Las Vegas Casino host employee non-compete

Podcast Preview: Las Vegas Casino Workers Need to Know About the New Law for Non-Compete Contracts

Rising podcast star, Greg Hamblin, hosted one of our partners, Jared Richards, on the latest episode of his podcastOn The Docket.

Thank you for all the wonderful feedback as well!

For today's episode, I would like to call your attention to this article in the Las Vegas Sun describing the recent opinion from the Nevada Supreme court, Golden Road Motor Inn v. Islam (The last name of the employee litigating).

A quick summary: The Nevada Supreme Court held that non-compete provisions in employment contracts must be reasonable, or they are invalid.

What does this mean for you? If you are working in Nevada and signed a non-compete agreement, watch this short clip.

The segment begins just as Mr. Richards is describing the facts from Golden Road Motor Inn..




Jared Richards:  The non-compete agreement was too broad. Traditionally, trial courts have the ability to take a non-compete agreement, and it's called blue pencil, they can amend, if they find something that's unreasonable because non-competes can't be so unreasonable as to really bar somebody from gainful employment and I think this one barred her from working for any casino within 150 miles.

Greg: Oh, wow.

Jared Richards: That destroys her employment opportunities. 150 miles, that's a long distance for somebody who I think was a janitor or a menial worker. Normally, a court would just simply say, "We are going to bar you from performing ... We're going to change the contract to bar you from performing this specific service that you were doing for your old employer and other employers," so if you were a janitor there, you could still be a server, you could still be anything else.

But the Nevada Supreme Court moved away from the blue line principle and just simply said, "Guys, it's in a valid contract, and that's it," which throws into question a huge number of contracts in the state of Nevada because so many people will take slightly over-broad, unreasonable positions with the hope and understanding that the trial court, if it's found to be unreasonable is going to reduce it to the point of being reasonable.

Brian: Right, okay.

Jared Richards: Now, instead of reducing to the point of being reasonable-

Brian: They're just tossing it out.

Jared Richards: They're just tossing, which means, if you've put, and the restrictions generally are, they look at the type of work you're doing and whether you could easily switch to another type of work. They look at the distance that you're being restricted and they look at the time on which you're being restricted. Now, a lot of employers are asking whether or not their contracts are valid at all.

Brian: Can I ask about casino hosts in Las Vegas in particular? Very competitive industry. The high end hotels - I used to work in casino - the hosts move in between hotels a lot.

Jared Richards: They don't want their high rollers running with the hosts.

Brian: But any of these host contracts valid?

Jared Richards: Well, I don't know. I mean, it would depend on the-

Brian: If they had one of these non-competes in them?

Jared Richards: No, it would depend. Now, I think that if you were to say, "You cannot work as a ... If you come and work for us a host, you can't work as a host, that very specific field, in the Las Vegas area, or within a 5 mile radius of our casino, or 10 mile radius of our casino" you might be able to get away with that, a court might look, for a year. A court might look at that and say, "Well, that's reasonable." The whole thing of 5 years or 150 miles, or just you're not able to-

Brian: Or working at a casino.

Jared Richards: Right, or working for a competitor at all.

Brian: Right.

Jared Richards: Those things, now are extremely risky and if you have any of those in your contracts, your contracts may be invalid, or at least the non-compete provisions.

Brian: Right. Do you think that the casinos should rewrite the contracts or just hope that they don't get sued.

Jared Richards: No. It's not that they'll get dues. It's that they can't enforce them. They're never going to get sued for the non-compete. I won't say never, but it's when the casino tries to enforce the non-compete that everyone can just thumb their nose at the casino saying, "This is not a valid portion of your contract."

If the casino really wants that protection, they need to now reconsider, they need to narrow the restriction and yeah, they'll need people to re-sign.


podcast hyperloop

Podcast Preview: Startup Troubles and the Hyperloop

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

We had a great time! The whole episode will be a treat.

..In this episode, Greg asked Jordan to explain some of the events surrounding the Hyperloop lawsuit:



Greg Hamblin:   The hyperloop. This is a big deal here in Nevada. But it's now much less likely to come to pass because of the co-founders doing what? It was just in the news. I don't know if you saw. Well, you want to take a shot at it?

Brandon Trout:  I'm actually not sure. I'll let you go.

Jordan Flake:      All right. Brannon has said a few times this morning, he said, "Hey, I actually read this one. I finally get to say, 'Hey, I actually read this one."

Greg Hamblin:   Did you? Oh, good.

Jordan Flake:      What happened was that, obviously, something like this, there's an insane amount of money's thrown at it right off the bat, because there's so much research and development. It's just going to require a ton of money.

Greg Hamblin:   And this is one of those Elon Musk related projects.




Jordan Flake:      It is. Yeah, yup, exactly. Elon Musk is basically very extended with this and some of his other projects, like Space X or whatever. It's like, "Hey, we need these rockets. We're not sure why, but we need them. It's going to be great." Hyperloop could be very very useful, but you have a situation where they figure that each mile of hyperloop is going to be estimated $10 million.

Greg Hamblin:   Holy cow.

Brandon Trout:  Wow.

Greg Hamblin:   It's not going to be cheap to make this. The upfront kind of investment of cash is just huge. Then the potential for this to just change our society is huge too. I mean, it's a huge upfront investment, but it's also a really big power play on the back end because whoever basically controls the next mode of transportation, especially transportation ... I hope everyone knows what a hyperloop, the theory behind it is, that you create essentially vacuums-

Greg Hamblin:   It's a big tube, right?

Jordan Flake:      And magnets to reduce friction and have people go extremely quickly. Anyway, the point is, so much money thrown around that the co-founders of the company that is kind of trying to develop it really started fighting with each other.

Brandon Trout:           Right.

Greg Hamblin:   Particularly, one side of the company was accused of paying off wives and lovers in huge amounts of money.

Greg Hamblin:   Right. $40,000 a month for PR work paid to fiancée.

Jordan Flake:      Yeah, $40,000 a month, which really in the grand scheme of how much money is going into this wouldn't seem like a lot, but it's just very nepotism-

Brandon Trout:           That's still a lot.




Greg Hamblin:   And abusive. The other co-founder makes this complaint and says, "Hey, this doesn't fly and I'm going to raise all these issues and I'm going to file a lawsuit." He comes into work and what should he find on his desk? Bonus question for the host.

Brandon Trout:  Is it oil?

Jordan Flake:      Oh, probably. That would have been good. A noose!

Jordan Flake:      Somebody had, not just somebody, but one of the other people involved, had been caught on video taking a noose and setting it on-

Greg Hamblin:   Putting it on his desk, like a threat.

Jordan Flake:      Of his new archenemy. So anyway.

Greg Hamblin:   This is the world of startups.

Jordan Flake:      Yeah, it is. And that's the thing, it's kind of surprising. It's not like all the other startups in the world were clean. I mean, Facebook, Microsoft. All these startups that had these - Apple - that had this potential to change the world had an animosity and greed and intrigue.

Greg Hamblin:   I'm sure.



class action

Podcast Preview: Why Are Class Action Lawsuits Permitted?

Earlier this week, Greg Hamblin hosted two of our partners, Jordan Flake and Jared Richards on his new podcastOn The Docket.

We had a great time! The whole episode will be a treat.

..The fun part about recording a podcast with one, Jared Richards, Esq., is that in the midsts of a irreverent conversation about law in the news, there will be a two minutes window where he explains, clearly and succinctly, why the legal system permits class action lawsuits:



Why Are There Class Action Lawsuits?


Greg Hamblin:   First question, in the Federal Appeals Court on Thursday, throughout a 7.25 billion antitrust settlement reached by Visa and MasterCard with millions of retailers that had accused the card networks of doing what?

Jared Richards:  Overbilling of some sort. Charging too large of transactions fees?

Greg Hamblin:   Yes, that's it exactly. More specifically that they had fixed their fees in a monopolistic way. The Appeals Court said that the accord was unfair to retailers that stood to receive little or no benefit at all and decertified the case as a case action. I don't know what that means.

Jared Richards:  Wow.

Greg Hamblin:   What's wow? What does it mean when it's decertified as a class action?

class action

Jared Richards:  It's problematic because the idea of the class action is that the individual cases are too small to ever make it economically viable to bring it to court because any given lawsuit, even like the extreme low end lawsuits, are going to cost $10,000.

A big one like this would cost millions and so you bring everybody together and sue them together. You sue with everybody together it's a class.

What you do is, because it's infeasible, where it's very difficult to go out and actually get everybody to sign up, you just have the court declare that everybody who falls in this class, meaning all merchants, will already be parties, will already be plaintiffs and they have to opt out, which is generally the way it goes.

It can go the other way but generally this way and that you have to write a letter saying that I don't want to be part of it or maybe you'll get mail saying I do want to be part of it.

If he's decertified in class, what he's saying is that every merchant, their damages are so different that they don't really fit well as a class. While that may be true that Walmart's damages are going to be significantly different than the florist that we talked about earlier, ...

Greg Hamblin:   Jack Benny's Florist.

Jared Richards:  ... Jack Benny's Florist, the problem is that Jack Benny's Florist is never going to be able to hire a lawyer to make this make economic sense. That's why you want it to be a class.

Greg Hamblin:   I see.

Jared Richards:  That's really difficult for the smaller guys. Even if they wouldn't get a whole lot of benefit that's probably also because they didn't get a whole lot of damage.


Podcast Preview: Mass Tort vs. Class Action


Podcast Preview: The Difference Between a Mass Tort and a Class Action


Jordan Flake:      Seriously, will you get into that for just one quick second? If a state, or a city, has an engineer, and a water company that knows, or should have known … ?

Jared Richards:  Sure. Listen, unless there's some other law, a state law or federal law that I'm not aware of, that would block the person, just under general principles of tort, yes, absolutely. If somebody is poisoning you, you could go sue them.

Jordan Flake:      This would probably … An attorney actually pursuing this would probably want to create a class, and try to certify a class, and have it be done as a class action, because we have various injured parties here …

Jared Richards:  Yes, various injured parties. The difficulty of a class is trying to show that all of the parties were hurt in the same way; maybe you can, maybe you can’t. If you can’t show that they were all hurt in the same way, you would bring them individually as a mass tort, as opposed to class.

Jordan Flake:      Oh, okay … A mass tort is different from a class because …


mass tort


Jared Richards:  A mass tort is different from a class because, in a class …

Greg Hamblin:   The damages were the same?

Jared Richards:  In the class you’re going to have, the damages are going to be similar through all of the members of the class, and you’re going to have one or two class representatives that are going to speak for the class, and make decisions for the class, where in a mass tort, you have a whole bunch of plaintiffs that are thrown in.

Jordan Flake:      Where some people are like, “I’ve got ingrown toenails!” and somebody else is like, “I got cancer!” and they each get according to their damages in a mass tort…

Jared Richards:  That’s why, in most of the drug product defect cases, you’re going to find that they’re not class actions, they are mass torts … But when a company screws over all of their people by five dollars, based on subscriptions - That is going to be a class action.

Jordan Flake:      Unity or similarity of damages across all the injured parties.


new podcast preview

New Podcast Clip From Our Second Episode


Earlier today, Greg Hamblin was kind enough to host two of our partners, Jordan Flake and Jared Richards on his new podcastOn The Docket.

We had a great time! We can't wait to hear the whole episode..

new podcast


In the clip above, Mr. Richards and Mr. Flake were asked by Greg to explain how person could leave thousands upon thousands of dollars for a pet. Here is a great example from Britain1)They use common law too! Where do you think we got it from?

Amoungst the new podcast fun, Mr. Richards and Mr. Flake explain what is necessary for person to bequeath a gift to a pet.

new podcast episode

New Podcast Transcript:

Greg Hamblin:   Could you do that kind of thing with an estate?

Jared Richards:  I don't know anything about estate planning. It is your money, and you can literally do whatever you want.

Greg Hamblin:   It's a Disney movie waiting to happen.

Jared Richards:  I worked for a poodle named Shotzel once.

Greg Hamblin:   Yes. Did you really?

Jordan Flake:      Yes. I did.

Jared Richards:  Yes, the Hoolihan.

Jared Richards:  The Hoolihan Estate, yes.

Jordan Flake:      The Hoolihan Estate. We all worked for Shotzel. I hope Shotzel is doing okay.

Jared Richards:  Shotzel died 2 weeks after his master.

Jordan Flake:      Oh darn, oh okay. The anxiety of meeting up with Shotzel's demands is no longer resting on your shoulders. Seriously.

Jared Richards:  All of the most premium of dog bones.

Jordan Flake:      With Prince it's just interesting maybe he probably didn't expect to die as young as he did and maybe he just thought this stuff will take care of itself. You just contrast the $300 million of estate assets versus the relatively small amount of money that would have gone to an attorney. I mean it would have been expensive, no doubt, to do the estate planning. It's really crazy.

Jared Richards:  Yeah, if I'm going to spend part, leave it all to the poodle.

Greg Hamblin:   Leave it all to the poodle?

Jordan Flake:      Leave it all to the poodle and the poodle's descendants and just call it good, and have them in a big mansion and create a reality TV show about their lives. It's not that hard. If we have any listeners who have pets who they would like to exalt and publicize, and then you can definite put what we call pet trust provisions in the estate planning.

Greg Hamblin:   Oh my God.

Jared Richards:  Or, if there are any NBC or CBS executives listening, we have an idea.

Jared Richards:  Right, we have an idea.

Jordan Flake: It just struck some serious goals there.

Jared Richards:  Absolutely.

Jordan Flake:      What the provisions generally say-

Greg Hamblin:   Pet lawyer on TLC.

Jordan Flake:      Pet lawyer.

Jared Richards:  If your pet needs a trust.

Jordan Flake:      No, I already am a pet lawyer. I had a client come in, a very nice woman. She was a pharmacist and she has a life insurance policy for a quarter million dollars and she left 100% of the life insurance policy to her 12 cats that she currently has; or, and we made it flexible because the number fluctuates apparently, to whatever companion animals are currently living with her at the time she passes away.

She was very grateful to have that piece of mind. The reality is, it's her money. If she wants to use it to benefit her pets then that's well within-

Greg Hamblin:   What are the cats going to do with the money?

Jared Richards:  I'm sure a little catnip , all this…

Greg Hamblin:   It's just going to ruin them. They're just going to get on drugs. They're not going to go to college.

Jared Richards:  Everybody needs a response.

Jordan Flake:      Therein is the genius of the TV show. Look at all the nice clothes they're buying. Look what they do with their, I'm just an heir lifestyle. “I'm just an heir” to this great fortune, you know? Some will make the videos and bad choices. We talked about that.

Greg Hamblin:   We talked about it. We have these sensitive moments that really connect with the family viewers. Forget Paris Hilton.

Jared Richards:  If you do want to do that though you do have to be careful and set it up properly. Just throwing it into your will saying I want to leave everything to my cat.

Greg Hamblin:   It doesn't work.

Greg Hamblin:   No. It has to be in a trust and you have to address that problem.

Greg Hamblin:   I'm assuming that's because you actually have a human being who takes care of the pets?

Jared Richards:  Yes.

Jordan Flake:      That's right, that's right.

Jordan Flake:      You have a trustee in that situation and you tell the trustee, listen this is how the money is to be used. You'll want to compensate the trustee and our trusts that we use generally have provisions for compensating the trustee, because at some point the trustee is going to say, "You know what? I think I'd rather spend this money on myself."

Greg Hamblin:   Right.

Jordan Flake:      This is a good candidate-

Greg Hamblin:   He won't be satisfied with the irrevocable living love of the cat.

Jared Richards:  Oddly enough, it's very, very few people will sue on behalf of the cats.

Jordan Flake:      That's exactly why I was going to say either a co-trustee or a trust protector, or maybe designating an agent to benefit the cats while the trustee is somebody who manages the money. Those things can give you an idea because usually well, you know who comes along and makes sure the provisions of the trust are being enforced, as Jared hinted at, would be the beneficiaries. As much as the cats are then enjoying their wealth, they're not going to be in a state of mind to bring a lawsuit against the trustee if they're fulfilling their obligations.

Jared Richards:  Or if they're fulfilling other things like if Miss Cruela DeVille were the trustee.

Jordan Flake:      Right, exactly.

Greg Hamblin:   Coming in 2017 on TLC. Oh my goodness…


Stay tuned..

In case you missed Episode 1..


1 They use common law too! Where do you think we got it from?

Podcast Preview!


Earlier today, Greg Hamblin was kind enough to host two of our partners, Jordan Flake and Jared Richards on his podcast.

Greg was very generous in allowing me to film the podcast session1)and we appreciate it very much.



In the clip above, Mr. Richards was asked by Greg to explain how an East Cleveland man could be awarded a 22 million dollar verdict from a jury.

Specifically, Mr. Richards explains the difference between compensatory and punitive damages and how they are related.


Podcast Transcript:

As far as the punitive element, you have an issue because generally punitive elements need to be somewhat in line with the compensatory element. For those people that are listening that don't know, compensatory damages is just to reimburse the person for what was taken from them.

Punitive damages has nothing to do with compensating, reimbursing, awarding the victim. It has everything to do with punishing the person who has abused the victim. It has to be large enough to sting.

Listen, most cops out there are good cops.podcast


They follow the rules.

They do the right thing.

I can't think of any justification for locking somebody in a closet for four days. I don't care what they did, that's not due process, certainly not at a traffic stop.

Again, I don't care what you did, that's not due process, that's not allowed.

That kind of police abuse needs to be addressed and this is the proper way to address it. Whether it's $12 million or some other number, I don't know, but unless you have a high compensatory, then the punitive has to be somewhat in line, generally like a multiple of three in most cases.

It's the maximum you can award.

If you don't have the $10 million component, or at least like a $4 million component, for the compensatory, you can't get to the $12 million punitive. It doesn't make that analysis fair or rational, but it does allow the punitive to stand.


Stay tuned..


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