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Impressive Lawyers Are ...

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PRO BONO HONOR ROLL
december 2009
The State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors and the Access to Justice Commission extend a special thanks to the following attorneys who generously accepted cases in October 2009 through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Washoe Legal Services, Nevada Legal Services and Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans.
Adler, Ernie Ahmad, Malik Barnes, Carol Barnett, Meredith Blackham, Brian Bonneville, dan Bradley, Sarah Brickfield, Elizabeth Briscoe, Shemilly Bullentini, Angela Chanderraj, Radha Colt Payne, Cary Cordova, Chuck Dahlin, Trina Dolan, Courtney Feder, Michael Fell, Thomas Fine, Frances-Ann Gupta, Arun Hales, James Harrington, Kathy Jankovic, Tamara Johnson, Alicia Johnston, Bon Kelly, Kathleen Kilpatrick, Charlie Kim, Soomi Kline, Carol Koot, Alisa Larson, Zachariah Laughlin, Anne Lawrence, Sandra Leventhal, Todd Longabaugh, Marvin Market, Diane Maskall, Aurora McDonald, Rena Ohazuruike, Guinness Quijano, Jeffrey Reese, David Roberts, Amanda Robertson, Heather Romaya, Dina Rose, Jason Routheaux, Jenny Roys, Holley Segel, M. Nelson Skelly, Muriel Skiba, Amanda sumpter, Rod Wall, Barbara Ward, Harry Ward, Joe Wilson, Shannon Zimmerman, John
IMPRESSIVE
bY PAT T Y c A F F e r ATA , e S Q .
LAWYERS ARE…
While I was working on my Nevada Lawyer series of articles on the rural courts, some of the judges offered comments on attorneys they considered impressive. The following are their suggestions on how to gain and keep the respect of judges. The judges’ recommendations are listed in alphabetical order followed by the date of the issue in which the named judges appeared in Nevada Lawyer. Archie Blake (retired Third Judicial District) is impressed with lawyers who are prepared and forthright. His pet peeves are lawyers who are not prepared and those who say, “But Judge, in __________ County, we do it this way.” (August 00) Steve Dobrescu (Seventh Judicial District) expects lawyers to be decent to everyone and has reprimanded lawyers in court and imposed sanctions on occasion. His pet peeves are attorneys with insufficient knowledge of their cases and the applicable law, those who submit poor legal writing, fail to adequately research the law and provide inadequate analysis of the law and facts. (May 005) Robert Estes (retired Third Judicial District) is impressed with lawyers who are honest, so that when they make a statement to the court, he knows he can rely on it. Shaded and evasive answers are the most damaging statements made to this judge. His pet peeves are pompous lawyers and those who are condescending to opposing counsel. (August 00)
ASK-A-LAWYER, CLINICS, AND OTHER BRIEF SERVICES
Anderson-Fintak, Heather Blackham, Brian Blau, Robert Brown, Jr., Stanley Buche, Ernest carr, chris Fenu, Mario Green, April Gruenewald, Barbara Hall, Glade Horner, Kim Jones, Gabrielle Kapalka, Bill Liapis, Mark Lovell, Danny Mann, david McKellar, Mandy Murphy, Corrine Noyce, Susan Patterson, Sean Polaha, Judge Jerome Rivera-Rogers, Mariteresa Rose, Jason Skelly, Muriel Stead, Christopher Stoffel, Jason
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NeVAdA LAWYer
december 2009
Dave Gamble (Ninth Judicial District) is impressed by prepared lawyers who know and focus on the main point in their case, even when there are many issues. His lawyerrelated pet peeve is knowing more about a case than a lawyer representing one of the parties. (August 008) Mike Gibbons (Ninth Judicial District) finds that lawyers who are prepared from the first pleading paper filed in a case to their appearance in his courtroom are impressive. He believes these attorneys are successful because they know the facts and the law. He expects lawyers to know the evidence code and not make objections that are legally incorrect. His lawyer pet peeve is lawyers who argue directly to or talk over each other. (August 008) David Huff (Third Judicial District) is impressed by attorneys who are punctual, prepared and candid. He believes that an attorney’s reputation is important. If an attorney is initially sloppy in his/her research and the drafting of pleadings and not candid with the court, he gives their work extra scrutiny in all of his future dealings with that attorney. His pet peeve is with lawyers who fail to read applicable statutes and those who file pleadings that do not comply with those statutes. (August 00) Bill Maddox (retired First Judicial District) finds it surprising that some lawyers do not follow the local rules and, even worse, use standardized pleading forms from other judicial districts that do not comply with the local rules. His advice is to read the local rules before filing a case in the First Judicial District Court. (September 005) Mike Montero (Sixth Judicial District) believes that legal traditions are important and impress the parties with the court system. He is impressed with attorneys who are prepared and focus on the issue at hand and do not talk about unrelated issues. His first pet peeve is lawyers, parties and witnesses who chew gum in court. His second pet peeve is lawyers who do not treat the office of district court judge with respect. He believes that proper attire and demeanor are necessary in the courtroom, even in the rural districts; male attorneys should wear jackets and have their ties knotted while in the courtroom. (August 009) Dan Papez (Seventh Judicial District) is impressed with attorneys who get to the point, discuss the issues involved and do not waste the court’s time. (May 005) Andrew Puccinelli (Fourth Judicial District) has three types of lawyers that he considers his pet peeves: ) Those who announce, “We have a better way in (Clark or Washoe) County;”
) Those who do not conduct themselves civilly toward other lawyers; and ) Those who are not prepared to proceed in court. (September 007) Richard Wagner (Sixth Judicial District) is impressed with lawyers who research their cases, are prepared and do not resort to theatrics. He is not impressed with boisterous attorneys or “chest beaters” who think shouting more loudly than opposing counsel is a winning strategy. (August 009) No matter what the jurisdiction is, when it comes to impressing the judge, the district court judges agree that a lawyer should know the relevant facts, the applicable law and treat the court and opposing counsel with respect.
PAtty cAFFERAtA clerked for Judges Dave Gamble (Ninth Judicial District Court) and Connie Steinheimer (Second Judicial District Court). The location of the district courts was published in the Back Story in the August 2009 issue of Nevada Lawyer.
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