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President's Message: A Day in the Life of a Bar President (Actually, a Week!)

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NEVADA LAWYER
EDITORIAL BOARD Scott G. Wasserman, Chair Michael T. Saunders Lisa Wong Lackland, Chair-elect Gregory R. Shannon Mark A. Hinueber, Vice-Chair Stephen F. Smith Beau Sterling, 2nd Vice-Chair Heidi Parry Stern Patricia D. Cafferata Richard Vilkin Peter Clancy Anne H. Wellborn Hon. Robert J. Johnston Richard D. Williamson Scott McKenna BOARD OF GOVERNORS President: Kathleen J. England, Las Vegas President-Elect: Cam Ferenbach, Las Vegas Vice President: Constance Akridge, Las Vegas Immediate Past President: Bruce Beesley, Reno James Bradshaw, Reno Amber L. Candelaria, Las Vegas Laurence Digesti, Reno Frank Flaherty, Carson City Elana Turner Graham, Las Vegas Bruce Hahn, Reno Jenny Hubach, Reno Gregory J. Kamer, Las Vegas Alan Lefebvre, Las Vegas Vincent Ochoa, Las Vegas Bruce Shapiro, Las Vegas Mason Simons, Elko Ex-Officio Dean John Valery White, UNLV Boyd School of Law
Message from the President
A Day in the Life of a Bar President
(Actually, A Week!)
Kathleen Jane England, State Bar of Nevada President
STATE BAR STAFF Executive Director: Kimberly K. Farmer Bar Counsel: Rob Bare Deputy Bar Counsel/ General Counsel: David Clark Director of Admissions: Patrice J. Eichman Director of Finance & Information Systems: Marc Mersol NEVADA LAWYER STAFF Publications Manager: Jennifer Smith (jennifers@nvbar.org) Publications Coordinator: Kristen Bennett (kristenb@nvbar.org) Publications Assistant: Melinda Catren (melindac@nvbar.org) GRAPHIC DESIGN Georgina Corbalan
“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.”
Louis L’Amour
ADVERTISING INDEX
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Bar president, Kathy England, on the bench of the Lovelock courthouse.
Monday afternoon, November 2, 2009, my excitement builds as I check e-mails before leaving the office. I’m delighted that the Board of Governors’ rural representative, Mason Simons, Family Court Master, has arranged many meetings for our excellent Elko adventure. Along with intrepid traveler Kim Farmer, Executive Director of the State Bar of Nevada, we lift off from Las Vegas at 6 p.m., take an hour-long flight to Salt Lake, wait around, then stuff ourselves into a tiny plane to travel back in time to Elko (there’s a time change difference). Small world: I am seated next to Leonora Digrazia, whose husband practices in Elko. It is cold and dark upon arrival at 10 p.m., but I tour by driving by the most famous sites in downtown Elko. A beautiful day dawns on Tuesday, November 3. (OK, admittedly, I am not up that early; I am just speculating.) We breakfast at the Elko Hilton Garden Inn high above the city, enjoying beautiful, sweeping views down the valley and up to snow-capped mountains. We make our way to the Northeastern Nevada Juvenile Center to meet Mason and are treated to a tour. He accompanies us to the Elko courthouse, where we are welcomed by Judge Andrew Puccinelli. For our meeting in his jury room, we are joined by the aforementioned Mason, Judge Al Kacin, and Carlin Justices of the Peace (senior) Barbara Nethery and Teri Feasal. They tell us about their challenges in administering justice, especially issues related to judicial education, lawyer civility and legal requirements attendant to issuing warrants by fax. Next, we enjoy a true Elko treat: lunch at the famous Basque restaurant, The Star, with the Elko County Bar Association. We even get CLE! President Rob Salyer graciously allows me a few minutes to speak about the state bar. There’s a great turnout for Rich Barrows’ succinct presentation about legislation passed in the last session, where he occasionally calls upon me to explain how a particular bill is addressing
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Nevada Lawyer January 2010
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?
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 RobeR
January 2010 Nevada Lawyer
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