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President's Message: The Vital Role of State Bar Sections

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NEVADA LAWYER
EDITORIAL BOARD Patricia D. Cafferata, Chair Laury Macauley Michael T. Saunders, Chair-Elect Scott McKenna Richard D. Williamson, Vice Chair Gregory R. Shannon Mark A. Hinueber, Immediate Past Chair Stephen F. Smith Erin Barnett Beau Sterling Nancy Harkess Kristen E. Simmons Hon. Robert J. Johnston Scott G. Wasserman Lisa Wong Lackland John Zimmerman BOARD OF GOVERNORS President: Frank Flaherty, Carson City President Elect: Alan Lefebvre, Las Vegas Vice President: Elana Graham Immediate Past President: Constance Akridge, Las Vegas Paola Armeni, Las Vegas Elizabeth Brickfield, Las Vegas Laurence Digesti, Reno Eric Dobberstein, Las Vegas Vernon (Gene) Leverty, Reno Paul Matteoni, Reno Ann Morgan, Reno Richard Pocker, Las Vegas Bryan Scott, Las Vegas Richard Scotti, Las Vegas Hon. Mason Simons, Elko Hon. David Wall (Ret.), Las Vegas Ex-Officio Interim Dean Nancy Rapoport, UNLV Boyd School of Law Richard Trachok, Chair Board of Bar Examiners
Message from the President
Frank Flaherty, Esq., State Bar of Nevada President
MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT? OR MAYBE NOT: THE VITAL ROLE OF STATE BAR SECTIONS
I just couldn’t resist the cheeky title above. In fact, one of the best things about being a member of the Board of Governors is the opportunity to work closely, in a collegial manner, with the Nevada Supreme Court on issues of importance to the bar and the administration of justice in Nevada. In my first President’s column, I talked about a meeting I attended in spring of 2012, at the Northern Nevada Bar Center. Justice Hardesty and I, along with the chairs of several sections of the state bar, were connected via video link to the state bar office in Las Vegas and several more section chairs, bar staff, thenpresident Connie Akridge, former Chief Justice Nancy Saitta, and Justices Cherry and Douglas. We had a far-ranging and blunt discussion about improvements to the bar, in regards to both its mission and its service to its members, with a special emphasis on the work of the sections. I am happy to report that one of the seeds first planted at that meeting has now sprouted. At that meeting, the court expressly invited the bar’s sections to critique – vigorously if appropriate – or even just comment upon, recent Nevada Supreme Court decisions of note to the bar or the membership of a given section. The first such critique appears on the following page of this issue of Nevada Lawyer. I invite our members to read it and to look for similar articles appearing in the coming months. From the discussion I participated in last spring, I know that the Supreme Court sees this as an opportunity to engage the bar’s membership in scholarly discourse, with the ultimate goal of improving the law in Nevada. In fact, the Supreme Court’s invitation is actually an informal extension of its already existing practice of regularly soliciting amicus briefs from state bar sections on selected cases that may determine the direction Nevada law will take. As suggested in my opening paragraph, working with sections on these amicus briefs, to assist the Supreme Court, is one of the most gratifying aspects of service as a member of the Board of Governors. And indeed, sections are among the most critical components of Your Bar. Not only do our 20-plus sections allow you to network with colleagues in your practice area but, as shown above, your section membership also affords you the chance to work together to directly improve the practice of law and the quality of law in Nevada. Sections also offer CLE that is current and relevant for you; in fact, some sections host comprehensive conferences, providing in-depth CLE and opportunities to network with fellow practitioners and judges. Sections publish newsletters and magazine articles to keep the entire bar up to date on important changes in their areas of practice and, working with the Board of Governors, many sections are very active in the Nevada Legislature. If you would like to learn more about Your Bar’s sections, or if you’d like to join any of them, please visit www.nvbar.org/sections.
STATE BAR STAFF Executive Director: Kimberly K. Farmer Bar Counsel: David A. Clark Director of Finance & Information Systems: Marc Mersol Director of Admissions: Laura Meyers Gould Program Director: Lisa Dreitzer Asst. Director of CLE: Stephanie Hirsch NEVADA LAWYER STAFF Publications Manager: Jennifer Smith (jennifers@nvbar.org) Nevada Lawyer Coordinator: Melinda Catren (melindac@nvbar.org) Publications Specialist: Christina Alberts (christinaa@nvbar.org) GRAPHIC DESIGN Georgina Corbalan
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Nevada Lawyer
June 2013

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