Friday, October 4, 2013

Saudi Airman Faces Life Sentence If Convicted

The rejection of an offer to plead guilty to reduced charges means that a 24-year-old Saudi Arabian airman will face trial in October on felony sex-related charges involving a 13-year-old at a Las Vegas hotel. The Saudi air force sergeant could be sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted of the charges.

The suspect recently appeared in court for a hearing to determine if his confession was voluntarily given to the police. The judge will decide whether police followed rules about advising the suspect of his right to remain silent.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Attorneys Aware of Electronic Monitoring Decrease

Las Vegas attorneys are aware that state budget cuts along with laws making it easier for prison inmates to earn parole have meant a decrease in the number of people eligible for electronic monitoring in Nevada. The number of offenders on electronic monitoring dropped from 325 a month to 153.

The state currently has 11 parole officers assigned to respond to electronic monitoring alerts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The officers responding to alerts do so in addition to their other supervision duties. According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, all alerts receive an in-person or telephoned response.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Locals Support Efforts to Honor Slain Police Explorer

A car wash was held to raise money for the family of a 19-year-old Metro Police Explorers captain who was killed in a motorcycle accident involving a suspected drunken driver. Many residents supported the car wash that raised funds to pay the young man’s funeral expenses.

According to police, the young man was a criminal justice student and had been a member of the Explorer unit for three years. The son of a Metropolitan Police Department officer, the deceased young man had looked forward to someday joining the police department. The driver of the vehicle that hit him was charged with DUI.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Residents Enjoy a Las Vegas Winter Wonderland

The August First Friday art festival and celebration in downtown Las Vegas took on a different look and feel than First Friday events of previous months. Visitors were treated to an art exhibition with an Arctic theme. Along with the usual paintings and sculpture, the festival featured glaciers, whales and a winter wonderland atmosphere that stretched the length of a city block.

The exhibition, entitled “AntARTica,” made art the focal point of the day. Gallery owners who complained that First Friday had become more of a street fair than an art exhibition seemed satisfied by the result.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Residents Awaiting Impact of New Driver Authorization Cards

Motor vehicle departments throughout the United States have strict documentation requirements for new driver’s license applicants. The rules make it difficult for individuals in this country illegally to obtain a license to drive. Faced with a growing problem of uninsured motorists driving without valid driver’s licenses, Nevada will soon implement a new program tripling the number of identification documents it will accept from applicants for a driver authorization card.

Unlike the driver’s licenses issued other motorists, driver authorization cards will allow a person to drive a car, but the card cannot be used for identification purposes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Keeping Las Vegas Computer Users Safe

The Rio hotel and casino prepared its employees for the DEF CON Hacking Conference by asking them to be polite and welcoming to the 20,000 attendees and to refrain from using Wi-Fi during the conference. The conference attracts a mix of government- and private-sector professionals specializing in cyber security, but a significant number of the attendees are expected to be hackers. Those familiar with the conference see it as an odd pairing of those who dedicate their lives to protecting computer systems seated next to the people who try to break into those systems.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Las Vegas Attorney Adam Kutner Represents Families in Wrongful Death Actions

Laws are constantly changing to keep pace with the norms, beliefs and demands of society. Personal injury attorneys like Adam Kutner know that one segment of personal injury law that has seen the most dramatic change is when someone dies due to the negligence of another person.

At one time, the family of a person who died from injuries sustained in an accident did not have the right to sue the person who caused the loved one’s death. This was in keeping with the prevailing view that it was morally wrong to attempt to put a value on the life of a fellow human being. Changes in people’s beliefs eventually led to England adopting legislation in the mid-1800s allowing the families of accident victims to recover damages on behalf of their deceased relative.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nevada Residents Benefit From New DMV Procedure

Thanks to recent legislation, the department of motor vehicles in Nevada will soon be processing automobile lender requests for liens and titles through a cloud-based electronic system. Eighteen states now process title and lien requests electronically instead of by the traditional paper method. Nevada is the first state in the country to outsource the development of the programs and system maintenance to a private company from Pennsylvania.

According to the company designing the system for the state, the new procedure will make it easier for banks and other lenders to have liens placed on vehicle titles when borrowers purchase a vehicle.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nevada Makes Online Poker Available to Residents

The FBI seizure of online poker domains as operating illegal gaming activities effectively shut down the industry in the United States two years ago. Players’ money on deposit with the closed websites was frozen and the players could not get it back without initiating lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

People in Nevada were offered the opportunity to enjoy online poker once again. Nevada uses software that restricts the availability of the games to people playing within the state to avoid violating federal laws. Analysts predict that online poker could become a $10 billion industry.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Corporate Law Enacted to Protect Citizens

Corporations are formed under state laws. So, for example, Nevada regulates the procedures and rules governing corporations in Las Vegas and other parts of the state. Because the government wants to protect citizens from schemes that promote criminal activities, fraud or terrorism, it is concerned about state laws that permit those who run corporations to hide their true identities.

Attorneys are aware that a new Nevada law prohibits the formation of corporations without listing the names of the directors and officers. The law also requires the annual filing of a list of director and officer names with a statement that names are submitted without fraudulent intent.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Many Surprised By NSA Chief’s Convention Appearance

A conference of computer hackers at Caesar’s Palace might seem like an odd place for the head of the National Security Agency to be giving the keynote speech, but Army Gen. Keith Alexander appeared right at home addressing the annual Black Hat conference. The general spoke about the work of the NSA in preventing terrorist threats in the United States and elsewhere through telephone and internet communications analysis.

Many locals were surprised to learn about the general’s appearance. The conference attendees appeared receptive to having the head of the nation’s top electronic surveillance and intelligence agency address them.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Anti-SLAPP Statute

According to some attorneys, Nevada residents could benefit from the Anti-SLAPP statute signed into law by the governor. Nevada joins four other states and the District of Columbia in offering protection to people victimized by corporations and individuals using defamation lawsuits to silence critics.   The new law targets strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) that are used to discourage people from publicly voicing opposition to corporate policies and actions, real estate developers and others. The new Anti-SLAPP law allows a person to file a special motion asking the court to dismiss a complaint prior to trial.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have discovered that consumers of hot sauces from Mexico and South America are adding more than just a spicy kick to their food. Sixteen percent of the bottles of hot sauce contained measurable levels of lead. Concerned consumers were able to read the researchers’ findings in the “Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B.”

Ingestion of lead, particularly by children, can lead to learning disabilities, seizures, behavioral issues, coma or death. Currently, there are no levels of lead considered safe for human consumption. Researchers recommend more screening of imported products for lead content.

Friday, September 20, 2013

State Acts to Protect Residents From Improper Medical Care

The lack of physician supervision over the staff of a local medical practice is at the heart of a state investigation of a doctor and her assistant. According to charges filed against the assistant, patients were improperly diagnosed and treated by a physician assistant who was not properly supervised by a medical doctor as required by Nevada law.

Investigators claim that the physician assistant ran the medical practice with little oversight by the doctor, who is alleged to have visited the clinic just once a month. The laws require physician assistants to work under the supervision of a doctor.

Adam Kutner Cautions Pedestrians to Traffic Dangers

A Las Vegas city bus struck and killed a 53-year-old man who stepped in front of it. According to witnesses, the man stepped from the sidewalk into the path of the bus. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident .

Personal injury lawyer Adam Kutner knows of the dangers traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard North can pose to pedestrians and other vehicles. Tourists in Las Vegas must be careful to pay attention to traffic and not be distracted by the sights and sounds of the city.

New Anti-SLAPP Law Protects Freedom of Speech

According to some attorneys, Nevada residents could benefit from the Anti-SLAPP statute signed into law by the governor. Nevada joins four other states and the District of Columbia in offering protection to people victimized by corporations and individuals using defamation lawsuits to silence critics.

The new law targets strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) that are used to discourage people from publicly voicing opposition to corporate policies and actions, real estate developers and others. The new Anti-SLAPP law allows a person to file a special motion asking the court to dismiss a complaint prior to trial.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Drivers Ought to Obey the Speed Limits on I-15

The odds of motorists getting speeding tickets on Interstate 15 heading into Las Vegas are probably better than their chances at the casinos once they arrive. A crackdown by the Nevada Highway Patrol on drivers who have been averaging 95 mph from the Nevada border to the Las Vegas Strip has led to a flurry of tickets for speeding and numerous other traffic violations.

Travelers familiar with Interstate 15 know that the two-lane highway from California becomes four lanes of open highway. One police officer framed a copy of a ticket he issued last year to a motorist he caught doing 187 mph.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Parole Granted, But OJ Simpson Not Released From Prison

The Nevada Parole Board has granted parole to former NFL star O.J. Simpson, but Simpson will not walk out of prison for another four years. Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery when he and other men attempted to recover sports memorabilia that the former running back claimed belonged to him.

The parole board based its decision on Simpson’s good conduct, his participation in prison programs and his lack of a prior criminal record. The additional four years in prison are the result of the 66-year-old Simpson being given consecutive sentences on some of the charges.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Clark County Science Teachers Benefit From Summer Training Program

Middle school science teachers from the Clark County School District are learning innovative teaching techniques and skills in a summer training program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The one-week program is a partnership with Project Lead The Way and is designed to offer teachers and students curriculum in science, technology, engineering and math to use in their classrooms during the school year.

The teachers in the program use bottle rockets made from empty soda bottles and air pressure as new instructional tools to teach the children of of Las Vegas residents. The teachers and students participating in the program are finding ways to make learning fun.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Residents Concerned About High Rate of Asthma

Fifteen percent of the adults in Nevada have asthma as compared to 13.8 of adults nationwide. A professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, attributes the state’s higher asthma rate to the dry weather combined with dust and rapid temperature changes. According to researchers, state residents should be concerned about the winds that add to respiratory ailments by stirring up dust and pollen.

Although the state might lead the nation in asthma and in smoking tobacco products, the overall health of Las Vegas citizens appears to be equal to or, in some instances such as obesity and diabetes, better than the rest of the nation.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Set to Open in Las Vegas

The sale of marijuana in Las Vegas is coming out of the shadows and moving into shopping centers in 40 locations in Clark County. A new Nevada law allows medical-grade marijuana to be sold legally at dispensaries that look and feel more like Apple stores than a clandestine shop trying to avoid a raid by law enforcement.

The dispensaries expect to open next year and will feature state-of-the-art security measures to protect against robbery and theft. Access will be strictly limited to individuals with medical authorization to purchase marijuana. The new law allows each city to decide where the dispensaries will be allowed to open.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Housing Inventory Hurt By Consumer Protection Law

Chances are that when Nevada lawmakers approved new rules to protect homeowners in the state from lender foreclosure abuses they did not intend for them to cause a shortage in the housing market. Many Las Vegas lawyers see how banks and other lenders have responded to the new regulations by slowing the rate of foreclosures and post-foreclosure evictions. The unintended impact of this new trend has been a shrinking housing inventory available to prospective buyers.

The shortage of available homes for sale has created a “supply and demand” phenomenon in which the demand for homes is driving up prices. Middle class buyers are being locked out of the marketplace.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Juvenile Sex Offender Law Unwise, But Not Unconstitutional

Las Vegas attorneys understand that the true purpose of a state law might not be readily apparent. A case in point is a Nevada statute requiring juveniles convicted of certain sex crimes to register, in the same manner as adults, with law enforcement agencies as sex offenders.

A challenge to the constitutionality of the law failed when the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the law probably did nothing to deter crime but, as ineffective and misguided as the law might be, it was constitutional. The court acknowledged that the sole purpose of the statute appeared to be an effort by the state to secure federal funding.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adam Kutner: When Does an “Act of God” Become Negligence?

One person died and several others suffered serious injuries when 27 vehicles rammed into each other during a blinding sandstorm on Interstate 80 in northern Nevada. According to police, late afternoon winds blew dust from recently plowed farmland to create zero-visibility conditions on the highway. Conditions were so bad that water trucks were used to dampen the road surface to reduce the brown dust so rescue workers could see to assist the injured victims.

The 27 vehicles involved in the accident included cars, SUVs, tractor-trailers and a tow truck. Police identified the deceased victim as a truck driver whose vehicle slammed into the rear of another truck before being hit in the rear by two other commercial vehicles.

Attorneys like Adam Kutner who practice personal injury and negligence law know that determining responsibility for the serious injuries or deaths that can occur in a motor vehicle accident depends on identifying the parties at fault. When the cause of the accident, as in this case, appears to be an “act of God,” determining if someone was at fault can be difficult for the police, insurance investigator and personal injury attorneys who must sort through the physical evidence and eyewitness statements. Piecing together random bits of evidence to portray a series of events that culminate in a highway crash is similar to putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle.

There is more involved in determining fault in a motor vehicle accident than gathering and reviewing evidence. When representing a client who has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, Adam Kutner must evaluate the conduct of the parties involved in the accident to decide if any one of them was negligent.

Negligence is the failure of a person to behave in a manner that conforms to a standard established by law. This “reasonably prudent person” standard is used to prove that a party to an accident who fails to act with the level of care expected of a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances is negligent.

A licensed driver is authorized to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways but, according to the reasonably prudent person standard, the driver must maintain control of the vehicle at all times and keep a proper lookout for other vehicles or pedestrians using the highways. Complying with the duty of care requires more from a motorist than simply obeying the vehicle and traffic laws.

For example, a motorist who drives at the posted speed limit might be violating the duty of care if the weather conditions make visibility so poor that seeing other vehicles is impossible at that speed. Being a careful drive involves more than strict adherence to posted speed limits. A person who fails to decrease a vehicle’s speed when conditions or circumstances require it could be negligent if an accident occurs

Attorney Adam Kutner realizes that the police and investigators on Interstate 80 will have their hands full piecing together the cause of the accident. One factor that will be of concern is how the drivers reacted to the blinding sandstorm. Would a reasonably prudent person have slowed down to compensate for the lack of visibility, and did these motorists do so?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Officials Caution People About Container Law Crackdown

Las Vegas officials are hoping that people will eventually understand the laws governing the consumption of liquor and beer on Fremont Street. Police have stepped up issuing citations punishable by $200 fines to those people carrying open containers, bottles or cans of beer or mixed drinks.

It should be known that bars and taverns cannot allow drinks to leave their premises. Packaged alcohol products likewise cannot be opened and consumed on the street. The rules for alcohol purchased from certain locations of the downtown area appear to be different according to local public officials. At least for now, police are urging people to keep the drinks off the streets.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bill to Aid Economically Distressed Homeowners

The economic crisis that hit the mortgage and housing markets five years ago is still being felt by homeowners in the Las Vegas area. Property owners have been able to get out from under mortgages that exceeded the market value of their homes through a short sale in which the lender agrees to accept a lower payoff.

Until now, sellers in a short sale were prohibited from entering into arrangements to purchase their homes back from buyers. New Nevada legislation effective October 1, 2013, will remove the prohibition.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Metal Recycler’s Law Should Help Citizens

The theft of air conditioners and other sources of copper wire and copper pipe have increased in the Las Vegas area. Local residents might not be aware of the extent of the problem, but state lawmakers recently passed legislation allowing recycling yards to electronically transmit information about their copper purchases to the police.
Recycling companies are currently required by law to retain a copy of identification and fingerprint of anyone from whom they purchase scrap metal. This information must be available to give to the police if it is requested. The new law speeds up the process by allowing scrap metal yards to submit the data electronically to the police.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lack of Protection for Reporters

Nevada’s shield law protects journalists from being forced to disclose communications with confidential sources who contribute information for a news story but who choose to remain anonymous. The law allows reporters to write news stories read by Las Vegas residents without fear of government sanctions.

A reporter for the New York Times is fighting a federal judge’s order directing him to testify in a criminal trial to reveal the name of the government source that leaked information to him. Unlike Nevada, there is no federal law to protect a journalist who receives unauthorized leaks of government information.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Police Might Use Little-Used Law

The driver of a Las Vegas-bound tour bus could be charged with violating the law for driving into flash floodwaters that caused the bus to flip onto its side. No one was injured in the accident. A spokeswoman for the local sheriff’s department said that her office might cite the driver under a little-used state law.

Attorneys know that the 1995 law imposes up to $2,000 of the cost of the emergency response crews when a vehicle enters a flooded area. The bus company claims there was no warning about the possibility of flood conditions when the bus entered what appeared to be a couple of inches of water.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Residents Feeling Safer After Motorcycle Gang Arrests

Local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies in Las Vegas ended a four-year investigation of Southern Nevada motorcycle gangs with the arrest of 25 gang members. A total of 32 people are facing state and federal drug and weapons charges, including possession and sale of methamphetamines, cocaine and prescription drugs. Three of the suspected gang members were being held in Hawaii pending extradition to Nevada to face similar charges.

In addition to the drug- and weapons-related charges, some of those arrested have also been charged with fraud and false imprisonment. Attorneys know that those charged in connection with the Las Vegas investigation could be facing lengthy prison sentences if they are convicted.