Asking the Tough Questions About Nevada Marijuana Question 2

[Editor’s Note]

Welcome to today’s ClearCast!

The most discussed Ballot Question this year is Question 2, regarding Nevada marijuana.

Specifically, the ballot question asks the following:

Shall the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended to allow a person, 21 years old or older, to purchase, cultivate, possess, or consume a certain amount of marijuana or concentrated marijuana, as well as manufacture, possess, use, transport, purchase, distribute, or sell marijuana paraphernalia; impose a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of marijuana; require the regulation and licensing of marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, distributors, suppliers, and retailers; and provide for certain criminal penalties?

Yes  No 

We begin our discussion with the premise: How can we vote on a legality of a substance without knowing what it is?

We just did not know enough about Nevada marijuana to decide if we should be in favor or oppose Question 2

In turn, we visited Andrew Jolley(proprietor of The Source in Henderson) and he was willing to answer a few of our questions.

Mr. Jolley could not have been nicer, and we appreciated his hospitality very much.

We hope that if some of you out there have questions about Nevada marijuana that this will be informative.

Tomorrow, we are scheduled to sit down with Pat Hickey of the ‘No on 2’ campaign so he explain the opposing position.

Thanks for watching!

-Brian

[End Note]

 

Inquiring Into the Tough Issues Surrounding Nevada Marijuana Ballot Question 2

Jordan: Hi, I’m attorney Jordan Flake, with Clear Counsel Law Group, and welcome to another ClearCast. Today, we’re really excited to be joined by Andrew Jolley. Thank you for being willing to join us. We’re here, at The Source, which is a medical marijuana dispensary, and ClearCast is our law firm’s web production that we do on a fairly often basis. We are trying to take all of the ballot initiatives, one by one, and just try to get an education about them, so that everybody who watches this will have a better understanding so that they can go to the polls with an idea of what they’re really voting for.

I’ve got to be honest, Andrew. I am someone who is pretty naïve about marijuana. I have a generally negative perception towards marijuana. It conjures up images of people just having fun and being irresponsible, and it conjures it up images of crime and drug dealing and things of that nature, so I’m a little bit of a fish out of water in this environment. What can you tell us about marijuana? What can you tell us about some of my perceptions and how you have had to deal with that as you’ve opened this medical marijuana dispensary?

Andrew: First of all, you’re not alone. I grew up with the same negative perception of marijuana, and I think we do ourselves a disservice when we lump all drugs into one category. I think we would all understand that there’s a difference between prescription drugs and opiate prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs and drugs that are instantly addictive and can kill you, versus drugs that can’t kill you.

I think there is a very general misperception about marijuana and the history of marijuana and why it’s illegal is absolutely fascinating for me. It started in the 1930s when there was a prohibition put against marijuana, and then it was solidified in the 1970s, in 1970 through the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 that President Nixon pushed.

The bottom line is that marijuana is largely misunderstood. It’s a natural plant that has a lot of medicinal benefits and is not nearly as dangerous as the Reefer Madness type mentality and propaganda made it out to be. Is it a cure all? Absolutely not. Is it healthy for children? Absolutely not, but we need to look at it for what it is and use reason and fact and science instead of the propaganda of the past.

Jordan: I think that’s what we’re getting at. For our viewers out there, if they want to vote in favor of the measure or against the measure, that’s definitely their decision, but what I think would bother me if I were you is that people are relying on what I just expressed, which is just a natural, I would almost call it a lazy fear of marijuana, rather than actually getting down and understanding, “Here’s why I am against it,” or, “Here’s why I am in favor of it.”

What can you tell us about this question two? Can you just, for the benefit of our viewing audience, what’s on the table with question two? What’s it really getting at, and where you stand on why you believe it should pass.

Andrew: Sure. Thank you. Question two is a ballot initiative here in Nevada that’s on the ballot this election cycle on November 8th, and question two, if passed, will allow adults who are 21 years and older to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana for their personal use. There are a few things that I need to explain that it will not do.

The initiative will not take away patient’s rights under the medical marijuana program. It will not allow for public consumption. It will not allow for the sale to minors, and it will not change employers’ rights to drug testing and to having their own drug policies.

Jordan: So a construction company could still say, “No marijuana, and we can test you,” and the public consumption thing, I don’t have to worry about going down to a show or something and having my kids deal with a bunch of stoned people who are sitting there smoking marijuana and my kids getting secondhand smoke. Basically, I just have to deal with alcoholics tripping over themselves.

Andrew: Yes. Alcohol is allowed to be consumed in public here in Las Vegas, but marijuana is not and it will not be allowed to be consumed publicly if question two passes.

Jordan: Then, the minors, of course, still out of the question for anyone under the age of 18, or 21?

Andrew: 21.

Jordan: 21, okay, so it’s out of the question for people under the age of 21. I imagine getting marijuana legally and then administering it to minors is also illegal?

Andrew: Well, if they have a medical marijuana patient card, it is legal for minors, and that is legal today.

Jordan: What we know, what we can compare marijuana to a little bit is already our familiarity with alcohol and alcohol laws and things of that nature. Now, they’re obviously different because you can consume alcohol in public, but what are some of the differences? What if I were just to say, “Okay, Andrew, so what you’re saying is marijuana is just like alcohol.” You say, “No, that’s what what you’re saying.” How do you compare marijuana and alcohol?

Andrew: Well, I believe we should regulate marijuana like alcohol, because that’s been effective. I think we can all agree that the prohibition of alcohol was a disaster.

Jordan: Like the 1920s prohibition.

Andrew: That was an utter disaster, right?

Jordan: Right.

Andrew: It created a lot of organized crime. There was a lot of violence, and the entire market just went underground. The same thing is happening with marijuana today. There’s a misperception that marijuana is not in our community and that by passing question two, it will come into our community. The reality is it’s already here. Just ask my 14 year old daughter, who goes to middle school. She hears about this stuff.

It’s already in our community, so the whole purpose of question two is take marijuana out of the black market, the criminal market, the cartel market, the drug dealer market, and put it into a regulated legal market where we can test it to make sure it’s safe, we can package it in child-proof packaging so that it can’t be accessed by children accidentally, and we can tax it.

By the way, all of the taxes for question two, 100% of the tax proceeds, will go to funding our K through 12 education, which as you probably know, is 48th out of 50 in the nation, and something that we desperately need here in Nevada, so the idea is not to say that marijuana is just like alcohol as a substance, because marijuana is much safer than alcohol as a product. What we’re saying, though, is that we should regulate it like alcohol because the regulatory framework for alcohol has been successful in keeping alcohol out of the black market and into a legal, regulated market.

Jordan: I really appreciate the explanation. I have a question for you here about some ads that I’ve seen on TV. I saw one ad that says that instances of marijuana car accidents, marijuana related DUIs resulting in car accidents, have increased in Colorado by 13%, if I remember correctly. What can you say about that? How would you respond to the possibility? I’m a voter. I’m afraid that people are going to be smoking marijuana and driving dangerously on the roads. How do you respond to that?

Andrew: Well, ironically, DUIs in the state of Colorado are down 19% since 2014 when they legalized marijuana, and so what’s happening is more people in Colorado are choosing to use marijuana instead of alcohol. There’s still an issue with driving impaired, but that is not unique to marijuana.

We should be ensuring that our roads are safe and that drivers are not driving impaired under any substance, but it just so happens that driving under the influence of marijuana, while not something that I would encourage at all and I think needs to be stopped, is much safer than driving under the influence of alcohol. That’s why you’ve seen an overall decrease in DUIs, but there’s then a slight increase of the proportion of people who have marijuana in their system.

Something else I should note is that there’s a scientific reason for that, too, unlike alcohol, which leaves your system in a matter of hours, your metabolites of marijuana stay in your system for 30 to 90 days, and so they’re having to wrestle with these issues in Colorado, and we’ll have to address them here in Nevada if question two passes, but overall, marijuana is much safer than alcohol. A recent report showed that it’s 114% times safer than alcohol, and overall DUIs are down 19% in Colorado.

Jordan: Overall, there’s a net reduction in DUIs. It’s just that the proportion of those DUIs that do exist involve the [inaudible 00:09:16] marijuana continuing in the system and potentially not even contributing necessarily to the accident.

Okay, so the next one really concerns me, which is children being admitted to the emergency room because they came across gummy bears, which that’s what my kids would do. If they find gummy bears in the house, they’re going to pop a few in their mouth, and the idea for me as a parent, probably not in our house, but maybe at some friend’s house and finding some gummy bears, popping those in their mouth, that actually worries me. I don’t want that to happen anywhere. Can you respond to that ad? You’ve seen that ad.

Andrew: Yes. I’ve seen those ads. Protecting our children is no doubt something that we all have in common and we all should agree upon, but we need to put it in context and we need to look at facts versus hype.

Number one, gummy bears, marijuana-infused gummy bears, are illegal in Colorado, so these ads that you’re seeing with gummy bears falling out of the sky, that would illegal. They’re not allowed, so in Colorado, you cannot produce edibles, marijuana edibles, that take the shape of a human figure, animals, or fruit. We will have the same restrictions in Nevada.

Additionally, everything that we sell under the medical marijuana program and everything that will be sold under the adult use program has to be sold in child-proof packaging, so something like a vial that we’re used to in the prescription drug world, all marijuana products will have to be sold in something like that to prevent usage among children.

Getting back to your original question, in 2014, there were 45 instances of children who accidentally consumed marijuana products that were reported to poison control in Colorado.

Jordan: 45?

Andrew: 45.

Jordan: That’s still more than you want.

Andrew: Absolutely. One is too many. However, there were 1,422 reports of children accidentally consuming cleaning supplies that same year, so 3% of cleaning supplies, and by the way, marijuana cannot kill you. It can make you tired. It can put you to sleep or in a very tired state.

Jordan: It can make you relax. It can make you see the world differently. Just kidding. I don’t know. These ER things, visits, left open my perception of maybe these kids overdosed and died from their marijuana consumption.

Andrew: No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose in the history of cannabis and humans. We’ve been consuming cannabis for thousands of years, our species has, and no one has ever died from it.

Jordan: Wow, okay.

Andrew: Let’s put it in context. Let’s consider an accidental marijuana ingestion, which would be bad and no one wants, in the context of the accessibility of alcohol, of prescription drugs, or cleaning supplies, of Tide Pods. You’ve seen those Tide Pods you can use as detergent?

Jordan: I’ve had my little daughter grab those and try to open them and stuff like that, and that would hurt her, and that could potentially be fatal, but what you’re saying is that we’re looking at is not going to be fatal.

Andrew: That’s correct.

Jordan: Under these circumstances, the packaging is going to be in the kid-proof packages, is that correct?

Andrew: That is correct. Everything that will be sold will be sold in child-proof packaging.

Jordan: Andrew, I think one of the biggest concerns that a lot of our viewers and a lot of my friends and family have is that drugs are just immoral. Drugs are a way for people to cope, and they’re not a productive way for people to cope. It takes them out of reality. Even if marijuana is not necessarily addictive, it’s habit-forming, and people might just rely on that rather than solving their problems in more productive ways.

I’m not sure I want my kids to grow up in a world and in a state that says, “Oh, marijuana usage, that’s okay.” I’m a parent and I’m not sure I’m ready for that. How do you respond to this morality type question when you come to an opposition to question two?

Andrew: Sure. I totally understand that, but at the end of the day, I think adults should have that choice to make for themselves, and it shouldn’t be legislated by our government. For example, I choose not to drink alcohol. I’ve never tasted alcohol, to be honest with you, which may surprise you, somebody growing up in Las Vegas, but I have no problem with friends or family drinking a glass of wine with their dinner if they so choose, and it turns out that marijuana has been shown to be 114 times safer than alcohol, so I think we have a bit of a hypocritical approach to marijuana, because if people are really outraged about the morality of marijuana, they should be 114 times more outraged about criminalizing alcohol.

That’s how I would compare it. I believe in personal freedoms. I think that adults should make that decision for themselves. It shouldn’t be made for them by the government, and unlike alcohol, marijuana has a lot of proven health benefits. Alcohol doesn’t do anything good for your body. It’s essentially a poison to your body. Marijuana is a neural protectant and has a host of health benefits.

 

question 2 las vegas marijuana nevada

 

At the end of the day, I completely understand that point of view, Jordan. In fact, I shared that point of view during part of my life. However, at the end of the day, I think it comes down to personal freedom. Do we believe that adults over the age of 21 should have the ability to make that decision for themselves, or should it be made by the federal government, or in this case, our state government?

If we say that it should be illegal, then we need to accept the consequences as a society knowing that it will remain as a stimulant to the criminal market, and all of the implications of that, not to mention the legal justice system of having people go to prison and be arrested for minor possession, which is still happening in our country at alarming rates, and something that I think needs to be fixed.

Jordan: It’s funny that you mentioned that in Arizona, where I think there’s a question on the ballot as well, there’s a company that provides foods to prisons, and they donated something like $80,000 to oppose the legalization of marijuana in Arizona.

The implication, if you’re a company that provides food to prisoners, you want there to be a lot of prisoners, and you’re sitting there saying, “Man, if marijuana passes, there’s going to be less prisoners in our system and the food company’s profits are going to go down,” so they’re sitting here paying to oppose marijuana efforts. They’re relying on good data that shows that if we legalize marijuana, that would potentially reduce prison populations.

Andrew: That’s exactly right. The two biggest industries who have donated to the Arizona Legalization Initiative are the private prison industry, including the food manufacturers, and the pharmaceutical industry. The maker of fentanyl, a drug that is 80 times stronger than heroin, they just wrote a check for half a million dollars last week to oppose the legalization effort in Arizona.

This whole issue of marijuana legalization, regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, is a fascinating cultural business societal issue because it has so many implications, including business interests that we’re seeing a lot of push back from those kinds of businesses trying to protect themselves, unfortunately, in my opinion, at the detriment of our community. I just don’t think people should be arrested and thrown in prison for personal use of marijuana.

Jordan: Right, and also, you’re saying that if marijuana became, for an individual, a good alternative to fentanyl or some other type of opiate, then that’s a better thing, because marijuana isn’t as dangerous.

Andrew: It’s not as addictive and it’s not going to kill you, and it has health benefits, unlike these poisons that kill our liver and really do a lot of damage to our body. In fact, Jordan, the amount of opioid abuse in Colorado has dropped significantly since legalization. We have an example of legalization in Colorado, and there are unique challenges, no doubt, but overall, the signs are very positive, and it’s working in their community.

Jordan: Well, I really appreciate this, and I feel like we could definitely talk more about this. This has been very eye-opening for me. Like I said at the beginning, I’m somebody who just has a natural negative reaction to marijuana, but I admit that you are telling me a lot of things that I didn’t know, that my wife and I are going to have to talk about these things and dig into the facts and science, and hopefully not just make the decision based on some kind of knee jerk reaction to this image that we’ve conjured up, like you said, of Reefer Madness.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk us through it. I really appreciate it, Andrew. If anybody has any comments on this, and I hope you do, please leave a comment, please share the video. If someone out there feels like Andrew made some sort of misrepresentations or made some bad arguments, let us know.

We’re a law firm. We’re all about getting arguments and different view points here. Thank you so much for joining us on ClearCast, and we’ll see you next time.

Thank you.

 

ClearCast Episode 6: Does Nevada Need a Tough Vaccination Law Like California?

{Editor’s note} Welcome to Today’s ClearCast!

We appreciate you stopping by on your busy day. The feedback from our past episodes has been great; thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your opinions!

We will continue to try to contribute the best we can to the ongoing discussions of Nevada public policy.

Today, we take on the laws pertaining to vaccination of your kids.

A little background..

Last year, Gov. Brown1)Yes, the same one! of California signed into law one of the toughest vaccination requirements in the nation by removing the previous exemption for religious/personal beliefs.2)It seems from afar that the measles outbreak in 2015 freaked out everyone

There are still many parents in Southern California that do not want to comply with the new law, one of the few doctors catering still to these folks is Dr. Sears.

Unfortunately for “Dr. Bob,” he is now at risk of having his medical license revoked. At issue3)not the only issue is his willingness to write doctor’s notes for parents to excuse them from vaccines. (Read the full complaint here).

As Nevadans, we are very concerned about any serious disease outbreak in SoCal, given how many folks travel between destinations.

More important for Nevadans though, we need to consider if Nevada needs to adopt the tough, new California law that does not permit exemptions for vaccines..

Thanks for watching; all the best.

-Brian

{End note}

Should Nevada Adopt California’s Tough Vaccination Law?

Transcript:

Jordan Flake: Welcome to Clearcast. I’m Attorney Jordan Flake, and I’m here with Attorney Taylor Waite, and we today, in our continued effort to steer clear of anything that’s the least bit controversial, we thought we’d talk about vaccinations, so that’s obviously something that people feel very strongly about. Mostly because it brings in a lot of issues of caring about our kids, caring about public. Sometimes it brings in issues of science versus religion, but the reason this is back in the news, and the reason why we wanted to tackle it today somewhat, or I should just say touch on it today, because there’s so much in our Clearcast is because recently a doctor in California, Dr. Bob Sears, has been accused of gross negligence in connection with a child, J. G., was the child’s initials, who he’s been seeing. Just a little background on Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob has a following because he has been very outspoken critic of the California Law, which says, “You must vaccinate your children.” It’s a misdemeanor not to do so, and your children must be vaccinated, even if you have a religious opposition to vaccinations. It doesn’t matter in the State of California.

Dr. Bob met with this kid and his mother, and the mother said, “Well, when he was two and he got some vaccinations, then he couldn’t urinate. He couldn’t pass food. He basically was sick. He was lethargic.” Dr. Bob wrote this medical recommendation saying, “Okay, well, this kid doesn’t need to get medical treatment anymore.” I’m sorry. “This kid doesn’t need any future vaccinations. He’s exempt from these.” He’s tried to give basically a doctor’s exemption, but the Medical Board came down really hard on him and said, “Whoa. You didn’t take any real data. You didn’t collect any type of samples, and you didn’t send this off to other labs to determine why this kid had the reaction that he did.”

The Medical Board in California has basically sued Dr. Bob to potentially revoke his license, and it kind of just brings up a lot of these issues about the extent of which kids can … Parents can protect their kids, and make decisions about their kids’ health. I guess the question for us today, Taylor, and what I want you to weigh in on here, right now, Nevada says that, “You can have a religious exemption to vaccinations?”

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: Should we adopt the California Law? Should we continue with the Law that we have? Should we say some kind of a compromise, where it’s like if you have a kid who has a religious exemption to vaccinations, that’s fine, but you can’t be in our public schools. How would you start to think about some of these issues? Maybe take us back a little, and what are some of the fundamental issues here at play?

Taylor Waite: It really is a hard question, because fundamentally, as parents, we believe that we’re entitled to do the best by our children. They’re our children. We know what’s best for them. They obviously share some traits with us, so things that worked for us, we share our religious beliefs with our children, so those are important considerations. At the same time, and again, those beliefs go way back. The idea that we’re going to allow people to have children at all, suggests that we are willing to let them parent their children, which should include, to some degree, their ability to make health decisions for their children.

Jordan Flake: The people who oppose vaccinations are extremely passionate in saying things like, “Listen. You would not let somebody inject your kid with poison.”

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: The last time that my son got a vaccination, I watched as I wondered if he was going to pass away, because for basically two days, so I’m very, very sympathetic.

Taylor Waite: Yes.

Jordan Flake: To the idea that you should be able to protect your children.

Taylor Waite: Absolutely, but I

Jordan Flake: Share your religious beliefs.

Taylor Waite: Yes.

Jordan Flake: With your children.

Taylor Waite: Fundamentally, even speaking religiously though, I think we do teach as well to our children, that our individual choices still do affect others, and now there is a limit to our ability to choose to do whatever we want to do. What I choose to do in my home, within the walls of my home is one thing, but when that begins to affect my neighbors, begins to affect the people across the street, the neighborhood kids down the street, then it does have to open a broader discussion about what we are willing to do in a society where we’ve decided to come together in public schools, and things like that. It is a difficult question.

Jordan Flake: Yeah, so we have basically, our country acknowledges the right to raise your children however you want, provided it doesn’t hurt anybody else, and the difference between people who are pro-vaccination versus anti-vaccination, is the anti-vaccination crowd maybe doesn’t recognize, or believe in, or subscribe to the idea that whether or not I put these chemicals in my children actually affects the kid down the street.

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: Whereas, the scientific community, by in large, is supportive of the idea that, “Listen. You have to vaccinate your kids, because that will affect the kids down the street.” Look at the outbreak of, I believe it was Measles in Disneyland.

Taylor Waite: Yes, in Disneyland. Obviously the anti-vaccination. We’ve read some of that stuff. They suggest that there wasn’t enough scientific data to determine that that actually was related to non-vaccination, given the number of foreigners that were there, and everything else. I mean, there are other arguments, but absolutely.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Taylor Waite: It does affect others. Like our willingness to vaccinate or not vaccinate.

Jordan Flake: It’s my understanding, vaccines is limited, but it’s kind of my understanding that my one child not getting a Measles vaccination is not going to have an effect, but implementing a policy where everyone can say, “Well, I don’t want to be the one to vaccinate-

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: “My child, because it could in the margins be harmful.” It’s very interesting. It’s kind of we’re trying to all make the deal that, “Listen. We know on the very margins, some vaccinations might interact badly with some people, potentially.” The science on that is hit or miss, but we’re all agreeing, we’re all buying into the system where we say, “Hey, we all vaccinate-

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: “Because we don’t want these many diseases.” Let’s talk specifically about the Nevada Law then. How do we start to think about whether or not to permit the … Continue to permit the religious exemption? That’s tough, right?

Taylor Waite: I think it is tough, but it think it has to be a consideration for parents that are willing. It is problematic, I think, for someone like Dr. Sears, assuming that a doctor could come forward with a legitimate rationale. Medical background, that was one of the concerns when you read through the information we have, is that his recommendations were not necessarily based entirely in actual-

Jordan Flake: It’s almost-

Taylor Waite: Diagnosis.

Jordan Flake: It’s almost like Dr. Sears, he had a big opportunity, “Like, oh, man.”

Taylor Waite: Yes, to prove his point.

Jordan Flake: To prove his point.

Taylor Waite: Yes.

Jordan Flake: I read that as maybe he didn’t want to go and actually run the tests, and get the data, and support. He didn’t want to go through the arduous, but well-recognized process of supporting his concern that the vaccination caused this in the child, because maybe he was worried that it would have been something else. I mean, I don’t know. I mean, that’s I know a cynical view of Dr. Bob here, but I’m concerned that he was just sitting there thinking. I mean, it doesn’t add a ton of credibility that he tried to treat an ear infection with garlic.

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: Color me slightly skeptical. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sympathetic to parents who want to control their children’s lives, but if your doctor … This I will stand by. I will take a slight position here. If your doctor isn’t willing to go through the well-recognized processes for diagnosing, recording all the information properly, going through the testing procedures, that’s a big red flag.

Taylor Waite: Yes.

Jordan Flake: If you’re going to be an anti-vaccination doctor, be my guess. That’s your right to academic inquiry. Go for it.

Taylor Waite: It still has to be based. If we’re going to press the conversation, then both sides have to agree that we’re going to do it in the context of actual medical evidence.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Taylor Waite: If they want to come forward with alternatives, we’ll listen to those, and we need to listen to those. There is progression. Right. The anti-vaccination, we have to be willing to listen to those, but we can’t just come in, and pound our fists, and say, “We’re not going to listen to your science.”

Jordan Flake: It’s funny, because on the one hand, we’re demanding standards, scientific standards, but on the other, when it comes to religion, it’s like, “Hey, I just started the Church of Jordan, and the Church of Jordan actually only has one tenet. Basically, you can be a bad person in all the ways you want, but you just don’t vaccinate your kids.” Do you know what I mean? Sorry, religious exemption, so we have medical standards on the one hand.

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: Then we just kind of throw those out the window, and we say, “Okay, any person for religious exemptions.”

Taylor Waite: Religious exemptions.

Jordan Flake: That makes the medical community here in Nevada kind of pull their hair out, and say, “Well, then why do we have standards at all if we can just say religion?”

Taylor Waite: Correct.

Jordan Flake: Church of Jordan”4)Now accepting applications! people can just be like, “Oh, one tenet of the Church of Jordan is to not vaccinate the kids.” There’s no standards for that.

Taylor Waite: There’s always concern when we build exceptions into the law that they will swallow a law [entirely 00:10:13], when that’s always a concern.

Jordan Flake: Yeah.

Taylor Waite: If we set a rule, then we can live by that, but if we start to add exceptions, then we start to go through who is, so how do we define who is, and is not entitled to that?

Jordan Flake: Like normal, I think, we’re just raising more questions than we have answers for.

Taylor Waite: Right.

Jordan Flake: As always, we invite our listeners, and viewers, and readers out there to give an opinion about, I guess specifically any opinion you have on anything we discuss. Feel free to correct us. We’re not experts on this. We’re happy to hear you out.

Taylor Waite: Absolutely.

Jordan Flake: I think we are very interested to see, should Nevada continue to allow this law, which states, “That if you are religiously opposed to vaccinating your kids, then you’re exempt.” Is that okay to continue that? Second question we didn’t really get to, but we’d love to hear what you have to say on it, is if we do exempt kids from vaccination for religious purposes, would it be okay then to say, “That they can’t attend public schools,” or, “That they can’t go to the same daycares that require vaccination efforts,” et cetera, et cetera? Anyway, thanks for joining us for Clearcast. We barely just scraped the surface of this issue, but we’d be more than happy to hear what you have to say on it. Thanks so much, and please join us next time.

Taylor Waite: See you.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Yes, the same one!
2. It seems from afar that the measles outbreak in 2015 freaked out everyone
3. not the only issue
4. Now accepting applications!

ClearCast Episode 5: A Federal Court Says Nevadans May Not Buy a Gun If They Possess a Medical Marijuana Card

6 September Update:

[Editor’s note] Thanks for all the responses we received!

I’m going to take a few minutes here and address some of the concerns brought to my attention1)because we care!. The points are not related, but I present my points in list form so it is easiest to read.

First, here is the video for you to enjoy:

 

 

If you scroll down, you will see a transcript from the conversation, along with my original analysis from last week.

1. “She claims she wasn’t using, but I don’t buy that.”

This is the most discussed angle of the case, which I just find a little silly, given that there are many an issue in dispute from this Order. This is not one of them.

Some of you may not be versed in the intricacies of appellate law2)Come on, get it together, but you should know that the 9th Circuit panel accepted Ms. Wilson assertion that she does not consume marijuana as true. And it was not an option. Let’s go to the text:

However, taking Wilson’s allegations as true, as we must
on an appeal from a motion to dismiss, Usher v. City of Los
Angeles, 828 F.2d 556, 561 (9th Cir. 1987), she is not
actually an unlawful drug user. Instead, she alleges that,
although she obtained a registry card, she chose not to use
medical marijuana for various reasons, such as the difficulties
of acquiring medical marijuana in Nevada, as well as a desire
to make a political statement. Regardless of her motivations,
we agree that Wilson’s claims do not fall under the direct
scope of Dugan.3)p. 12(emphasis added)

Ah, there it is. What’s going on? There is a (good) rule in appellate law, that the reviewing court accepts all of the allegations of the appealing party as true in a motion to dismiss.

This is necessary because none of these three, 9th Circuit judges were not present4)or even in the state of Nevada when the evidence was introduced. Appellate judges just aren’t in a position to evaluate Ms. Wilson’s claim.

Therefore, in order to give her appeal its full weight, they accept the allegations as true.5)If they would have decided for Ms. Wilson, they could have sent the case back to Nevada district court to have the evidence issues fully litigated. Ms. Wilson was never even given a chance for a trial. Her claim was dismissed even before the summary judgment phase.

Even if are still inclined to disbelieve Ms. Wilson6)You do you!, just know that the 9th Circuit here did not decided against her because they thought she was lying about consumption. They accept her allegations that she only possess the card but doesn’t consume and still denied her gun rights just as a medical marijuana card holder.

 

2.  What’s the Deal With This Term “Unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance“?

Great question! Wouldn’t “unlawful user” be sufficient?7)in English, yes, but this is the law What would you say if I told you “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is actually of term of art, in law?8)I know; contain yourself

Because I care for you, dear reader, I dissected the Code of Federal Regulations9)You are not the only person asking, wait, what is this? I will explain because we are all about empowering you. Most everyone is familiar with the ‘Separation of Powers’ under our Constitution. The legislature writes the laws, the executive enforces the law, the judicial branch evaluates. It is not practical for the legislature to write out every detail of new laws, so often the rule making (that is, how the law will be put into effect. For example, the legislature will say “No drug users can buy guns,” but how that law is enforced (will the federal government assign an agent to every gun store? Maybe an open letter would be more efficacious) will be assigned to the appropriate executive department, in this case the ATF. and found the definition. I will reproduce it in full so you may see it in all its glory:10)Remember as you read, people classified as an “unlawful user” may not buy a gun in Nevada

Unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance. A person who uses a controlled substance and has lost the power of self-control with reference to the use of controlled substance; and any person who is a current user of a controlled substance in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician. Such use is not limited to the use of drugs on a particular day, or within a matter of days or weeks before, but rather that the unlawful use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct. A person may be an unlawful current user of a controlled substance even though the substance is not being used at the precise time the person seeks to acquire a firearm or receives or possesses a firearm. An inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time, e.g., a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; multiple arrests for such offenses within the past 5 years if the most recent arrest occurred within the past year; or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administered within the past year. For a current or former member of the Armed Forces, an inference of current use may be drawn from recent disciplinary or other administrative action based on confirmed drug use, e.g., court-martial conviction, nonjudicial punishment, or an administrative discharge based on drug use or drug rehabilitation failure.11)source (emphasis added)

Thoughts on what the bold section above means? Where did I put my Wittgenstein12)Doubtful, we want to be having a function vs. essence discussion with legal code (Drudge-esq) alarm13)Must have left it in the sandbox again..darn?14)It’s “not limited to…within a matter of days or weeks before”

I have now read that sentence at least 6 times. It makes less sense with each rereading. The problem is the word “recently,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “during a period of time that has just passed15)Did they really split the infinitive? Oy.

Above, we have the government applying the word “recently,” then denying the word’s definition. How can something be “recent” if it hasn’t happened in weeks?16)That’s how it’s done Ron Darling

I don’t have much else to add on this point other than, if you don’t like this, write your congresswoman.

One last point on this section of the CFR. Did you notice that they made a distinction in the definition for members of the armed services17)In theory, I’m not against this?

Would the case have turned out differently if she was retired from the Air Force? Should it?18)I can see both sides

This is not useful for gun sellers that want to obey the law.

This is the open letter19)the link in the opinion is broken cited in the Opinion that the ATF sent to the gun sellers.

..It’s pretty obvious why the seller denied Ms. Wilson a firearm. Can’t blame him; the man is just trying to run a small business without federal interference.

[End Update. Thanks for coming back. Just wait until Friday when I drop 2000 words about the legal ramifications of misnaming a Wade Phillips'20)Apparently “dog” is a defense? “Blitz”… -Brian]

Are We Going to Allow a Federal Court to Distinguish Away Our 2nd Amendment Rights?

[Editor’s note] Hello and welcome to your Labor Day Weekend ClearCast!

Did you hear what a California federal court did your 2nd Amendment rights?

Our friends in the media have only begun to notice what happened in San Francisco earlier this week.

Yes, you read that right. A federal court said that Nevadans may not buy a gun if they are a registered medical marijuana patient.

(I can hear the chorus of objections of all sides…not to worry folks, that’s what we are here for.)

Unfortunately, Mr. Flake and Mr. Barlow had/have client obligations this week, and asked me to supplement this ClearCast.

First, you need to understand that Nevada is under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, as you can see below:

circuit map

Now you understand why a ruling from San Francisco can affect your gun rights. On to the show!

Beneath the video I added aides to help with the discussion.

[Still noting]

Here is a link to the opinion. And here is a link to the ATF form discussed (the question is “e”). Here is how the DEA schedules different drugs.

I think Mr. Barlow and Mr. Flake have the global analysis of this case exactly right: that one of our fellow Nevadans wanted to use the federal courts to expand the scope of the 2nd Amendment (count me in the group that think’s Ms. Wilson’s protest is reasonable), and said protest went horribly wrong, and in fact, they achieved the exact opposite of the desired result.21)This is has been a horrific Summer for fans of conservative jurisprudence [and I’m not talking about North Carolina, that nonsense isn’t conservative, it’s just racist partisanship], or at least as the media describes it. Recall the reproductive rights case handed down by the SCOTUS a few weeks ago? They essentially cemented access to an abortion as a fundamental right. It seems, from afar, that the conservative strategy to undermine abortion was to distinguish away the rights in small phases. For example, see the difference between the rights articulated in Roe v. Wade verses Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In this year’s Texas case, the anti-abortion folks got a little too overzealous, and decided to run that Texas law (requiring abortion clinics to have all the same medical equipment as a hospital, without justification [except that they don’t like abortion, which doesn’t count]) all the way up the chain. Instead of getting the abortion prohibition [which always seemed unlikely], the Supreme Court drew a bright line for how far abortion restrictions can go. The court would have never commented on abortion without prompting; now, (from my humble perspective) they will need a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion.

I see something similar here. It seems absurd that a medical condition would prevent someone from buying a gun; so the lawyer here thought he was onto something. However, these constitutional challenges are not free (literally in terms of cost, but also in terms of political risk) because you are at risk of a judge taking your facts and making the law he wants. This means if you are going to bring a constitutional challenge, especially because it affects everyone, you have a duty to argue this case correctly. I agree with my employers, the lawyer here made a huge error of omission of not questioning the government’s assertions that medical marijuana has no medicinal value and/or medical marijuana users are more inclined to be violent. We, as Nevadans, would be better off if they would have never brought this legal challenge. Please don’t challenge constitutional law if you are unable to/won’t prepare sufficiently. It affects all of us.

Before you head off for your Labor Day fun, I want to show my liberal friends why I support my 2A brothers and sisters. I am going to quote a graf22)Yes, I just did that from Wilson:

Because the degree of fit between 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and the Open Letter and their purpose of preventing gun violence is reasonable but not airtight, these laws will sometimes burden–albeit minimally and only incidentally–the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are reasonably, but erroneously, suspected of being unlawful drug users. However, the Constitution tolerates these modest collateral burdens in various contexts, and does so here as well. For instance, the Fourth Amendment allows an officer to burden an individual’s right to be free from searches when the officer has “reason to believe” the person is armed and dangerous, see Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27 (1968), a standard comparable to the “reasonable cause to WILSON V. LYNCH believe” standard of § 922(d). Moreover, as previously noted, there are various ways for individuals in Wilson’s position to minimize or eliminate altogether the burdens that 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and the Open Letter place on their Second Amendment rights. Accordingly, 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and the Open Letter survive intermediate scrutiny, and the district court did not err in dismissing Wilson’s Second Amendment claims.23)pp 18-19

You see now, liberals? Yes, that’s right. The constitutional amendments are stronger, together24)sorry. They are using that awful Terry decision (where the Supreme Court gutted the 4th Amendment under specious reasoning)25)This is only my opinion to justify why the 2nd Amendment does not mean what we all understand it to mean in a post-Heller world.

ALL of us need to support ALL constitutional rights, or we ALL will be sorry..

Thanks for watching!

-Brian

Transcript:

Jonathan: Welcome to ClearCast, today’s episode of ClearCast. Today, we’ve got Jordan Flake, and myself, Jonathan Barlow, we’re attorneys here, and there’s a super-interesting case that came out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that’s based in California, yesterday, and it ducktails two very hot-topic issues in the law and society today. It dealt with gun rights, under the Second Amendment, and Medical Marijuana use, and the rights of those who hold Medical Marijuana cards under State law. The Ninth Circuit is a part of the Court of Appeals that covers nine Western States, including mainly California, is the largest one, of course, but it also covers Nevada, which is where we are.

Jordan, you have to tell us a little bit about what this case said, and what it does?

Jordan: Well, first of all, the very second that you mention Second Amendment rights, Gun Rights, and Medical Marijuana, hopefully, everybody is just filled with opinions, and filled with all kinds of angst, and that’s fine, that’s what we’re here for. We’re very interested in advancing the discussion.

Let me just run down what happened: A woman in Nevada in 2011 went to go purchase a gun, and Brian’s our off-camera support here; he’ll help us and correct us if we get any of the facts wrong

Brian: Hi, everyone!

Jordan: She went to go purchase a gun in 2011, and she was denied, because she has a Medical Marijuana Card. She is confused; she says, “Well, I have a right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, and the mere fact that I have a Medical Marijuana Card shouldn’t be a big deal!” In fact, she said she didn’t even use marijuana …

Jonathan: She just kept the card?

Jordan: She just kept the card because maybe it made her feel cool … Made her be able to hang with the cool kids, and show the card, and be like, “Yeah, I don’t really smoke, because I don’t like it …” Anyway, she was denied purchasing a gun, so she brought this lawsuit, essentially saying, “Listen, this is not valid grounds for restricting, and taking away my Second Amendment rights to bear arms and purchase a gun.”

The government came along and …

Jonathan: The Federal Government …

Jordan: The Federal Government, yeah, it’s really important to know, what we’re talking about here is the Federal Government, because the Federal Government classifies marijuana as a “Schedule 1 drug.” A Schedule 1 drug is a drug that is deemed by the Federal Government not to have any practical medical uses; that’s a hot topic for a different day, because I know a lot of you out there will be saying, “Well, Medical Marijuana has been shown to have …”

Jonathan: It’s legal!

Jordan: It’s legal, and it has been shown to have good uses. Well, one of the frustrating thing about this case, jumping ahead in the story a little bit, is that we missed an opportunity to put some of these arguments about how Medical Marijuana helps people in front of the court. That’s one of the things that’s frustrating about it.

Basically, what happened here, is because it’s a Schedule 1 drug, ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Agency, sent out a letter to all the gun sellers in the country, and said, “Listen: If a potential purchaser of a gun has a Medical Marijuana Card, they can’t purchase the gun, because we have restrictions against people with substance abuse issues purchasing guns.”

Jonathan: The interesting thing for this lady is that that the law, or that mailing, came from the ATF, says it doesn’t matter if they don’t even use marijuana, because the gun seller is required to infer … Something along those lines, the gun seller is supposed to infer that the person, because they hold a card, is a user of Schedule 1, regardless of whether they actually use or not.

Jordan: Right, so the purchaser comes running and screaming into court, screaming “My Second Amendment rights have been taken away!” Whenever rights are taken away, whenever constitutionally-conferred rights are taken away from an individual in this country, the court looks at that with what’s called a “Standard of Review,” which can be kind of like, “Does the law that takes it away, is it somewhat reasonable?” There are different levels of scrutiny there, there’s something called “Strict Scrutiny” that says it has to be … Absolutely, the law has to be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling purpose, and that’s not really what they said here.

They instead looked at something called “Intermediate Scrutiny,” which is essentially just, “Is the law generally able to fulfill this important, not narrowly tailored to fulfill a compelling interest, but just kind of somewhat tailored to fulfill an important interest …” It’s kind of a weird distinction. You’re the Con Law scholar …

Jonathan: Right, and the woman thought she was going to come in here and expand gun rights; that’s what she really was trying to do, was expand gun rights, and the Court did a 180 on her, and actually shot her in the foot, so to speak …

Jordan: The Court came back and said, “Listen: This thing that the ATF has done, and this thing that the Federal Government has done, is basically okay … It’s only moderately restrictive, because guess what, young woman? You can actually go, shred that Medical Marijuana Card, and then go out and get a gun. It’s not like we’re totally taking away your Second Amendment rights, here; we’re just saying that, if you have a Medical Marijuana Card, you can’t get a gun … But you can get rid of the card, or you can purchase a gun in September, and get a Medical Marijuana Card in October …” You know what I mean?

That’s how the Court looked at it, and they said, “It’s not extremely restrictive; it’s not like we’re saying ‘women can’t purchase guns ever,’” because then it’s like … The woman’s like, “Well, I can’t change who I am,” you know what I mean? This is more … The government’s like, “Listen, this job is somewhat generally tailored towards this objective,” but the real issue here, and the thing I was referencing, and I think the last point that we’ll make here is, the plaintiff’s attorney, the attorney who was representing the young woman, really missed an opportunity to shove a bunch of evidence in front of the court, saying “Things have changed with marijuana since the 1980’s.”

They didn’t present any evidence to show that most of the users of medical marijuana are legit, low-crime, oftentimes high-demographic, socioeconomically speaking, way less likely to commit crimes, oftentimes … The typical example would be your 85-year-old grandmother who is using medicinal marijuana because she has glaucoma. The plaintiff failed to make all of these arguments, and unfortunately, that probably resulted in the door being slammed shut on this situation, and who knows when the Court will bring it back up for review.

Jonathan: That’s the interesting last note, is that we have what? Twenty-five or so states that allow Medical Marijuana use. Again, this Ninth Circuit decision only applies to the nine states in the Ninth Circuit, so theoretically, one of the states that’s not in the Ninth Circuit, you could have a similar case come up in the Sixth Circuit …

Jordan: In that case, hopefully, the attorney would bring forth the mountain of evidence that has justified the use of Medical Marijuana in nearly half the states, and basically use that to have a more robust conversation. What happened here was, the attorney didn’t offer the evidence, so the Court just kind of said, “Okay, well, they’re not offering any evidence here; we’re just going to accept the notions and assumptions we have about drugs, based on studies from the 1980’s, which notions and assumptions have been drastically altered through study, and usage, and things of that nature.

Kind of interesting …

Jonathan: Totally. If you live here in one of the nine states in the Ninth Circuit, and you hold a Medical Marijuana Card, and you want to go and purchase a handgun, now you have a decision: If you want to keep your Medical Marijuana Card, you get no gun; if you want a gun, you’ve got to get rid of your Medical Marijuana Card. That’s the state of law right now in these nine states.

Jordan: Right. As we always say to close these things out, we are very interested in your opinions on Medical Marijuana, and Gun Control, and especially this case. I think that, on our blog, we’ll have a link to the decision. Feel free to hit us up on Twitter, or our blog, or Facebook, and let us know what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks so much for joining us for ClearCast.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. because we care!
2. Come on, get it together
3. p. 12
4. or even in the state of Nevada
5. If they would have decided for Ms. Wilson, they could have sent the case back to Nevada district court to have the evidence issues fully litigated. Ms. Wilson was never even given a chance for a trial. Her claim was dismissed even before the summary judgment phase.
6. You do you!
7. in English, yes, but this is the law
8. I know; contain yourself
9. You are not the only person asking, wait, what is this? I will explain because we are all about empowering you. Most everyone is familiar with the ‘Separation of Powers’ under our Constitution. The legislature writes the laws, the executive enforces the law, the judicial branch evaluates. It is not practical for the legislature to write out every detail of new laws, so often the rule making (that is, how the law will be put into effect. For example, the legislature will say “No drug users can buy guns,” but how that law is enforced (will the federal government assign an agent to every gun store? Maybe an open letter would be more efficacious) will be assigned to the appropriate executive department, in this case the ATF.
10. Remember as you read, people classified as an “unlawful user” may not buy a gun in Nevada
11. source
12. Doubtful, we want to be having a function vs. essence discussion with legal code
13. Must have left it in the sandbox again..darn
14. It’s “not limited to…within a matter of days or weeks before”
15. Did they really split the infinitive? Oy.
16. That’s how it’s done Ron Darling
17. In theory, I’m not against this
18. I can see both sides
19. the link in the opinion is broken
20. Apparently “dog” is a defense?
21. This is has been a horrific Summer for fans of conservative jurisprudence [and I’m not talking about North Carolina, that nonsense isn’t conservative, it’s just racist partisanship], or at least as the media describes it. Recall the reproductive rights case handed down by the SCOTUS a few weeks ago? They essentially cemented access to an abortion as a fundamental right. It seems, from afar, that the conservative strategy to undermine abortion was to distinguish away the rights in small phases. For example, see the difference between the rights articulated in Roe v. Wade verses Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In this year’s Texas case, the anti-abortion folks got a little too overzealous, and decided to run that Texas law (requiring abortion clinics to have all the same medical equipment as a hospital, without justification [except that they don’t like abortion, which doesn’t count]) all the way up the chain. Instead of getting the abortion prohibition [which always seemed unlikely], the Supreme Court drew a bright line for how far abortion restrictions can go. The court would have never commented on abortion without prompting; now, (from my humble perspective) they will need a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion.

I see something similar here. It seems absurd that a medical condition would prevent someone from buying a gun; so the lawyer here thought he was onto something. However, these constitutional challenges are not free (literally in terms of cost, but also in terms of political risk) because you are at risk of a judge taking your facts and making the law he wants. This means if you are going to bring a constitutional challenge, especially because it affects everyone, you have a duty to argue this case correctly. I agree with my employers, the lawyer here made a huge error of omission of not questioning the government’s assertions that medical marijuana has no medicinal value and/or medical marijuana users are more inclined to be violent. We, as Nevadans, would be better off if they would have never brought this legal challenge. Please don’t challenge constitutional law if you are unable to/won’t prepare sufficiently. It affects all of us.

22. Yes, I just did that
23. pp 18-19
24. sorry
25. This is only my opinion
Las Vegas Raiders stadium

ClearCast Episode 3: Serious Concerns About the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium

[Editor’s note] Hello and welcome to Friday’s ClearCast!

The whole Las Vegas Valley is discussing the Las Vegas Raiders stadium proposal, but there are still a lot of questions out there about bias1)The LVRJ is owned by the same person trying to acquire the stadium.

Our own Jordan Flake, Esq., although excited at the prospect of a NFL team, is concerned about the finances of the Raiders stadium as a passionate Nevadan.

Mr. Flake was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time so that these concerns will be made public. He, like you, is worried about Nevada taxpayers.

I have gone through the transcript and added the appropriate links so you may follow along.

Thanks for watching! Have a great weekend.

-Brian

 

Transcript:

Hello. I’m Jordan Flake with Clearcast. On this Clearcast today, we want to talk about something really interesting, I think. It’s this Raider’s stadium that they’re proposing to build here in Las Vegas. As you can hopefully see, it’s a pretty good-looking stadium and it comes with a price tag of 1.9 billion dollars.

That’s right, 1.9 billion dollars is what they’re projecting for the cost. I just want to talk about this for a second. I’m really excited to get any opinions of any of our viewers or listeners. First of all, let me just say, I look at this and my natural inclination is to say that’s cool.

That’s great. I want an NFL team in Las Vegas.

Not a huge Raiders fan2)kidding Raider nation!, but I figure I can learn to somehow become a Raider’s fan, but there’s still some, as always, there’s still some lingering concerns and questions in the background.

Obviously, the first one is where are we going to come up 1.9 billion dollars, and what are some of the concerns swirling around that? What about maintaining it? How about is this what people really want here in Las Vegas?

Is it something that the public is really standing behind? First of all, one of the concerns is that the private investors here have, which include the Adelson’s and the Raiders themselves, the Raiders organization, they basically came to Las Vegas and said, “You want us, the Raider’s here in Las Vegas?

Okay, fine, Nevada. Give us 750 million dollars.” That’s basically what they’re demanding. “750 million or we won’t even, essentially, we won’t even consider it,” and the 750 million goes towards creating the stadium.

The proposal for getting the 750 million is to increase the, what is the name, Brian? Brian’s here.

Brian: Resort tax.

Jordan Flake: Resort tax, yes. Thanks. The resort tax right now is 12.5% of whatever a guest pays for their room. They want to increase that by .8 essentially, so that would make it 13.3 resort tax. That might not seem like a big deal because a lot of residents here in Nevada aren’t the ones paying these resort taxes.

They’re the out of towners who come to Nevada and they just stay in the hotels, but there are two concerns.

 

Is This How We Want the Resort Tax Revenue Spent?

One is we already have a pretty high resort tax.

One of the highest in the nation is Oregon at about 14% for every room, and it’s like, man, does Las Vegas want to be like, “Oh, hey, sorry, last year’s resort tax was 12.5. This year’s resort tax is 13.3. Go Raiders.” You know what I mean?

It’s a little bit in question whether or not that will disincentivize guests from coming to Las Vegas. I don’t know.

I feel like people coming to Las Vegas are so focused in on partying that they’re not really going to get too scared away by the .8% increase, but we do have to keep in mind that we’re competing with other gambling destinations throughout the world at this point and we have to make sure that we’re a reasonable place to visit.

Here’s my real concern with increasing the 12.5% to 13.3% or whatever it would be, is that it really doesn’t give us very much more room to increase that if we really needed it for something else.

Imagine that there was some kind of a statewide emergency that needs to and the state incurs a lot of debt that needs to get repaid in response to a statewide emergency. Imagine we have some other serious budget crisis in Nevada. Then we can’t then very easily … We could take it and we could take that 12.5 and bump it up to 13 or even 13.3, but we can’t very easily once it’s at 13.3 bump it up to 14 or 14.5 without really putting a strain on the marketability of the Las Vegas brand.

Think about what we’re doing here is we’re potentially incurring some taxation type costs, for what? For the entertainment that would be a Raiders franchise. Not a traditionally super winning team recently, of course.3)Now if the Broncos are interested..

That being said, this is a public and private venture.

The public would have that 750 million dollar stake in the stadium. It’s not like the investors are hopefully going to get the full benefit of it.

That’s obviously another concern is the investors are very savvy and we hope, and that’s one of the things we have to be wary of is that they’re taking advantage of the public funds to structure the deal in a way that would just enrich themselves, so that’s obviously another concern.

 

Stadium Maintenance Concerns

More concerns, what if we put up the 750 million as taxpayers, these would be the resort tax, and then they just say, “Oh, we need more money.”

What protections are in this contract and this building of the stadium contract that prevent them from just all of a sudden saying that they need more money or how about what happened to Quebec City in Canada?

In Quebec City, they built a stadium so that an NHL team would come, and you’re scrolling through your NHL knowledge, and it turns out that no hockey team actually came, so they just have this really beautiful multi-million dollar stadium in Quebec City, but they don’t really have any NHL team that would go and play in that stadium, so now they’re having to pay maintenance costs for this stadium and find other uses for it, and they just didn’t get the promised benefit.

What if something like that happened here? We build a stadium and the Raiders, for whatever reasons, find a loophole and decide not to come, or maybe one of the other California cities swoops in and outbids us?

We’re just not sure.

 

Does Popular Opinion Matter?

One other issue is just how do people actually feel about this? Like I said earlier, my tendency is just to be like, “Oh, Raiders, cool. A football team. Yeah. In Las Vegas. I want it.”

They did a poll here, a Rasmussen poll, and it turns out that 55% of Clark County voters are actually against funding the stadium and only 35% are in favor of funding the stadium.

This reminds us of what happened in Cobb County, which is a county in Atlanta, with respect to the Braves stadium. The chairman, Tim Lee, the Cobb County chairman didn’t really pass this by the voters before he tried to use taxes to fund 500 million dollars in a stadium for the Braves in Cobb County, and he, of course, did not win his next election.

One of the options here that our public officials should consider is actually just putting this to a vote. We have some time. We can get it on the ballot4)Unfortunately, this option is not being considered. Let everybody vote.

If they want to put up the 750 million and raise the resort tax and bring in an NFL team, then so be it.

Yay, democracy!

Anyway, those are just some of the concerns and considerations. I’ve just barely scraped the surface.

As always, I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say about the stadium, about the Raiders franchise, about whether or not public funds should be used to fund this public/private venture.

Definitely reach out to us on our blog, on our Facebook page, on our Twitter, and just let us know. Again, if you need any help with any type of legal issue, please feel free to call Clear Counsel Law Group. We’d be happy to assist you.

Thank you so much for joining us for Clearcast today.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The LVRJ is owned by the same person trying to acquire the stadium
2. kidding Raider nation!
3. Now if the Broncos are interested..
4. Unfortunately, this option is not being considered
rent, las vegas, nevada

ClearCast Episode 1: Should Home Buyers Fear Rent-to-Own Arrangements?

This morning, the New York Times published a very interesting exposé on rent-to-own agreements, with the examples cited from South Carolina and Ohio.

The article is worth reading in full, but to quickly summarize: Many folks out there are signing rent-to-buy agreements as a cheap alternative to buying a home. However, people are not aware of the terms of some of these agreements. There are examples cited in the article of people putting $10,000 into repairing their homes, only to be evicted for a missed rent payment.

Do Nevada consumers need to be concerned about rent-to-own leases? Will Nevada law protect you?

 

 

If you would like to see the video produced along with the article, you may see it below:

 

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. Welcome to ClearCast and the goal of ClearCast is to take issues that are in the news and hopefully offer some kind of helpful legal insight or at least move the discussion along, hopefully in a productive manner.

I was reading the New York Times this morning and I learned something that might be of interest to some of our Nevada citizens because it has to do with property.

It seems like Nevada is a state where when we’re talking about real property and homes, a lot of interesting stuff happens in Nevada, California, and Florida. This is something that is happening throughout the country but not as much in Nevada but it’s still something that we really need to look out for.

The article is called “Rent-to-Own Homes: A Win-Win for Landlords and a Risk for Struggling Tenants”. Let me describe what a rent-to-own scenario is.

In the wake of the financial disaster home situations happened over the course of the last several years, several homes stayed vacant and big conglomerates, real estate conglomerates would come along and purchase up these small homes, maybe for $10,000 because they’re just vacant homes sitting on lots, they’ve fallen into disrepair.

Well, they have some options at this point, these conglomerates, these real estate conglomerates could pour a lot of money into these homes and try to sell them or they could pour a lot of money in these homes, bring them up to code and try to rent them out.

They could either sell them or rent them out.

What these real estate companies decided to do is kind of a tricky third option and the tricky third option that they tried to do and they’re trying to do is something called a rent-to-own contract.

The reason it’s tricky and worrisome is because there are a lot of protections for renters and there are a lot of protections for purchasers, but what these sophisticated real estate companies are trying to do is create this third path that really doesn’t offer very many consumer protections and let me show you a little bit what that would like like.

 

An Example of How Rent-to-Own Would Work

They purchase a house in South Carolina for $7,000 because it’s fallen into disrepair, nobody wants it, and it’s far, far below code and there’s all kinds of unpaid violations for this, that and the other, and then they go to a potential tenant and they say, “Hey listen. Not only can we rent you this property but what we’ll do is it will be a rent-to-own situation. You’re not a traditional renter and you’re not a traditional buyer but what you are is you are renting to own this property and we’re going to have you to come move into this. You pay $1,000 down or $1,500 down and you start paying $600 per month, and at the end of the long lease term, then you’ll actually own this property.”

They move in and they’re like, “Okay, good. This is great.” Then they find out that the renter is responsible for making repairs and the way the real estate company gets away with that is they say, “Okay, you’re not a traditional renter. You’re actually renting to own this property so because of that, you have to pay for the repairs.”

They’re not a traditional seller and so it’s not like that the home is actually in their name, they’re not a traditional seller-buyer operation so the home isn’t in their name.

They’re sitting there in this ambiguous third category where the renter is responsible for paying to bring this house up to code and to put money into it.

Guess what? The real estate company is actually still in the driver’s seat because all of a sudden, the renter is using all the money to bring the home up to code and misses two or three rent payments, and they can just kick them out.

Now they have a property that now has that much more value because the renter put money into it. They can then turn around and rent that to somebody else who will then put more value into it.

They keep getting this home that gets more value into it with really no intention to ever have it be sold because they just can arbitrarily kick people out.

This is the type of thing that has come out of this new strange landscape after the housing collapse. This is something that I want Nevada consumers to be very aware of.

 

Make Sure You Read Your Lease Carefully

Are you getting into something that sounds like a rent-to-own type scenario? Are you in a position where you’re being asked to put repairs into your house, but you’re not certain whether or not you should be paying for those repairs? Are you do something that is neither a traditional landlord-tenant type arrangement nor is it a traditional residential purchase type arrangement? Because if you are, you could be on very thin ice.

Landlord and tenant law is very well established and there are certain rights and protections that the tenant has and the landlord has. Residential purchases are very well established and there are certain protections given to both the buyers and the sellers.

What we have is real estate companies and sophisticated parties attempting to come and occupy this strange gray area where they lure people in saying, “Hey, you can own a home. Put down the money on this and start making these repairs and start paying rent and pretty soon the house will be yours.” There’s no protections and there’s no really great established body of law.

We look through the Nevada revised statutes and couldn’t find anything that was directly on point in these situations.

Again, we have established law for landlord-tenant, established law for residential purchase, but nothing in this third category.

If you’re aware of these situations, if you are involved in one of these situations, maybe you’re an owner or a landlord who actually wants to do this the right way.

These are all reasons to give us a call and we can help you figure out how to stay on top of it and how to do this is an honest and accurate way.

In any event, my heart goes out to those tenants who are right now potentially being exploited by these more sophisticated parties and it will probably be years and years and years before the law really catches up and addresses these different situations.

This is basically what I noticed this morning and what had got me thinking about.

Please feel free to reach out to Clear Counsel Law Group if you have any questions or issues and also on our Twitter and Facebook pages or our blog. We’re very interested to hear your own experiences and your own comments.

Thanks so much.

 

unjust enrichment

Podcast Preview: Unjust Enrichment and That Free Lunch..

Earlier this week, the newest star on the podcasting circuit, Greg Hamblin, hosted one of our partners, Jordan Flake, on his new podcastOn The Docket.

We have gotten a lot of great feedback from these podcasts, thank you!

For today’s episode, I must ask you this: If you ordered a printer, but then were delivered a pallet of printers that will not fit inside your home, do you get to keep them?

Our preview begins with Jordan answering this question…

 

Unjust Enrichment: When Are You Obligated to Return the Items?
Transcript1)Been lightly edited for readability:

Jordan Flake: ..but let’s say that a company does make an error and it works to your benefit to the tune of 50,000 or $100,000. They either deliver a lot of printers or when they’re refunding you money instead of refunding you $1,000 they refund you $10,000. One question we get is, “Well, can I keep it?” Finder’s keepers, they made the mistake. It’s their mistake and their bad and it’s mine.

Greg:  That’s always my first reaction.

Jordan Flake: Right.

Brian: Whenever something bad happens to someone else to my benefit I think, “Oh, well. All right, it’s my lucky day.”

Jordan Flake: In as much as we’re talking about examples from the internet, if you want to sound like an internet pro on giving the true actual advice in this circumstance, is that the law, ever since the days of “ye olde timey England,” has recognized a legal principle called unjust enrichment, which basically says that if somebody gives you some kind of an economic benefit for which you did not give some kind of consideration or some kind of equivalent value, then you are on the hook for that amount of money. That’s what we call unjust enrichment. That’ll sometimes come up in the context of like a contract for services or somebody will basically get the benefit of …

Greg: An accident, basically, right?

 

unjust enrichment

 

Jordan Flake: Right, yeah, it’s an accident. Somebody will get the benefit of somebody who drops off valuable materials, or leaves a printer, or gives them extra money. Then they come along and say, “Well, no, you were unjustly enriched by this situation; therefore, you can’t keep the benefit.” Do you have a question there?

Brian: Yeah, so in the example with the printers, what is the obligated to do to avoid an unjust enrichment lawsuit?

Jordan Flake: This is not my official position…what happens is the unjust enrichment really happens if that person takes the possession and ownership and control of the printers. Merely leaving them out in the parking lot where they were delivered doesn’t unjustly enrich that individual. It’s the following the bad internet advice where it’s like, “Hey, sell the printers on Craig’s List and turn it into $100,000.” At that point that individual is enriched to the value of the four pallets of printers. If he just says, “Whoa, I’m just going to cover these with a tarp,” which I think somebody gave him that advice

Brian: Right.

Jordan Flake: … call the company. Then he’s not really enriched by that situation because he didn’t take them into his possession.

Greg: In that case what was happening was they were saying, “In the state that you are in there’s a statute that says, ‘You have an obligation to do what you reasonably can to protect other people’s property even if it was mistakenly given to you or put in your possession.'” In that case he figured since he can’t bring it inside. He doesn’t have room for four pallets inside much less fit them through the door. He would protect them from the weather, call the people immediately so that they could come and take care of it. That was about the limit of what he could reasonably do to protect this stuff.

Jordan Flake: If the bank ever makes a big error in your favor, don’t run to the ATM, pull out all the money and blow it on the strip because there’s a good chance that they could come after you and say, “Hey, you knew or should have known this money wasn’t yours. You didn’t do anything to earn it and you’re on the hook for it.”

Greg: Now this doesn’t apply to situations like someone leaves you something in their will because there’s a situation you get something and you haven’t done anything for it. It’s not an unjust enrichment.

Jordan Flake: Right, it’s not an unjust enrichment if it was intended it be a gift. There’s a presumption that you were my friend or whatever for my life and as a recognition of our friendship then this is a gift that I’m going to give you, even though that doesn’t necessarily require friendship. I think anything like that there’s a difference between a gift and you wouldn’t leave … The individual in this scenario wouldn’t have claimed, “Well, the pallets of printers were given to me by the company as a gift.” They just really like me as a customer. That’s the idea I think is there’s a little distinction there.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Been lightly edited for readability
Panaca, FBI Las Vegas Nevada

Podcast Preview: Why Would the FBI Investigate the Victims of the Panaca Bombing?

Earlier this week, rising podcast star Greg Hamblin hosted one of our partners, Jordan Flake, on his new podcastOn The Docket.

As you have heard from previous episodes, we touch on a wide-array of topics. Although many of our discussions have been national in nature, this week’s clip touches a bit closer to home.

In this episode, we discussed the FBI investigation of the Panaca bombing. In particular, why is the FBI investigating the victims of a crime?

 

 

Transcript: The Panaca Bombing and the Subsequent FBI Investigation

Greg: … Jordan, but this is about the Panaca bombs.

Jordan: Oh, yeah.

Greg: Have you heard about that? On July 13th, a couple of bombs were set off in Panaca, and now the FBI is involved, and there’s speculation that the person whose home was bombed had close ties to what infamous Nevada resident?

Jordan: Oh, no! The Bundys?

Greg: It is. It’s not the Bundys specifically, but the Finicums …

Jordan: The Finicums?

Greg: Who … Remember LaVoy Finicum, who was the guy who was shot after the whole thing in Oregon?

Jordan: This is crazy. This is really bizarre

Greg: Yeah, it’s weird. So far, as far as I can see, in the news articles that I’ve read, there’s nothing that indicates that the connection had anything to do with the bombing, but people are speculating, maybe that’s why the FBI is involved in this investigation now.

Jordan: The victims are the Cluffs … That’s their name.

Greg: Right, right.

Jordan: They are, by all accounts, good upstanding citizens of Panaca, business owners … And this disgruntled employee goes and blows up … Apparently he actually killed himself prior to the actual blast of the bombs …

Greg: I hadn’t heard that!

Jordan: Yeah, they did an autopsy … I’m not sure how, but determined that he shot himself in the head prior to the bombs actually detonating. Now, the Cluffs are sitting there saying, “Wow! We’re being investigated by the FBI for having been victims of this crime!” If you put yourself in their shoes, you’re sitting here thinking, “Wow, one of my employees went crazy, and blew himself up, and now, all of a sudden, the FBI is going through all of our … I don’t know … Credit cards …

Greg: Facebook profile …

Jordan: Facebook, credit card transaction history, taxes, everything that they have on us … That’s scary! That’s a little bit disconcerting

 

Panaca, Nevada, Las Vegas, FBI

 

Greg: That’s a little …

Jordan: You know, a lot of these communities are little tight-knit pockets of family, long-time, long-generation people who have lived in these small Nevada towns …

You know, ever since the LeVoy Finicum-Bundy thing, I’ve talked to some people from these regions, and they all have their … If it’s not a connection, it’s literally one connection away. If it’s not, “I knew LeVoy Finicum,” it’s “Oh, my grandma knew the Finicums …”

Greg: That’s actually how it is with me. I don’t know if you know, but I knew LeVoy, and worked with him for his nephew, and his son-in-law, and all kinds of people, because I’m also from a small community in that area. It is … Everybody knows everybody.

Jordan: Yeah, and the NSA is probably one of our biggest listeners here, so they know now that Greg …

Greg: Now they know.

Jordan: Greg has a history. Greg also has a connection! That’s why this is a little bit suspicious, because everyone has … Everybody up in those parts has …

Greg: They’re all connected.

Jordan: They’re all connected, so I hope the FBI doesn’t turn anything up, and I hope this isn’t an example of them just being overzealous. We obviously don’t know everything that they know … They might really have good reasons for what they’re doing … Maybe they’re just being thorough …

Greg: I think it’s … My guess is … I think that it’s not what the conspiracy theorists are saying, I think it’s just because the bomber lived in Kingman, Arizona, and the bombing took place in Panaca, Nevada, and since it’s cross-border thing, it becomes federal.

Jordan: Okay, you have to have federal agencies involved.

Greg: Sure.

Jordan: I’m guessing that’s what the real reason is, but …

Greg: Sure, but that doesn’t quite explain all the victim investigation, which is kind of …

Jordan: Right, right.

Greg: It makes people uncomfortable, for a good reason. Brian, you want to chime in on this at all?

Brian: I want to ask Jordan a question: What could the FBI do, to make people in Panaca feel more comfortable? Clearly, there’s no communication right now; is there something they could do that would help?

Jordan: That’s interesting! You know, I’ve wondered that this whole time. I haven’t been either following the story, or close enough to the actual situation, but it seems like the FBI would do some kind of a public relations approach to this whole situation, without seeming like the crazy federal … Faceless, nameless, federal agency that swoops in on this small town to wreak havoc …

Greg: Especially after the BLM stuff! You would think they would be upfront, like, “We understand you’ve been victims, but we’re worried about something …”

Jordan: Right, and try to rationalize in the minds of … I mean, it’s true … This is always the thing with power, and people in authority: People in authority, like the FBI, it’s not that they owe everybody an explanation. It’s not like everybody’s sitting here saying, “In order for you to do your job, I have to be okay with it!”

Probably actually the citizens are saying that, but what I’m saying is, that’s not a legitimate argument, to say “In order for you to do your job …” However, let’s not talk about what’s necessary, and let’s just think for a second about what might be prudent?

Greg: Thank you!

Jordan: If the FBI had said, “Hey listen! We’re coming in here, but really what we’re concerned about is protecting all of you from a situation, where an armed militia occupies your town! All of a sudden, you’re caught in the crossfire of the situation … This is why we’re doing what we do, and we have concerns about domestic terrorism … Terrorism from the inside, from God-fearing and otherwise patriotic people, you know what I mean? That’s another thing that we’re really concerned about …” Try to get people on board.

Instead, I’m worried about just this, oh, all these guys just show up, and descend on our town, they all have shotguns, and are going around bullying everybody …

Greg: Right, no explanation …

Jordan: No explanation, and here they are

 

Podcast Preview: Makeup for Your Tattoos?

Earlier this convention week, rising star Greg Hamblin hosted one of our partners, Jordan Flake, on his new podcastOn The Docket.

As you have heard from previous episodes, the we touch on a wide-array of topics. The law can wear many hats.

This week’s episode, we discussed the (now national story) of a Las Vegas judge that decided a defendant needed to have his tattoos covered up in order for there to be a fair trial.1)You will see pictures if you click the link.

 

 

Transcript: The Las Vegas Judge and Tattoos

Greg Hamblin: He’s a Neo-Nazi, and he’s got a whole bunch of tattoos, including the tear drop tattoos that’s meant to indicate that you’ve killed someone, and swastikas, and things like that. The makeover was actually going to be makeup to cover all these tattoos, so that when he’s in front of a jury, they won’t see those things.

Jordan Flake: That’s interesting.

Greg Hamblin: Isn’t it?

Brian: He’s spending 2 hours with a makeup artist, each day before trial, because the judge was concerned the jurors were scared of his appearance, and would not be able to evaluate the facts fairly. The other thing, most interesting part about it, is that he didn’t have the tattoos when he committed the crime.

Greg Hamblin: Oh.

Brian: I know. Chew on that fact.

Jordan Flake: That’s actually the part of it that helps me live with it. I think, otherwise, you just …

Greg Hamblin: You want to say, “Well, you chose to get these stupid tattoos that are meant to send a very clear signal about … ”

Jordan Flake: Right. There’s part of me that wants to say, “Look, if this is your identity, then your identity is something that … ” Your credibility and your character is something that jurors are allowed to consider, and if these tattoos are part of your identity, and part of your character, then that’s something that they should consider when evaluating whether or not they believe your side of the story. However, if at the time of the robbery, this individual didn’t have those tattoos, I can see a judge saying, “Listen, the only way to make this fair as of that point in time … ” He, still, at that point in time, even though he didn’t have the tattoos, was the same person who eventually would go and get these distasteful tattoos. That’s interesting. Yeah.

 

tattoos, las vegas, nevada, judge

 

Greg Hamblin: I guess, part of the problem was during jury selection, the judge would ask questions, and the jurors would say things like, “Well, the tattoos mean something, so he’s telling us that he’s a murderer.” They’re drawing meaning from the tattoos, and I can see the judge’s point of view that they’re going in with a predetermined idea of what kind of person this is.

Greg Hamblin: Again, yeah, it’s a tough one.

Jordan Flake: Was it the judge pushing for this, or was it the defense team?

Greg Hamblin: Do you know, Brian?

Brian: It was the judge, because they couldn’t get a jury selected.

Jordan Flake: Okay. Yeah, I could see that being a problem. The judge is sitting there during voir dire

Brian: Even the prosecutor wanted them to do it, because they couldn’t get a jury seated.

Jordan Flake: Everyone was just like, they were cycling through. My wife had to go down to jury duty recently. I wish she would’ve sat in on this one. That would’ve been great. “Juror number 649.” Nope. Don’t like Nazis. Sorry. The whole Nazi thing’s a problem with me. I could even imagine the defense counsel, or the prosecutor, anyone doing the questioning of voir dire, they’re like, “If someone has sworn allegiance to Hitler, would you still be able to be objective about this person?” Could you imagine somebody sitting there, and be like, “Oh, yeah. Hitler. That’s no big deal with me. Let me just put it on the record that if you’ve sworn allegiance to Hitler, then I really don’t condemn that at all.” Okay. All right.

This is all coming together. This is why you drill down into the facts, because the first second I heard about this story, I was like, “Okay. None of that’s going to be taken into consideration.” A few minutes go by, and we learn a little bit more about this story, and you’re like, “Okay. I can see the judge that.” Now, actually, I think standing in the judge’s shoes, the prosecutor’s shoes, the defense counsel’s shoes, it just makes sense. Got to get this guy into makeup, and now, maybe he’ll have some jurors who are like, “Oh, that’s a really good makeup job.” I would like to see this guy after makeup, because he looks totally weird, in spite of their best efforts. The thing that eventually condemns this guy is, “Something just didn’t look right about him. There was something about his skin, or his eyes. He had this waxy, almost sub-human appearance about him, and even though I think he’s probably not guilty of this crime, he just had this fake look about him.”

Greg Hamblin: He seems like a perfectly decent Nazi, but …

Jordan Flake: Yeah. Something looked off about him, and that’s we decided to find him guilty.

Brian: What about the slippery slope of it, though? What about the next defendant that comes out and says that, “You guys need to give me a wig, because the jurors are assuming that bald people are evil.” Of color defendants, why are we only making accommodations for white defendants?

Jordan Flake: That would have to come out in voir dire, though, if we got the same answer over and over again. I have red hair, and so I would want that, if I were ever up for a crime, I would want my defense counsel to ask, “Mr. Flake is a redhead. Do you just feel like you would want to prosecute and find a redhead guilty, just for having red hair?” I’d want that to be one of the questions that they ask.

Greg Hamblin: “Do you have anything against people who don’t have a soul?”

Jordan Flake: “Yes. Mr. Flake doesn’t have a soul.” Does that cause you any problems in terms of … Yeah.

 

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. You will see pictures if you click the link.

Your Nevada Estate Plan Deserves To Be Drafted by a Nevada Attorney

 

 

 

Transcript:

Hi. My name is Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group, and I specialize in estate planning. Today I want to address a question that we get about whether or not it’s important to have a Nevada attorney, who is at a law firm in Nevada, prepare your estate planning documents.

What we have, sometimes, is there are out of state law firms that will do legal services. Sometimes people will go to a different state to get their wills drafted, or the power of attorney, or their trust documents drafted.

There are a lot of reasons why it’s important to come see a Nevada attorney whose main office is here in Nevada and who is familiar with Nevada laws.

In the entire arena of estate planning there is a lot of overlap between the different states. There really is, and that’s fine.

A house in California or Iowa needs to have certain designations that would help it pass, upon your passing. Whether you’re in any state Iowa, California, Nevada there’s certain concepts that apply across the board.

Because of that we have a situation where sometimes residents of one state will obtain estate planning documents from a firm that may only have a small outpost here, or they may go to a different state and get those documents.

 

You Need a Nevada Attorney to Update Your Estate Plan

However, I think that by doing that you’d be missing out on a big opportunity. With estate planning it’s important to go with an estate planning attorney that is where you are.

I would encourage Nevada residents to come to an estate planning attorney here, locally.

Here’s why, estate planning often isn’t just a one-shot situation.

At least good estate planning is a situation where every three to five years your estate planning attorney should follow up with you and say, “Hey, has anything changed in your life?” Is there a different marriage, maybe a different job, maybe you’ve sold houses or purchased a house. Maybe one of your siblings had or one of the people you had designated as a personal representative had passed away.

You want somebody who’s close to you geographically, and who’s close to you from a professional standpoint, who will be able to ask these questions and get these answers from you. That’s one advantage of having someone local. It’s going to be easier to have the type of relationship where you have more constant contact.

 

nevada attorney

 

As a Nevada Attorney, I Understand the Nuances of Nevada Law

Second to that, also, is there are differences in the law. Even there aren’t big difference in the law, there easily can be differences in the law when the Nevada legislature changes the law.

You’re going to want somebody who is tied in enough to Nevada’s revised statutes, that when there is a big change in the law something triggers in our mind that says, “Hey we should reach out to all of our estate planning clientele and let them know that this thing has changed.”

That’s another reason why you wouldn’t want to go with an attorney who merely has a Nevada license, or has a license in another state but isn’t really tied into the state. They’re not going to be aware of changes in the law that might effect your estate planning situation.

 

The Clear Counsel Difference

Clear Counsel, in contrast, if there is a change in the law we’re equipped to determine which clientele are going to be affected by that. We’ll send out a newsletter, or a letter, to all of our clients saying, “Hey, these are some changes in the law. Please contact us if you feel like this might apply to you.” That’s just another advantage of going with someone here locally.

That actually can be extrapolated into a more general sense of, we’re tied into the community.

For example, I’m an appointee on the senior citizens advisory commission for City of Henderson’s senior citizens. I know a lot about different resources in the community that are intended to benefit seniors.

I’m sitting here with a senior citizen from Henderson. Of course we’re talking about estate planning. Other things come up to.

We have somebody maybe move here from Michigan and they wonder what service opportunities are available. I know those types of things because I am locally tied into the community.

I can tell you, “Hey, it just so happens that the senior community center down here offers all of these different programs. Here’s somebody who you can get in touch with.”

That’s the type of overall generalized advantage that you can get from dealing with a local Nevada attorney who’s plugged into the community. Who’s aware of the laws, and who’s geographically available to talk about any changes that might happen with your estate plan.

If you’re here in Nevada, please reach out to us, Clear Counsel Law Group. We’ll meet with you. For a consultation we don’t charge at all. In the future you’ll be happy that you had somebody here locally who can help you out with different changing situations. Whether in the law, or in your own life.

Give us a call. I’m attorney Jordan Flake. You can reach us at (702) 476-5900.

Thank you.

 

Are You Sure You Can Rely on Your Form Estate Plan?

 

 

 

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jordan Flake and I’m an estate planning attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group and one of the questions that we get from a lot of our clients is there are these companies out there that have form driven estate planning practices that will help you get a valid trust or will or power of attorney documents, but the real question is whether or not they’re effective.

I don’t want to mention these companies, but what they do is they basically provide you with the forms that will allow you to put in your name into the different spots in the form and what you will have at the end of the day is a valid legal document that essentially is customized to your situation or at least presumptively is customized to your situation.

I can’t mention the names of the companies that provide these form estate plans, but I often get the question, “Jordan, are these form estate plans really good? Are they okay? What about them? What do we do?”

I mean they’re oftentimes less expensive than seeing an attorney, so maybe they’re great, right? I get this question and sometimes my way jokingly responding that they are really good because if you’re lost in the wilderness and you need to start a fire, then you can use these form estate plans as kindling to start a really great fire. In that sense, they can be really effective and very useful.

Obviously I joke they can be good if you have a super straightforward, simple situation and you’re willing to see them for what they are which is just a very much fill in the blank estate planning solution.

 

Joking Aside, I Know How Important Your Estate Plan is to You

Now my concern about them is that they are not really customized to what you may want or need. It comes down to the difference of something being valid and legally enforceable which I concede and acknowledged that they can be on the one hand valid, but on the other hand, are they really truly effective, do they really accomplish what you want them to accomplish.

Let me talk a little bit about that.

Our law firm Clear Counsel Law Group, we do estate planning and that’s the side that I really enjoy.

I get to meet with people. We sit down. We give you options. We execute an estate plan.

You get the peace of mind of knowing that your documents are done correctly. That’s the part that I like. The part that I still do and I enjoy it as well, but not just quite as much is if people pass away and they don’t have their estate planning done or maybe they have some estate planning but maybe they did it themselves.

We have to deal with the disputes and the fallout that comes from those situations where they weren’t really relying on attorney drafted documents.

 

form estate plans

 

So You Say You Have Form Estate Plans..

I can just tell you that as a practitioner in this area for almost a decade, when we get a phone call from somebody and they say, “Hey, yeah my dad their own estate plan. He did his own estate plan. He drafted his own estate plan. He thought he knew what he was doing,” automatically in my mind I have this automatic response from years of experience that says,

“Oh no, what did he miss? What T wasn’t crossed? What I wasn’t dotted that has the potential to cause a lot of problems downstream?

How are we going to cover this gap? Who did he forget to disinherit?” He intended to disinherit one of his children, but he didn’t properly say that or do that properly. There’s all these things that arise in my mind where I think, “Oh no, they did their own estate planning.”

When I hear that a document was drafted by an attorney who actually sat down and met with the client, 9 times out of 10, that document is going to be just fine. The case might have other issues that are causing problems, but the document itself is going to be sound.

That’s the difference in my mind being on both of the fence, the non-disputed estate planning side, I want to give you a customized document. Over here on the disputed side, if we see a customized document, we don’t think there are going to be as many problems with the document as if there’s a document that was a drafted by perhaps the individual.

That’s the difference there between what’s merely valid on the one hand and what’s truly effective on the other.

If you come in for a consultation, we’ll review your existing estate plan documents if you have them. If not, we’ll sit down and we’ll figure it out how do we actually make the law work for you in your specific situation, not just to make it valid but to actually make it effective and easy on your loved ones and to make sure everything is really optimized to go specifically with what you want.

 

A Final Consideration Before You Make a Mistake with Form Estate Plans

Let me just put one thing in perspective here. You are talking about how you’re going to pass all of your earthly wealth onto your most beloved individuals in your life. It is not something that you want to take on on your own.

It may cost more to have an attorney do it than to have you try to figure it out on your own, but I would suggest that that is a big enough and important enough project that it’s worth actually meeting with an attorney.

The other thing is it might not be as expensive as you think. We are all about options at Clear Counsel Law Group. We’re about options and transparency.

We’re about coming up with solutions that work for all of our clientele, whether you have a lot of money and assets that you’re passing or whether you don’t have very much at all.

Come meet with us so that we can give you options and we can find the best possible solution for you.

Again, I’m Jordan Flake. We’ll do a free consultation.

Just give us a call.

Thank you.

 

Clear Counsel Law group

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