February 2009 Archives

US Supreme Court issues 2 opinions

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Pleasant Grove City, Ut v. Summum - 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Alito.  Concurring opinions by Justices Stevens (joined by Justice Ginsburg), Scalia (joined by Justice Thomas), Breyer and Souter.  Government bodies may accept permanent religious monuments in public parks without violating the rights of others who are denied a chance to have a different religious monument share space in the public space.  Such a monument, whether it is government financed or privately donated, is "government speech" which conveys a message that it wishes to get out about "esthetics, history, and local culture."  A religious sect, the Summum, contended that its Free Speech rights were violated when a city accepted a Ten Commandments monument in its public park but refused to accept a Seven Aphorisms monument.  Justice Alito's opinion found that the Free Speech Clause does not apply to the messages of government and rejects Summum's argument that placement of a monument in a public park involves private speech in a public forum.  Justice Alito also noted that the government is not free to convey messages that violate the Constitution's ban on official establishment of religion, but that was not at issue in the Summum case.  Inclusion of the lyrics to "Imagine" by John Lennon, at pages 12 and 13 of the opinion, is a nice touch for any Supreme Court opinion.

Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications - 9-0 opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts.  Concurring opinion by Justice Breyer.  Sherman Act and price squeezing.  Sorry - I have a brief due and no time to decipher this one.

US Supreme Court issues 3 opinions

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United States v. Hayes - a 7-2 opinion authored by Justice Ginsburg - a 1996 federal law prohibiting possession of guns by a person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence applies whenever the victim was in fact the wife or other family relative of the offender.  The domestic relationship must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but it is not a necessary element of the predicate crime.  It is sufficient for the government to charge and prove a prior conviction that was, in fact, an offense committed against a spouse or other domestic victim.

Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association, 6-3 opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts - the Constitution allows a state government to ban payroll deductions for labor union political activities when the ban applies to the paychecks of local government workers.

Carcieri v. Salazar (Interior Secretary), 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Thomas - the Court limits the federal government's authority to take parcels of land and put them into trust for the benefit of Indian tribes.  This power only applies to tribes that were officially recognized by the government in 1934.

Links to opinions provided by Scotusblog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

47851 SANCHEZ VS. WAL-MART STORES
10:00 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

49029 NC-DSH, INC. VS. GARNER
10:30 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

51159 KJH & RDA INVESTOR GROUP VS. DIST. CT. (TURNBERRY/MGM GRAND TOWERS)
11:30 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

49760 ALLSTATE VS. MILLER
1:30 PM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

50218 WYMAN (CATHERINE) VS. STATE
2:00 PM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

It appears that this is a Washoe County case in which the Appellant was convicted of second degree murder for the death of her toddler child 30 years ago. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

51037 LAS VEGAS DEV. CO. VS. CITY OF LAS VEGAS
10:00 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

51920 CARRIGAN VS. COMM'N ON ETHICS
10:30 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

52399 STEPHENS MEDIA, LLC VS. DIST. CT. (STATE)
11:30 AM 30 min
Carson City Courtroom - Second Floor
En Banc (Full Court )

US Supreme Court grants cert. in 5 cases

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Via Scotusblog:

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in five cases today:

Salazar (Interior Secretary) v. Buono  : government's appeal testing Congress' power to allow a religious display to remain on public property simply by transferring ownership to a private group or individual.  The case also raises issues about who may sue to challenge such displays. 

 Alvarez v. Smith:  The legal standard for a court hearing to test the forfeiture of property used in a drug crime.

Padilla v. Kentucky : The duty of an attorney to advise a client facing mandatory deporation from the U.S. after pleading guilty to trafficking in marijuana.

Union Pacific Railroad v. Brotherhood of Locomotice Engineers: The scope of federal courts' authority to second-guess arbitration decisions made to resolve labor disputes in the railroad and airline industries.

Smith v. Spisak:  Judges' duty to advise jurors on whether unanimity is required in finding factors that bear upon imposing a death sentence.

Johnson v. U.S. : The status of a state conviction for felony battery as a violent crime under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act.  The Court granted questions 1 and 2 in the petition, both related to that issue. The Court declined to hear a third question, asking the Court to overrule its 1998 decision in Almendarez-Torres v. U.S. -- allowing a judge, rather than the jury, to rule on prior convictions as a basis for enhancing a criminal sentence.  The Court has refused several times to consider that issue, which involves the only exception to the jury role the Court mandated in Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and later cases.

Scotusblog provides links to the opinions below, petitions for certiorari, briefs in opposition, replies and briefs of amicus curiae.

Justice Ginsburg was present for the Court's announcement of the orders and today's oral arguments.

This Week

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Monday, February 23 - US Supreme Court hears oral argument in United States v. Navajo Nation and Rivera v. Illinois (whether the erroneous denial of a defense peremptory challenge is subject to harmless error analysis).

Monday, February 23 8:30 - Assembly Judiciary Committee: AB 114 (Makes various changes concerning compensation to victims of crime); AB 116 (Revises provisions concerning compensation for victims of crime); AB 120 (Makes changes concerning orders for protection of victims of sexual assault).

Monday, February 23 9:00 - Senate Judiciary Committee: SB 125 (Prohibits the unauthorized possession, reading or capturing of another person's personal identifying information through radio frequency identification); SJR 2 (Proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to revise provisions relating to the selection of justices and judges).

Tuesday, February 24 - US Supreme Court hears oral argument in Burlington No. & Santa Fe R. Co. v. United States and Shell Oil v. United States and hears argument in Carlsbad Technology v. HIF Bio.

Tuesday, February 24 8:00 - Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation: AB 81 (Makes various changes relating to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History); AB 117 (Makes various changes relating to prisoners and parole).

Tuesday, February 24 8:30 - Senate Judiciary Committee: SB 130 (Revises certain provisions governing certificates of permission to perform marriages); SB 141 (Enacts the Uniform International Wills Act).

Wednesday, February 25 - US Supreme Court hears argument in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Flores-Figueroa v. United States (whether the federal crime of aggravated identity theft requires the Government to show that the defendant knew that identification he used belonged to another person).

Wednesday, February 25 8:00 - Assembly Judiciary Committee: no criminal law bills.

Wednesday, February 25 1:30 - Senate Committee on Government Affairs: Discussion of issues related to public employees' compensation levels, benefits and retirement and overview of related reports issued by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday February 26 - Nevada Supreme Court opinion release day

Thursday, February 26 8:30 - Senate Judiciary Committee Work Session:

S.B. 34 Makes certain changes concerning the use of court reporters in certain court proceedings.

S.B. 35 Repeals the provision that prohibits the prosecution of a person in this State for a crime after the person is convicted or acquitted of the crime in another state, territory or country.

S.B. 44 Designates certain employees of the Department of Corrections as category II peace officers.

S.B. 45 Revises provisions relating to certain criminal cases involving older persons and vulnerable persons.

S.B. 55 Makes various changes concerning commercial recordings.

S.B. 67 Revises provisions governing declarations of homestead. 

S.B. 82 Makes various changes relating to technological crime.

S.B. 83 Makes various changes relating to the regulation of gaming. 

S.B. 99 Limits the peace officer powers of taxicab field investigators. 

S.B. 101 Makes various changes relating to securities. 

S.B. 106 Revises provisions governing the purchase of a home or improved lot that is adjacent to open range.

S.B. 107 Limits the liability of certain nonprofit organizations and their agents, employees and volunteers under certain circumstances. 

S.B. 113 Creates statutory subcommittees of the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice.

Thursday, February 26 approx 9 am - Assembly Judiciary Committee Work Committee:

A.B. 27 Clarifies requirements and procedures for obtaining a Nevada identity theft passport.

A.B. 63 Makes various changes to provisions regarding justice courts.

A.B. 88 Establishes a civil remedy for a person who was a victim of a sexual offense which was used to promote child pornography.

A.B. 93 Revises the definition of the crime of assault.

A.B. 104 Revises the provisions governing the failure to appear in court for the commission of certain misdemeanor traffic offenses.

Thursday, February 26 1:00  - Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice's Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice.

Friday, February 27 8:00 - Assembly Judiciary Committee: A.B. 64 (Increases the number of judges in the Second and Eighth Judicial Districts); A.B. 65  (Provides for the collection and disposition of additional court fees); A.B. 102 (Revises provisions governing problem gambling).

Friday, February 27 8:30 - Senate Judiciary Committee -  SB 142 (Establishes the crime of criminal gang recruitment) and other non-criminal law related bills.

The State Bar of Nevada will hold its February 2009 Bar Examination on Tuesday, February 24, Wednesday, February 25 and Thursday, February 26.

Broadcasts of Legislative Committee Meetings are available here.

No opinions this week

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The Nevada Supreme Court did not release any published opinions this week. The Court published its most recent opinions on January 29, 2009.  To date, there are 6 published decisions this year.

The Court has not posted an unpublished dispositions in the last month.  The date of the last unpublished decision is January 16, 2009.

Assemblypersons Anderson, Leslie, Ohrenshall, Segerblom, Buckley, Atkinson, Claborn, Hogan, Horne, McClain, Munford and Pierce have introduced Assembly Bill 190, which if enacted would establish a moritorium on the execution of sentences of death until July 1, 2011 and would conduct a study on the fiscal costs of the death penalty in Nevada.  The study would require an examination and analysis of the costs of prosecuting and adjudicating capital cases compared to noncapital cases.

Nevada is not alone in considering the fiscal impact of the death penalty.  Both New Mexico and Montana are considering abolishing the death penalty in those states.

Other states have studied the fiscal impact of the death penalty and all have concluded that the death penalty is far more expensive than a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.  Details are available after the jump.

The Nevada Supreme Court has announced that it will begin webcasting all oral arguments over its website.  The first oral arguments to be webcast will be held on March 2nd.  The Court will also provide a synopses of the case and issues to be presented.

This Week

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Tuesday, February 17 - 8:00 Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and ProbationAB 35 (Revises provisions governing petitions by offenders under lifetime supervision for release from lifetime supervision); AB 36 (Revises provisions pertaining to lifetime supervision of sex offenders); AB 38 (Provides that sex offenders who are under lifetime supervision must not have their civil rights automatically restored).

Tuesday, February 17 - 8:30 Senate Committee on JudiciarySB 34 (Makes certain changes concerning the use of court reporters in certain court proceedings); SB 100 (Revises the provisions governing the period of revocation of a driver's license upon conviction of certain offenses involving driving under the influence).

Wednesday, February 18 - 8:00 Assembly Committee on JudiciaryAB 1 (Prohibits certain demonstrations at a funeral, memorial serivce or ceremony); AB 45 (Requires the State Public Defender to provide defense services to indigent persons in counties without county public defender offices and to fully fund such services); AB 105 (Makes various changes concerning genetic marker testing of certain criminal defendants).

Wednesday, February 18 - 8:30 Senate Committee on Judiciary.  SB 84 (Authorizes cities to create departments of alternative sentencing). 

Thursday, February 19 - Nevada Supreme Court opinion release day

Thursday, February 19 - 8:00 Assembly Corrections, Parole and Probation.  AB 78 (Requires the State Forester Firewarden to establish and carry out a program for operating conservation camps); Audit Report - Dept. of Corrections, Inmate Programs, Grievances, and Access to Health Care.

Thursday, February 19 - 8:30 Senate Judiciary Committee.  SJR 1 (Proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to replace the State Board of Pardons Commissioners with the Clemency Board appointed by the Governor); SJR 9 (Proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to allow the Legislature to establish an intermediate appellate court).

Friday, February 20 - 8:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee.  AB 27 (Clarifies requirements and procedures for obtaining a Nevada identity theft passport); AB 46 (Makes various changes concerning the right of certain persons to purchase or possess a firearm); AB 61 (Requires notification of certain victims of crime of the discharge, conditional release or escape of certain persons from the custody of Mental Health officials).

Friday, February 20 - 8:30 Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 44 (Designates certain employees of the Department of Corrections as category II peace officers); SB 99 (Limits the peace officer powers of taxicab field investigators).

Friday, February 20 - 10:00 - 1:00 Indigent Defense Commission Meeting

Oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court will resume on February 23.

The Nevada Supreme Court will hear its next oral arguments on March 2.

No opinions this week

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The Nevada Supreme Court did not release any published opinions this week. The Court published its most recent opinions on January 29, 2009.  To date, there are 6 published decisions this year.

The Court has not posted an unpublished dispositions in the last month.  The date of the last unpublished decision is January 16, 2009.

Family Court Finalists Named

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The Nevada Supreme Court has released the names of five finalists for the two Family Court judicial vacancies:

 

The three nominees for Department E are:
• Gregory G. Gordon, 38, Henderson, attorney in private practice
• Charles J. Hoskin, 45, Las Vegas, attorney in private practice
• Vincent Ochoa, 56, Las Vegas, attorney in private practice

The three nominees for Department F are:
• William B. Gonzalez, 47, Las Vegas, Clark County Deputy Public Defender
• Keith M. Lyons, Jr., 47, Las Vegas, attorney in private practice
• Vincent Ochoa, 56, Las Vegas, attorney in private practice

The Ninth Circuit published a decision this morning in Wilson v. Belleque.  The opinion is instructive to state court practitioners who want to make a pretrial challenge involving double jeopardy to the federal courts following denial of a motion to dismiss in state court.  

This Week

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Monday, February 9 - 8:30 Assembly Judiciary Committee Meeting.  Overview of Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, Presentation on the Regulation of Gaming, and BDR Introductions.

Monday, February 9 - 9:00  Senate Judicary Committee Meeting (no criminal law issues).

Tuesday, February 10 - 8:00 Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation.  Presentations by the Department of Corrections and Parole and Probation.

Tuesday, February 10 - 8:30 Senate Judicary Committee MeetingSB 28 - Revises reporting requirements concerning missing persons and unidentified dead bodies; SB 83 - Makes various changes relating tp the regulation of gaming.


Wednesday, February 11 - Nevada Supreme Court Southern Panel Oral Arguments

Wednesday, February 11 - 8:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee Meeting.  Overview of Nevada's Court System, Overview of the Commission on Indigent Defense, Overview of the Commission on Preservation, Access and Sealing of Court Records.  AB 63 - Makes various changes to provisions regarding justice court; AB 65 - Provides for the collection and disposition of additional court fees.

Wednesday, February 11 - 8:30 Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting.  (No criminal law issues).

Wednesday, February 11 - 9:00 Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice's Subcommittee of the Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice.

Thursday, February 12 - Nevada Supreme Court opinion release day

Thursday, February 12 - 8:00 Joint Meeting of the Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation and the Senate Committee on Judiciary.  Report on the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice.

Friday, February 13 - 8:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee MeetingAB 93 Revises the definition of the crime of assault; AB 99 Makes various changes relating to the security and safety of participants in the legal process; AB 104 - revises the provisions governing the failure to appear in court for the commission of certain misdemeanor traffic offenses. 

The US Supreme Court will resume oral arguments on February 23.

This Week

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Monday, February 2 - Nevada Supreme Court en banc oral arguments in Glover v. District Court and Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Trustees of Constr. Indus. (NRAP 5).

Monday, February 2 - Nevada Legislature opens its 2009 Session.

Tuesday, February 3 - Nevada Supreme Court en banc oral arguments in MGM Mirage v. Insurance Guaranty Ass'n, Allstate Insurance Co. v. Fackett and Shelksohn v. Yeh.

Tuesday, February 3 - 8:00 Assembly Committtee on Corrections, Parole and Probation meets and BDRs may be introduced.

Tuesday, February 3 - 9:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee meets.  Presentation on Nevada Criminal Law by Ben Graham.

Wednesday, February 4 - 8:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee meets.  Audit reports presented.  The Committee will consider AB 88, concerning civil remedies for a person who was a victim of a sexual offense which was used to promose child pornography.

Wednesday, February 4 - 8:30 Senate Judiciary Committee meets.  It will hold an informational hearing on activities by the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice. 

Wednesday, February 4 - 12:00 NACJ Board Meeting at the Federal Public Defender's Office.

Thursday, February 5 - Nevada Supreme Court opinion release day.

Thursday, February 5 - 8:30 Senate Judicary Committee meets.  The Committee will consider SB 35 (repeals the provision that prohibits the prosecution of a person in this State for a crime after the person is convicted or acquitted of the crime in another state, territory or country; SB 45 (revises provisions relating to certain criminal cases involving older persons and vulnerable persons); SB 82 (makes various changes relating to technological crime).

Friday, February 6 - 8:00 Assembly Judiciary Committee meets.  The Committee will consider AB 42 (grants administrative subpoena power for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the AG's Office to obtain certainr records and materials); AB 59 (creates a rebuttable presumption against an award of custody or unsupervised visitation for any person who has abducted a child in the past).

Friday, February 6 - 2:30 p.m. Investiture Ceremony for new district court and family court judges: Doug Smith, Abbi Silver and Cynthia Giuliani.

 

No orders or opinions are expected from the United States Supreme Court as the Court is in a four week recess.  Oral arguments will resume on February 23.

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