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It's Your Bar: 2013 Annual Meeting

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It’s Your Bar:
The theme of the State Bar of Nevada’s 2013 Annual Meeting was “It’s YOUR bar, get connected,” and attendees had multiple opportunities to do just that. From the numerous social and networking events to hours of relevant CLE programming to the opportunity to share thoughts directly with bar leadership, the 2013 Annual Meeting offered members multiple opportunities to build connections, all while enjoying the scenery and leisure activities available in gorgeous Lake Tahoe. Educational Programming
This year’s annual meeting offered a comprehensive lineup of CLE options. Attendees had 25 different CLE sessions to choose from, including five general sessions, 15 breakout sessions, breakfast training sessions with Fastcase and a series of bonus “lunch-and-learn” courses. Attendees had a truly wide variety of selections, and could earn more than a full year’s worth of CLE, while still having the time and flexibility to choose those sessions most useful to their own individual law practices. The state bar’s sections were integral to the development of the breakout session programming. On Thursday, July 25, the Annual Meeting kicked off with a general session presentation from Prof. Tom Mauet, professor of law and director of Trial Advocacy at the University of Arizona College of Law. Mauet offered detailed and practical insight for trial attorneys, particularly on the topic of impeaching opposing testimony. On Friday, July 26, Dr. Michael Sucher offered serious information and heartfelt anecdotes on the topic of recognizing and assisting legal professionals who may be suffering from impairment due to addiction. Saturday morning, July 27, national legal technology experts Bill Ramsey and Phillip Hampton gave an entertaining and current presentation regarding the latest technological developments useful to attorneys. Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky closed out the Annual Meeting with a review of major decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.
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September 2013
Past state bar presidents were honored at a reception. Honorees included Dan Polsenberg, Kathy England, Rew Goodenow, Frank Flaherty, Hon. Gloria Sturman, Robert Crowell (top row, left to right) and William Curran, Margaret Puccinelli (representing her husband, Hon. Andrew Puccinelli, deceased), Hon. Bruce Beesley and Connie Akridge (bottom row, left to right). Robert Caldwell (left) and Justice Michael Douglas (right) enjoy the annual banquet.
The Trial Academy also returned in 2013. Presenters provided practical sessions on trial evidence. In addition, academy participants received hands-on, in-depth training from numerous Nevada experts, including Supreme Court justices, several judges and seasoned expert trial attorneys. Trial Academy programming included segments on opening statements, themes and theories, voir dire, direct and cross examination, trial evidence, jury instructions and closing arguments.
one client. one attorney. one promise.
Supreme Court Justices Support Formation of Appellate Court
On Thursday afternoon, board member Richard Pocker moderated a panel discussion with several Nevada Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice Kristina Pickering, Justice Michael Cherry, Justice James Hardesty and Justice Michael Douglas. Pocker asked questions ranging from the serious to the humorous, covering various items of interest to Nevada’s law practitioners. During the session, the justices emphasized the need for an intermediate Nevada court of appeals. The Nevada Legislature has approved the formation of a court of appeals; now the issue must go to the Nevada public for vote in 2014. The Supreme Court seeks assistance from all members of the legal community in support of this change.
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September 2013
Nevada Lawyer
It’s Your Bar:
“It’s been 150 years since we adopted our current Supreme Court model,” said Pickering. “We’re only one of 10 states without a court of appeals, and we need you to help us carry it forward.” She highlighted the court’s current case load to demonstrate the need. “In 2012, we had about 2,500 cases,” she explained. “If we’re to keep abreast of business, we would have to handle three cases per day, 365 days per year, in groups of three justices. This means everything, from reading the briefs, to hearing the case, etc.” Justice Hardesty explained that the Supreme Court seeks to educate attorneys about the need for an appellate court, so that lawyers can then share this knowledge with their clients prior to the issue’s public vote in Nov. 2014. “We will spend serious time approaching every firm in this state, offering an explanation of the court of appeals, including the how, why, cost, etc.,” he said. “We want you to be able to answer these questions when your clients contact you.”
2013 aNNuaL MEEtING
Justice Pickering, honored Judge Jack Lehman (not pictured) and Judge Peter Breen with the Medal of Justice award, recognizing their efforts to create Nevada’s drug court program.
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Newly sworn in bar President, Alan Lefebvre, celebrates with his family.
state Bar annual award recipients
Following the Supreme Court panel, bar leadership presented several members with the 2013 membership awards. Recipients included: • Presidential Award: Robert Crowell – In recognition for Crowell’s numerous hours of volunteer service consulting with and representing the state bar regarding matters heard by the Nevada Legislature. • Volunteer of the Year Award: Michael Buckley – In recognition of Buckley’s years of service as chair of the state bar’s Real Property Section. • Young Lawyer of the Year: Scott Lachman – Recognizing his work creating and supporting the Young Lawyers Section’s Disaster Legal Services program. • Medal of Justice Award: Judges Peter Breen and Jack Lehman – In recognition of their role in founding Nevada’s Drug Court in 1992, and for the decades of support they’ve given that program since its formation.
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Social Media at the Annual Meeting
For the first time, annual meeting attendees – and even those members who couldn’t attend in person – had a new way to interact: via social media. Throughout the meeting, users were invited to share thoughts, photos and news via Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #SBNannual2013. Twitter updates, called “tweets,” were displayed live on projector screens throughout the event. The interaction didn’t end at the meeting, either – members are invited to join fellow bar members on social media at and @nevadabar on Twitter. Here are a few real tweets from members attending the meeting: • Tracy DiFillippo (@kieko95): A great end to a great Annual Meeting, Professor Chemerinsky on Supreme Court Review • Ed Walters (@EJWalters): Beautiful evening at Edgewood in Tahoe with #SBNAnnual2013 • Tami Cowden (@tamicowden): Fascinating to get insight from justices on recent opinions in construction law. • Sidhu Law Firm (@SidhuLawFirm): … We're not there but are following along with interest! • Robert Caldwell (@CaldwellEsq): Very proud of my Kolesar & Leatham partner Alan Lefebvre, new President of the State Bar of Nevada. Congratulations, Alan.
(left) Supreme Court Justices pose with members of the Young Lawyers Section at the awards ceremony. (right) Scott Lachman received the Young Lawyer of the Year award, presented by Justice Michael Cherry.
Justice James Hardesty and Caryn Tijsseling presented a session on construction law.
Board of Governors Begins New Term
On Thursday evening, Pickering also conducted the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected, re-elected and newly appointed officers of the state bar Board of Governors. The 2013-2014 state bar officers are: • Alan Lefebvre, President • Elana Turner Graham, President-Elect • Laurence Digesti, Vice-President Newly elected board members include Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, Richard Dreitzer and Ryan Russell. Re-elected board members include Eric Dobberstein, Vernon (Gene) Leverty, Paul Matteoni, Richard Pocker and Bryan Scott. A complete list of the 2013-2014 Board of Governors is available on p. 4.
Save the Date: July 10-12
In addition to the educational sessions and leadership presentations, the Annual Meeting left attendees with plenty of time to enjoy the leisure activities available in Lake Tahoe while networking with fellow bar members, which included evening receptions, comedian presentations and the annual banquet. Next year’s Annual Meeting is already shaping up – be sure to save the date. The 2014 event will take place July 10-12 in Newport Beach, California.
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