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Meet Your New United States Magistrates

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Reno Attorney William G. Cobb has been appointed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Roger Hunt as a U.S. Magistrate Judge to replace U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert McQuaid, Jr., who retired in September.
U.S. Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb
Cobb, a fourth-generation Nevadan, graduated from Reno High School in 1967. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1971 as a Distinguished Military Student and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army (Air Defense Artillery). He served in the Army Reserves where he attained the rank of captain. Cobb is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Nevada, Reno, Foundation. Cobb graduated in 1974 from Lewis and Clark Law School. He was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 1974, the State Bar of California in 1975 and the United States Supreme Court in 1980. Cobb was a deputy district attorney with the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office from 1974 to 1977. He had been in private practice with Erickson, Thorpe & Swainston, Ltd., since 1977 and had also served as a Nevada Supreme Court Settlement Judge since 1998. Cobb was a Judge Pro Tempore in the Nevada “Short Trial” Program. Most recently, he was elected to the Board of Regents in 2008, and was a member of the governing board of the Nevada System of Higher Education until his appointment as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in September.
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Cobb is a member of the Nevada Association of Defense Counsel, on which he served as its president in 1982-1983, and the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada; he was a member of its Board of Directors from 1983 to 1987. He was a member of the Defense Research Institute, International Association of Defense Counsel and the Trial Attorneys of America. He is currently a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Inns of Court, for which he served as president (Bruce R. Thompson Chapter, 1996-1997). He was Nevada’s Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1989-1992; Chair, 1991). Cobb received an “AV” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and is listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, The Best Lawyers in America (Nevada, Litigation and ADR) and Nevada Super Lawyers.
Cobb is married to Reno native Cathleen Armstrong Cobb. In June 2010 they were honored by the University of Nevada, Reno as Silver Benefactors. The Cobbs have four children: Jennifer Hall (Justin), Michelle, Ryan and Christopher, and three grandchildren.
Scott WaSSerman’S BioGraPhY iS on PaGe 20.
The State Bar of Nevada is seeking a sponsor to subsidize the cost of printing Nevada Lawyer on recycled paper.
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The new United States Magistrate for southern Nevada is Judge Carl W. Hoffman, Jr., known to his colleagues and friends as “Bill.” The magistrate position to which Hoffman was appointed on August 5, 2011 is a new position, created to handle the burgeoning caseload in southern Nevada’s Federal District Court.
Hoffman received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1974 and his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego in 1981. He has been practicing law for nearly 30 years, both in state and federal court. Like his father, Hoffman served in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served as an infantry officer and spent six years as a judge advocate. In his years as a judge advocate, he served as both a defense attorney and a prosecutor, gaining valuable criminal law experience. Hoffman also served as Special Assistant United States Attorney, Legal Advisor to the U.S. Counter-Terrorism Team for the 1988 International Olympics in Korea, and as Legal Advisor to the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in the Demilitarized Zone, in Korea. Other military assignments included serving as Marine Corps Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as international law advisor to the commandant of the Marine Corps during international counternarcotics and counter-terrorism operations. Hoffman moved to Nevada in 1994. He came to the bench after serving as general counsel for the Clark County School District, a position he held from 1995 to 2011. The Clark County School District is the country’s fifth largest school district, employing 40,000 people and managing a $2 billion per year budget. As general counsel Hoffman supervised a staff of 10 attorneys and provided legal advice to the district’s employees, administrators, superintendents and the Board of School Trustees. While with the school district, Hoffman dealt with legal matters including tort claims (the district was self-insured), employment law, civil rights and constitutional law. Hoffman made regular appearances in federal district on behalf of the district. He served on Nevada’s Commission for Judicial Discipline, the entity that has been responsible for investigating complaints and disciplining Nevada’s judges since 2004. Hoffman also taught courses on education law at UNLV and Nova Southeastern University. Hoffman is married with five children, two of whom attend schools in the Clark County School District.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl W. Hoffman, Jr.
StePhen F. Smith has been a member of the Nevada bar since 1991 and serves on the Nevada Lawyer Editorial Board.
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Former State Bar of Nevada President Cam Ferenbach will be replacing former U.S. Magistrate Lawrence Leavitt, who is retiring this month. Judge Ferenbach’s term will last eight years.
Ferenbach has been a member of the Nevada bar since 1980. Before joining the bar, Ferenbach attended Princeton University. After graduating in 1969, he accepted a commission with the U.S. Navy and served on the Submarine Force for four years. After completing his service in the Navy, Ferenbach moved to Arizona where he supervised the installation of a rural water utility system. He then attended law school at Arizona State University and, after graduating in 1980, began working for Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas. During his more than 30 years with that firm, Ferenbach concentrated in commercial litigation and practiced in the areas of employment, construction, real estate, insurance law and contracts. Ferenbach has presented cases in multiple local, state and federal courts and has also appeared before the Nevada Supreme Court. In 1982 he was granted a six month leave of absence from Lionel Sawyer & Collins to serve as a Maricopa County Public Defender in Phoenix, Arizona. Always an active member of the Nevada legal community, Ferenbach has held positions on several law-related boards and entities. From 1989 to 1996, he was the president of Nevada Legal Services; from 1996 to 2001, he was president and a member of the Clark County Legal Services board. Since 2001, Ferenbach has been on the advisory board for Boyd School of Law’s Thomas and Mack Legal Clinic. He also was the president of the Clark County Bar Association in 2002. In July 2010, Ferenbach became president of the State Bar of Nevada and held that position until June 2011. Ferenbach was a member of the state bar’s Board of Governors from 2003 until June 2011. During his free time, Ferenbach likes spending time with his wife Mary Frances and two children, Emily and Daniel, as well as hiking, reading and enjoying music.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach
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Nevada Lawyer
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