Win or Lose, Lowden to Leave Medical Board

Republican hopeful for Lt. Governor Sue Lowden says she’ll step down from the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners regardless of the outcome of the primary election next month.  Lowden says serving on the board is a tough job that causes her much anguish and she predicts tough times ahead as regulators tackle the role of physicians in medical marijuana.  

But Lowden is pleased Governor Brian Sandoval, who supports her primary opponent Mark Hutchison, sent a nice letter inviting her to return.  Lowden says she’s told the governor and her board colleagues that June will be her final meeting.  


MMJ Conflicts Extend to Regulators, Threaten Budding Industry

Is anyone else wondering how Nevada Gaming Commission members can keep a straight face while discussing the perils of licensees’ being associated with Nevada’s blossoming medical marijuana industry?

The commission voted (barely) last week to endorse the Control Board’s earlier edict that grass and green felt don’t mix.  

Here’s a line from Howard Stutz’ report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: 

Thursday’s vote affirming that notice was 2-0 — three of the five commission members, all lawyers, recused themselves because members of their law firms represent clients with medical marijuana interests.

Commission Chairman Pete Bernhard is in business with Kaempfer Crowell, a firm working feverishly to deliver medical marijuana establishment licenses for its clients.  Same story for Joe Brown of Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas.

But the best conflict on the commission belongs to John Moran.  

His son and law firm colleague, JT Moran, represents a group applying for three licenses. Until last week the disclosed owners of the proposed establishments included Barry Moore, who is married to Jane Tobman Moore. Her sister Marilyn is the wife of gaming commissioner John Moran and the mom of young JT, the attorney representing Moore and the hopeful pot peddlers.  

But Barry Moore owns a bar with slot machines.  He’d have to give that up to get in the medical weed biz.  Now, documents I received from the county on Friday reveal Barry is no longer listed as an owner of GB Sciences, but his wife is!   

I’m no attorney but even I could figure out that slight degree of separation probably wouldn’t fly with gaming regulators, a hunch confirmed by Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett, who said:

I do not feel that would be enough separation.  If the Feds indicted the medical marijuana business, the husband might be implicated because of financial commingling between spouses, possible involvement or control entanglements between the two, or outright conspiracy to violate federal law.     

Now, you’d think John Moran could have saved his son the trouble on this one.  Or was young JT intending to keep dad in the dark about Aunt Janie’s proposed involvement?  

And what degree of separation will gaming regulators determine is suitable?  

Governor Brian Sandoval, who signed the medical marijuana establishment bill into law, supports the cautionary tone from gaming regulators.

Attorneys, officers of the court sworn to uphold the law, are so far getting a green light from the Nevada Bar to take part.

And in early June the state medical board, which regulates doctors, will take up issues involving that profession – from ethics to ownership.

Prohibiting doctors would really thin the herd of hopeful applicants… unless Clark County once again extends the “deadline” for ownership changes!  And it would reinforce the perception that there’s really nothing “medical” about marijuana in Nevada.

Medical marijuana is legal in Nevada.  Voters decided and the Legislature acted.  The feds will come around.  They have no choice.

In the meantime, here’s my advice for our betting state –  All in or fold.  


Legal Eagles on Med Pot Advisory Commission

Link below to who’s on the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice’s Subcommittee on the Medical Use of Marijuana. 

No meetings set, no agenda yet.  May I suggest the first order of business – fix Nevada’s horrible law that can land innocent people in prison for trace amounts of a drug that stays in the system for days. Attorney John Watkins (also a judicial candidate) is on the commission and knows the issue better than anyone.  Also on the commission, attorney and friend Kristina Wildeveld.

Bar Counsel Wants Retraction, Sends Divorce Decree

Bar Counsel David Clark sent me a copy of divorce decree from almost seven years ago.  Apologies for linking him to ex-wife who is assistant to Jay Brown.  I stand by the comments attributed to Clark.  


 I have seen your blog post and second post regarding our conversation and my “failure to disclose.” 

 I am requesting a retraction of your post on all media and all outlets in which you published the original post and second posting

 First, attached is a copy of my divorce decree, showing that I was divorced from Diana Clark almost 7 years ago.

 Second, I declined to offer you an opinion on the facts you proffered – repeatedly declined.  I do not offer ethics opinions on news articles, only grievances and requests for opinions from attorneys or the court.

 Third, I disagree with your characterization that the “Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit[…] lawyers from going into business with clients.”  I certainly said no such thing.

RPC 1.8 prohibits such transactions unless the requirements of RPC 1.8(a)(1-3) are met.  I mentioned this to you in our conversation.  As to RPC 1.8(i), the prohibition is to “cause of action or subject matter of litigation.”  Again, as I mentioned to you in our conversation, I have not seen “cause of action” ever applied to a non-litigation representation.


Please respond to my request for a retraction.


David A. Clark
Bar Counsel
State Bar of Nevada
600 East Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV  89104
(702) 317-1444 – direct
(800) 254-2797
(702) 382-8747 – fax


Nevada Bar Counsel Fails to Disclose Conflict

This morning I called David Clark, the counsel for the Nevada Bar, to see if he had any concerns about Las Vegas attorney Jay Brown’s profit sharing agreement with his clients seeking medical marijuana licenses.  Jon Ralston revealed yesterday that Brown filed disclosures with Clark County, noting he will get 9% of profits from his successful applicants. 

Clark seemed less than concerned, dismissing the two seminal provisions of the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct prohibiting attorneys from going into business with clients.  Clark noted that rule 1.8 (a) allows clients to waive conflicts declared by their attorneys (which Brown’s client did) and noted that at first glance rule 1.8 (i), which prohibits attorneys from having a proprietary interest in their client’s case, appears to apply to litigation.

What Clark failed to mention is the fact his wife, Diana, is a longtime assistant to Jay Brown.  Is there a rule prohibiting such omissions?    


The City of Henderson Giveth and Taketh Away

Here’s a list of the City of Henderson employees granted personal allowances by manager Jake Snow, who rescinded them after two months.  This as the city cuts hours at recreation facilities, meals for seniors and seeks a tax hike. 

Group Name Earn Code Job Title Eff Date
MGT Arboreen, Brian K PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Borsellino, Roy M PRO Accounting Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Bower, Tracy L PRO Sr Dir Pub Affr/Econ/Cultr Dev 4/14/2014
MGT Carey, William J PRO Division Chief-Logistics 4/14/2014
MGT Cassell, Marc A PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Coffee, Barbra J PRO Manager of Economic Dev/Redev 4/14/2014
MGT Cooper, Sandra A PRO Manager Customer Svc/ Support 4/14/2014
MGT Cranor, Bud A PRO Director Comm/Council Support 4/14/2014
MGT Davy, Thomas E PRO Quality Control Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Day, John A PRO Utility Engineering/Asset Mgr 4/14/2014
MGT Derrick, Richard A PRO Chief Financial Officer 4/14/2014
MGT Dunaway, Brian K PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Edwards, Adrian J PRO Water/Wastewater Ops Mgr 4/14/2014
EXE Ellington, Bristol S PRO Asst City Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Ellis, Alan R PRO Manager Of Inspection Services 4/14/2014
MGT Fennema, Jennifer K PRO Director Of Human Resources 4/14/2014
MGT Ferguson, Shari P PRO Asst Director Of Parks & Recr 4/14/2014
MGT Foutz, Lawrence T PRO Asst Director Plan & Nbhd Svs 4/14/2014
MGT Fucci, Laura L PRO Chief Information Officer 4/14/2014
MGT Garcia-Vause, Stephanie D PRO Community Dev and Svs Director 4/14/2014
MGT Geach, Barbara A PRO Neighborhood Relations Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Gibson, Michael R PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Goble, Steven R PRO Fire Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Green, James P PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Guild, Douglas E PRO Parks Superintendent 4/14/2014
MGT Herr, Robert C PRO Asst Public Works Director 4/30/2014
MGT Hobaica, Mark F PRO City Architect 4/14/2014
EXE Horvath, Fred D PRO Asst City Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Howell, Priscilla E PRO Director Of Utility Services 4/14/2014
MGT Ihmels, Sally A PRO Asst Director 4/15/2014
MGT Jadid, Mohammad G PRO Asst Director Bldg/Fire Safety 4/14/2014
MGT Johnston, Michael J PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Kershaw, Concepcion PRO Accounting Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Koopman, Douglas A PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Lauer, Pamela K PRO Corrections Superintendent 4/14/2014
MGT Long, Bobby J PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Lynch, Jill R PRO Budget Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Mattoon, Michael D PRO Police Captain 4/14/2014
MGT Mazurkiewicz, Jayne M PRO Recreation Superintendent 4/14/2014
MGT McGuire, Edward D PRO City Engineer 4/14/2014
MGT McKeever, Timothy P PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Moers, Patrick E PRO Chief of Police 4/14/2014
MGT Morris, Matthew L PRO Deputy Fire Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Murnane, Robert A PRO Public Works Director 4/14/2014
MGT Nelson, Russell K PRO Asst Chief Information Officer 4/14/2014
MGT Okamura, Kyle R PRO Utility Planning & Bus Ops Mgr 4/14/2014
MGT Osip, Robert A PRO Risk Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Pakniat, Majid PRO Manager Of Plans Examining Svs 4/14/2014
MGT Penuelas, John R PRO City Traffic Engineer 4/14/2014
MGT Peters, Todd A PRO Deputy Police Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Pohlmann, Brenda L PRO Environmental Programs Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Primo, Andrea S PRO Director Cultural Arts/Tourism 4/14/2014
MGT Rajchel, Joseph V PRO General Services Maint Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Romero, Jeannine M PRO Manager Of Redevelopment 4/14/2014
MGT Satterlee, Scott E PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Stilson, Jeffrey H PRO Deputy Police Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Tassi, Michael PRO Planning Manager 4/14/2014
MGT Turner, Ryan M PRO Manager Emergency Mgmt/Safety 4/14/2014
MGT Veit, Timothy W PRO Fire Battalion Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Vivier, Scott A PRO Division Chief-EMS 4/14/2014
MGT White, Shawn L PRO Deputy Fire Chief 4/14/2014
MGT Willis, Lon E PRO Information Tech Project Mgr 4/14/2014
MGT Wilson, James A PRO Manager Of Network Services 4/14/2014
MGT Wright, Melissa S PRO City Auditor 4/14/2014
MGT Zihlmann, William J PRO Court Administrator 4/14/2014

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