. But vile profanity, and used in an aggressive, confrontational manner when addressing or speaking about the opposing side, their lawyer, or the judge, can have some real harsh repercussions.

      Most clients don't want that from their lawyer, doctor or accountant, even if that's how the client behaves. Most of them want the professional they engaged to be just that--a professional with some objective distance from the matter.

      Continually, and harshly, swearing while interacting with the client is usually accompanied by an approach where it appears the attorney cares too much about the case on an emotional, visceral level, and wants to get down in the dirt with the client and settle the matter against the opposing side with impulse and anger.

      Clients value us a lot more, and respect us a lot more, if it appears that we are successful to the point that we don't necessarily need that client, that there will be plenty of other clients to take that one's place, and that we don't need to join their drama(which, if we join the drama, really makes it appear we care so much that we really need them and all their drama, and that we even crave them and their drama).

      Clients may initially feel a cathartic release the first time or two this lawyer validates them by behaving this way. But eventually what happens, a lot of the time, is that the lawyer is too closely connected and involved, boundaries are blurred, clients believe they can fall far behind on paying the lawyer(after all, the lawyer is now a "good friend" who will gladly protect the client from all these injustices and indignities regardless of payment), and expectations become really unrealistic to the post the lawyer cannot possibly delver and Bar complaints can ensue, etc.)

      That is the real damage of using severe profanity with clients. The concerns go far beyond that it just doesn't appear real dignified.



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    7. This thread has triggered some deep thinking on my part. I am an excellent attorney who does sometimes use foul language. I wish I could pretend it is always calculated. No. Sometimes it's because a client or attorney has gotten under my skin. Other times it's because I just want to stir the pot in a malevolent sort of way. Mostly (I think?) it's calculated.

      I owe it to my clients and colleagues to cut it down.

      Thank you.

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    8. 11:33. Although I have handled Family Law cases, I guess I'm more fortunate than you, and some other posters, in that I really haven't encountered too many instances of vile profanity from the opposing lawyer.

      So, for that reason I really don't have a strong opinion about that topic, except that I suppose you are right that we are the professional in the attorney/client relationship, and that objective distance and boundaries should be observed.

      The part of your post which does interest me was the brief reference you made to clients falling far behind on their payments and how then carrying them without payment can lead to some real problems.

      When I first started practicing someone told me never, ever carry a Family Law client who is not paying, and that any urge to "give back" and not charge full freight should be accomplished by accepting an occasional pro bono case, but to never carry a client who is not pro bono and is expected to be paying via a valid hourly fee arrangement.

      This lawyer informed me that when you carry the client, it will seldom be appreciated for very long. They will assume it is the least you can do as they are a poor victim and that the other side is totally at fault for everything. They will then lose respect for you time, your work, your advice, all boundaries will disappear, you will be expected to be constantly available to instantly drop whatever you're doing to file emergency motions whenever they call with the latest drama, that their expectations will become extremely warped, you are likely to eventually get reported to the Bar after you withdraw(and these days they will slander you endlessly on the internet, etc).

      I though this was harsh and that all such clients would not behave that way. But you know what? He was absolutely right. I carried a few clients, and I was then treated far worse by them, and respected a lot less, once I started carrying them without payment.

      So, I have taken more than my share of pro bono cases. Now, not all of them are super nice and super appreciative but, from my experience, all of them treated me a lot better than paying clients I had who I then let become non-paying clients.

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    9. 11:56 that's so weird, I agree 100%, it's like that thought was in my brain but I never articulated it, very true!!

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    10. Hey, 11:56, shame on you for triggering real bad memories for me.

      Worst client I ever had was a Family Law client I was carrying(with no payment for months) who called crying and screaming about some "emergency."

      I dropped everything else I was doing and spent most of that remaining day, as well as the next morning, preparing the emergency motion, and then a petition and affidavit for Order Shortening Time for accelerated hearing, etc.(all of these without a dime in compensation)

      When I phoned her to tell her it was all handled, the date of the emergency hearing and everything else, she casually and dismissively, with no apologies whatsoever, told me the matter was resolved(it either was no longer mattered to her for whatever reason, or she settled it directly with her soon-to-be ex, or whatever.) A 15 second phone call or email to me, that none of it was needed anymore, would have saved me hours of work.

      Plus she let me know, in no uncertain terms, to respect her time, instructed me of the brief period of time that I was permitted to call on given days of the weak, that I was interrupting her personal time wherein she was on a date with her boyfriend discussing the critical issue of the "status of the relationship." (and BTW, she was only recently separated from her husband and they were in the early stages of a divorce and custody battle, but here she was discussing her and her boyfriend's relationship--who was also just recently separated, and with six children, and now embroiled in his own custody battle and divorce.)

      I was flabbergasted. I filed a motion to withdraw. She screamed, abused, and threatened, but I got out. She hired a subsequent lawyer who called for the file contents, input on the case, etc. And you know what, she was able to pay him a $10,000. retainer even though I carried her for so long as she was supposedly "broke and destitute."

      Now, 11:56, ten lashes with a wet noddle for you reminding me of that nightmare client.

      But, yes, for those of you who are thinking I was stupid and enabled this situation, absolutely correct. I was stupid. I have learned.

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    11. 11:56 for President of the State Bar!! Abolish the BOG and install 11:56 as El Supremo for life!

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    12. 12:20--Someone wise once said "nothing is worth less than yesterday's legal services."

      And this really applies on domestic cases. Attorney time already expended, wherein the client may be very unhappy with the results, are viewed as worthless by some clients, and some of these clients will insist they will not pay, can't pay, shouldn't have to pay, and to avoid further confrontation lawyers will often drop the issue of payment, which then leads to carrying the client for months and months.

      Once such lawyers draw a line in the sand, and will withdraw unless payment made, these non-paying "destitute" clients are often able to come up with $5,000., $10,000. or more(they claim they had to "borrow" it from their parents, or her dad needed to take it from his retirement account, or some other pitiful drama intended to guilt-trip the non-paid attorney.)

      But it gets far worse. What does the client then do with that $5,000., or $10,000. or more, that they "borrowed" from their parents. Pay it to their current attorney to keep them on the case? Of course not as the existing attorney will apply it to unpaid past services that the client is very unhappy with.

      Instead the money will be paid for a new attorney, for new work, and for new and different results(or so the client thinks).

      And often this dynamic is partly the fault of the new attorney who boasts and brags how great they are and that they will clean up the mess created by the last lawyer, and get the matter handled properly, etc. And after all that aggressive posturing to get the client to pay them the $10,000., the new lawyer largely ignores the case once the check clears, appears at court marginally prepared at best, and the case proceeds as it always had, and how the prior, honest, non-paid attorney predicted it would proceed.

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    13. Wow! Looking at these posts it seems that whenever a Family law attorney carries a client that it always leads to disaster.

      Is that true? Aside from cases where an attorney may be able to formally secure future payment(like out of a martial home's equity or some other specific source) is it always the case that when you carry a Family law client, and there is no security guaranteeing payment (aside from a client's representation that they will get the attorney paid in the future) does it always wind up like these posters say?

      Does anyone have an example where such clients actually kept their word and subsequently got the attorney paid off(again, aside from cases where an attorney was able to appropriately and officially secure payment from a specific monetary source).

      So, in cases where the only security or collateral is a client's word or promise, anyone ever get fully paid at the end of the game?

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    14. So @11:37, I'm in your boat. You and me should start a pact.

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    15. Many years ago, when I was in a lawfirm that shall not be named, I used a lot of foul language to fit in with "the boys." Not so much now.

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  2. The RJ article on Ronaldo didn't have the ruling, which is pretty harsh. Here's the PDF from recap:

    https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nvd.135144/gov.uscourts.nvd.135144.143.0_3.pdf

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    1. I read an interesting article, from a PhD, complaining about the distortions and inaccuracies of science / tech reporting. Most of it isn't intentional. The reporters are trying, the just don't understand the processes. We see the same thing sometimes with legal matters, especially complex civil matters. I'm not sure what can be done to fix this. I think I could do a pretty good job as a journalist translating legal proceedings into articles the public could understand. But I have no interest in making 1/8th of what I make now. Honestly though, sometimes I think I would be more than happy to take a substantial paycut for a job like that. I think the job itself would be enjoyable and quite rewarding. I like to write. Journalists and lawyers are two of the few professional writers in our economy.

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    2. Start a blog. If you enjoy translating legalese into every day language for the masses, get your writing out there. It could turn into a lucrative side gig in the media.

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    3. Yikes. That order was pretty damn harsh.

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    4. I need to sit down and read the order when I get the chance. AS usual, the RJ reporter's interpretation raised more questions than it answered.

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    5. "Stovall’s justifications now soundly aside, his actions are tantamount to bad faith. Stovall refused to take any reasonable remedial action after receiving privileged documents. He has behaved flippantly, ignoring every single red flag. His decision to include the documents in complaints while masking their privileged status was alone audacious. His decision to first reveal them attached to a filing was impertinent. And now, his claim that the Football Leaks documents are “fair game” even after the Court struck certain of them is downright abusive. Stovall has acted in bad faith to his client’s—and the profession’s—detriment."

      Anyone who has dealt with Les Stovall is not surprised to read any of this.

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    6. I have dealt with Les Stovall and am not surprised to read any of this.

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  3. When I was having problems with DETR, the person who helped me the most was Jason Frierson. I was not even in his district and he had many reasons to ignore me, but he did not. I would support him for anything!!!

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    1. At least he is from and cares deeply about Nevada, unlike the last guy. Yeah that's a Ginsburn.

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    2. Fair enough. But I don't see anything in his resume that suggests that he should be the US Attorney. DA, PD, or state court judge? Maybe. But there's a difference between federal and state law, and there's a difference between running one of the biggest legal entities in the state and being a good politician. I don't know Frierson, but I believe he's a good person that's good for Nevada. But in my opinion, I think he's better suited for other jobs.

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    3. Jason Frierson is not "from" Nevada, he's from Compton. But he went to university in NV and has been here for a long, long time in NV years. That being said, he has, and is, a fine lawyer. He is a fantastic legislator for his district. He would make a fantastic Attorney General. He has both DA and PD experience. He understands poverty, and he understands wealth. He understands how poverty creates blue collar criminals. He understands how wealth creates white collar criminals. I really don't understand the color code of criminal activity but that is currently the way it is worded.

      I say BRAVO to Jason getting the nod for the Attorney General of our state. May his health issues be nominal and his future be phenomenal.

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    4. It is a political position. If Biden loses in 2024 then Jason will be gone. It has very little to do with being a lawyer. With that said, he will succeed. Guy is a winner and works hard.

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    5. Dear 8:15 pm, he might make a good AG too. But he's not up for AG. He's up for US Attorney - i.e., the top FEDERAL law enforcement figure for Nevada. What experience does he have with federal criminal law? From what I can tell, none. There are hundreds of current and former FEDERAL public defenders and Assistant U.S. Attorneys that would be better qualified for this job. Make Jason a top state prosecutor.

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    6. At least he knows what larceny is unlike Aron Ford.

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    7. And I'm sure he pays his taxes too unlike Aaron Ford.

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    8. 10:27 - I have no dog in this fight - I know nothing about Jason - but I think this concern is overblown. As 9:14 said, it's a political position. The USA isn't going to be drafting MILs applying the Federal Rules of Evidence. If there's some tricky area of federal law that he has to know, his staff will brief him. His job will be hiring the right people, setting the office's priorities and representing the office to the public. I don't think a FEDERAL public defender would have much marginal benefit for those tasks.

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    9. In most states, the US Attorney position leads to a higher position or a sweet spot in a big firm. Not so here. Can you name one former Nevada U.S. Attorney who went anywhere after the job?

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    10. Lawrence Semenza made it all the way to the big house.

      In seriousness, Pocker has done well and has a good reputation. Bogden was at McDonal Carano for a minute, but probably didn't have the desire to do private practice. Trutanich is now a highly paid executive for Fox, if I recall correctly.

      It's not SDNY where the US Attorney is basically the end all be all of law enforcement, but it's an impressive job to land.

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    11. Pocker was never named U.S. Attorney. He was Acting.

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  4. Monday is Columbus Day. This needs to be a judicial holiday. If we need to rename it to make it happen, let's do it. Alternative names: (1) Wayne Newton Day; (2) Indigenous Peoples Day; (3) BK Hottie Day.

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    1. "Sorry about the Smallpox" Day

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    2. Wayne Newton Day is just as valid a name as is Indigenous Peoples Day and perhaps makes more sense in the context of Las Vegas.
      As a practical matter, it would be most accurate to call it "A Day Off for no Particular or Important Reason". Alternatively, just do away with the holiday.

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    3. Also, 10:26 AM, Indigenous Peoples is not the preferred nomenclature. Native Americans, please.

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    4. 10:26, so you are making fun of native american people? Are you male, white, and work for an insurance defense firm?

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    5. @ 11:09
      Lucy here. Here we go again. Every comment has to be re-manufactured by some into a racist remark. Good Grief!
      But no, 11:09, 10:48 is making fun of you.

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    6. 12:15, here we go again with the racism. Also, it is a vaccine. And you can call me Shirley.

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  5. Ben Kieckhefer and Judge Togliatti are joining the Nevada Gaming Commission. Will Ben resign from McDonald Carano? The firm touts itself as "The Global Gaming Industry’s Premier Casino Gaming Law Group." If he stays on at the firm it will be a significant conflict even if he recuses himself from all of their clients' issues.

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    1. The fact that Togliatti couldn't get through Senate confirmation is incredible.

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    2. She was an outstanding Judge and is a fine person. A real shame.

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    3. Two solid appointments.

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    4. Thank McConnell for that

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  6. #freeeluzabethwarren
    #freebonniebulla
    #freethevaccine

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