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Your Board of Governors

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The governing body of the state bar, the Board of Governors, has duties conferred by Supreme Court Rule. The board is charged with the executive functions of the State Bar of Nevada, and sets the bar’s strategic plans and operation policies. The board also provides guidance to bar staff via the Executive Director, Kimberly Farmer. Board members serve as liaisons to state bar committees and sections. For more information on joining a state bar committee, see the article on p. 25.
Nevada Lawyer January 2010
The state bar is a public corporation created by statute to govern the profession (Rule 76). Supreme Court Rules confer the following responsibilities: • • • • • • • govern the bar (Rule 80); • fulfill the bar’s executive functions (Rule 85); • publish a journal (Rule 86); • collect membership fees (Rule 86); regulate the practice of law through admissions and discipline (Rule 86); effect improvements to the administration of justice (Rule 86); provide continuing legal education (Supreme Court Order 4/6/90); establish a clients’ security fund (Rule 86.5); recommend legislative changes (Rule 88); and conduct an annual meeting (Rule 94).
The board also operates through its standing committees. Board committees consist of an executive committee, as well as committees for finance, investment, audit, and compensation and personnel. Committee members work closely with staff on the state bar budget and investments, and provide input into personnel policies. As part of the bar’s strategic plan, the Board of Governors has formed a number of workgroups to focus on key projects related to its goals. Some workgroups are looking at issues such as: • Member Demographics – conducting surveys to learn more about the membership of the bar, so that programs and services can best meet members’ needs • Technology – evaluating the current technologies used by the bar and planning strategic enhancements to ensure technology use is as efficient as possible • Facilities – evaluating the bar’s current workspace needs and planning for future growth • Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers – insuring that this support program has the resources it needs to effectively offer assistance to members struggling with addiction • Mandatory Documents – reviewing the efficacy of current documents and enhancing design for greater effectiveness
Goals for 2009-2010
Last August, the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors met in Fallon, Nevada for a two-day strategic planning session, designed to help bar leadership identify key short- and long-term goals for our organization, as well as establish concrete methods to reach those goals, which include: • Increasing member satisfaction and engagement by understanding, differentiating and responding to member needs; • Increasing public understanding and confidence in the attorney discipline system; • Advancing the mission of the bar in a fiscally responsible and responsive way; • Insuring the competence, high character and diversity of the Nevada practitioners; and • Having infrastructure, staff and technology to effectively serve our members and the public interest. For more information on the Board of Governors’ strategic plan, see the President’s Message on page 4 of the October 2009 issue of Nevada Lawyer magazine. It can also be found online at: > Nevada Lawyer > Archives > October 2009 > President’s Column.
Board Meetings
Board of Governors meetings are open to the membership. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for: • February 17, 2010: Carson City • April 14, 2010: Las Vegas • June 23, 2010: Monterey, California, State Bar Annual Meeting continued on page 8
January 2010
Nevada Lawyer
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The Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada consists of 15 members elected by the active members of the bar. Nine members are elected from District One (Clark County), one member is elected from District Two (White Pine, Elko, Eureka, Churchill, Lander, Humboldt, Lyon, Lincoln, Douglas, Mineral, Nye, Esmeralda, Pershing and Storey Counties), one member is elected from District Three (Carson City) and four are elected from District Four (Washoe County). Here’s a brief look at the 2009 – 2010 Board of Governors. For contact information, visit > Board of Governors.
Kathleen J. England, President: Kathleen J. England has her own two-person law firm in Las Vegas, practicing in civil rights and employment discrimination. A native of Boston, graduate of Michigan State and devoted Red Sox fan, she started her legal career as a law clerk for the Las Vegas City Attorney’s office in 1978. Throughout her legal career, she has been very active in many bar associations, including the ABA, the Clark County Bar Association, Women Lawyers and the Inns of Court. Cam Ferenbach, President-Elect: Cam Ferenbach’s term as president will begin in June 2010 concurrent with the State Bar of Nevada Annual Meeting, and he has served on the board since 2003. Immediately after graduating from Arizona State University College of Law in 1980, he joined Lionel Sawyer & Collins. During his 29 years as a Nevada litigator, he has practiced before all courts in our jurisdiction, state and federal. He has extensive experience in employment law, commercial contracts, real estate law, construction and insurance coverage. Constance Akridge, Vice-President: Connie Akridge has served on the Board of Governors since 2004, and is currently a stockholder in the Las Vegas office of Jones Vargas, where she practices administrative law, insurance, regulation litigation and health care. She is the former president of both the Clark County Bar Association and the Clark County Law Foundation. She holds a Juris Doctorate and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Bruce T. Beesley, Immediate Past President: Bruce Beesley has served on the Board of Governors since 2000 and is currently a partner in Lewis & Roca’s bankruptcy and commercial litigation practice groups and frequently lectures at CLE events on these topics. He received his B.S. from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1976 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1978.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Andrew Carnigie
Nevada Lawyer January 2010
James W. Bradshaw: James Bradshaw has served on the Board of Governors since 2002. Currently, he is a partner at the firm of McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP practicing , in the firm’s litigation, construction law and employment departments. Previously, he served for more than 24 years in the United States Air Force and the Nevada National Guard; he is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross resulting from service during Operation Desert Storm. Bradshaw received his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of law in 1981.
Bruce Hahn: Elected in 2009, Bruce Hahn is serving his 16th year as a criminal prosecutor and is the Chief Deputy District Attorney of one of two general felony trial teams for the Washoe County District Attorney’s office. He is a regular instructor at the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy and a guest instructor in Criminal Law for UNR, as well as co-coach of UNR’s new Mock Trial team. He previously practiced civil litigation defense in California.
Amber Candelaria: Amber Candelaria has been a member of the State Bar of Nevada since 2006, and was elected to the board in 2009. She currently serves as Program Director for the Clark County Family Law Self-Help Center; previously she clerked for the Honorable Judge T. Arthur Ritchie Jr. She received her bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in 2003 and graduated from the William S. Boyd School of Law in 2006. Laurence Digesti: Laurence Digesti has served on the board since 2007. He and his son practice together at the Digesti Law Firm LLP practicing primarily in personal , injury, criminal defense and mediation/ arbitration. Prior to entering private practice he was the Chief Criminal Deputy District Attorney in Washoe County. He received his Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law. Francis C. Flaherty: Frank Flaherty has served on the board since 2005; he currently is a partner at the firm of Dyer, Lawrence, Penrose, Flaherty, Donaldson & Prunty in Carson City and practices primarily in labor and employment and water law. He is a past president of the board of directors of the Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans (VARN) and the First Judicial District Bar Association and is a former member of the board of trustees of the Young Volunteers of Nevada. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas. Elana Turner Graham: Elana Turner Graham joined the board in 2007. She currently works for the Legislative Counsel Bureau in Clark County and previously served as the Chief Deputy District Attorney, Family Support, Clark County. She is also a past president of numerous organizations, including the Clark County Bar Association, the Clark County Legal Foundation and the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys. Jenny Hubach: Jenny Hubach was elected to the board in 2009. She is currently in private practice in Reno with the office of Calvert & Hubach, LLC. Her practice focuses on criminal defense. In addition, she is a pro tem judge for Reno Municipal Court as well as Reno Justice Court. Prior to opening her own practice in 1993, she was a Deputy District Attorney for Washoe County. She received her Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law in 1989. Gregg Kamer: Gregory Kamer has been on the board since 2004; he is the founding partner of Kamer Zucker Abbott and began his career in 1980 working for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. His practice is exclusively focused on the representation of employers in all aspects of employment law. He also serves as a mediator and netural arbitrator. Alan Lefebvre: Alan Lefebvre has practiced law in Las Vegas since 1978 and currently is a shareholder at Kolesar & Leatham, where he is a member of the firm’s commercial and construction litigation practice group. He has also served on the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline. He obtained his law degree from the University of San Francisco. Vincent Ochoa: Vincent Ochoa was elected to the board in 2009 and has been in solo practice for more than 30 years in Nevada – he was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 1979. He practices primarily in the areas of family, abuse/neglect, juvenile and personal injury law. His firm is Ochoa Law, located in Las Vegas. continued on page 10
January 2010 Nevada Lawyer
Bruce Shapiro: Bruce Shapiro has been a member of the State Bar of Nevada since 1990 and practices primarily in complex family law litigation and family law appeals. He is a member of the Pecos Law Group in Henderson. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Whittier College School of law where he graduated as magna cum laude in 1990. Mason Simons: Mason Simons was elected to the board in 2009. He is a Family Court Master for the Fourth Judicial District and a Child Support Master for the Seventh Judicial District. Prior to his current position, he was Deputy Public Defender with the Elko County Public Defender’s office. He was admitted to practice in Nevada in 2005 and attended law school at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas.
continued from page 9 Ex Officio, John Valery White, Dean, William S. Boyd School of Law: John Valery White joined the UNLV Boyd School of Law from Louisiana State University (LSU) Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he was the J. Dawson Gasquet Memorial Professor of Law. At LSU, he taught for 15 years and wrote and lectured extensively about civil rights law. He received his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School in 1991 where he was a notes and topics editor for the Yale Law Journal.
About the State Bar Staff
Nevada Lawyer January 2010

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