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Note from the Issue Editor: Hon. Robert J. Johnston

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something bad that happened in Las Vegas (and didn’t stay there, apparently). Leaving, we stop in at the Elko Chamber of Commerce housed in the old Sherman Ranch buildings. I learn of the upcoming Cowboy Poetry Festival in January (did they pick that date for the weather?) and purchase watercolors of Lamoille. On the road, we enjoy a picture-perfect northern Nevada afternoon for a two-hour drive to Winnemucca. The beauty of the stark mountains against a beautiful sunset reminds me why I love Nevada. During Tuesday evening’s dinner at the historic Martin Hotel we share lamb, laughter and some serious discussion with Judges Wagner and Montero of Lovelock, Pershing County District Attorney Jim Shirley, Humboldt County District Attorney Russell Smith, the ubiquitous Mason Simons and other local practitioners. They speak of their concerns: economic pressures on counties, funding of court services, scarcity of new practitioners, lawyer civility and CLE for the rurals. After a drive from Winnemucca to Lovelock, we get another warm welcome by Judge Wagner and his law clerk, Craig Chambers, to the unique round courthouse in Lovelock. It was designed 80 years ago, we are told, to be different than the competing one built at the same time in Humboldt County. We receive a briefing by those putting together a domestic relations mediation program, then Donna Giles, County Clerk, gives us a fascinating tour of her 80-year-old office with its ancient hand-written docket books and an imposing safe. Most impressive is the round courtroom itself, with the jury box in the middle. A proud Judge Wagner beams as he shows us how modern technology has been integrated into the most unusual courtroom I have ever been in and we see the footstools he built for each juror’s seat. He explains the architecture, decorations and incredible acoustics. Downstairs, we peek into the round room directly beneath the round courtroom. Judge Wagner insists we be introduced to all the Pershing County Commission during their meeting. Commissioners politely laugh when I say we need to take our leave because we are on our way to Reno to help swear in more lawyers and that I’m certain they are in favor of having more lawyers in Nevada. Now I am on their correspondence list. Before leaving Lovelock, we lunch at the Cowpoke Café and are delighted to join some of the court personnel we’ve just met. Then it’s on to Reno. We arrive at the Siena Hotel for the new admittee ceremony in time to hang out in the green room (which isn’t green) with dignitaries and members of the judiciary. Imagine my surprise to learn that my remarks as state bar president will follow those of Governor Jim Gibbons! Afterward, we attend the Washoe County Bar reception and get back to Las Vegas that night. I have one day (Thursday) in the office for my (real) day job. Friday morning, November 6, finds me at the Gaming Law Section’s Annual Gaming Law seminar at the Rio Hotel. I give a welcome speech, then am off to a State & Federal Judicial Conference meeting in the federal courthouse downtown. I head back to the Rio to catch the end of gaming keynote speaker Frank Fahrenkopf’s presentation, then hang out until the Las Vegas new admittee ceremony. A bigger surprise awaits me: my bar president remarks will follow Governor Gibbons and Senator John Ensign. Finally, I wrap up the week by enjoying the Clark County Bar Association’s reception for the new admittees and the ‘meet your judges’ mixer. Who said being bar president was work?
A note From the Issue Editor
Hon. Robert J. Johnston
If you have ever read the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, you will remember the gluttonous rat, Templeton. His consistent refrain when asked to help was “what’s in it for me?” We often look at our bar association and say the same thing: what’s in it for me? Well. . . Resources; this magazine is just one of many resources that the State Bar of Nevada provides to support its membership. Nevada Lawyer magazine is devoted to bringing you information that will be useful in your practice. This issue focuses specifically on the services and benefits provided by the state bar to its membership. First, you’ll find an overview of the bar’s leadership, your Board of Governors, including a look at the board’s strategic initiatives for 2010, plus profiles of the board members. An overview of the bar’s current finances is also included. Later in the issue, you get a first glimpse at the priorities of Chief Justice Ronald Parraguirre, the newly appointed Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court. Next, an attorney participating in the Lawyer Referral and Information Service speaks of his experiences using the service to help grow his practice and build a referral base. This is a must-read article for any attorney seeking to grow a law practice. Then, the Office of Bar Counsel offers an in-depth look at the bar’s Ethics Hotline, a critical resource permitting attorneys to get ethics advice designed to help them navigate tricky ethical questions before they become disciplinary issues. The bar’s resources aren’t limited to members – other features discuss the Law-Related Education programs designed to support Nevada’s K-12 students. And, in “Recovering from Disaster,” one client shares her gratitude for the help she received from the Clients’ Security Fund. The Back Story features a look at the interesting life of Senior Circuit Judge Melvin T. Brunetti, who passed away October 30, 2009. It’s a story of inspiration and dedication to the bar and the law. Be sure to keep this issue on hand, because it also includes a comprehensive overview of other benefits the bar has to offer, from Fastcase – a legal research service provided free to active members – to the multiple networking, educational and volunteer opportunities offered by the bar’s many sections and committees. And as you’ve already likely noticed, we’re sporting a new look for the new year, making the magazine even more engaging and easy to read. As you navigate the articles in this issue, the editorial board hopes you enjoy the new look of Nevada Lawyer magazine as much as you enjoy the great content. We enjoyed putting it together for you, and as always, welcome your feedback.
Judge RobeRt J. Johnston has served as a United States magistrate judge since 1987. He served on the Ninth Circuit Conference Executive Committee from 1996 to 1999, and participated in organizing three circuit conferences. Additionally, he served on the 9th Circuit Magistrate Judge Executive Board from 2003-06. Judge Johnston currently sits on the Court Administration and Case Management Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States Courts. He is also a board member of the Nevada Judicial Historical Society and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society.
January 2010 Nevada Lawyer

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