2019 Board of Governors Candidates
The State Bar of Nevada has begun its annual elections for members of the Board of Governors. Elections began Saturday, April 27, 2019, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2019, Pacific Time.
Your vote is extremely important, and this year, it’s easier than ever to participate!
Bar members eligible to vote in the following contested races should already have received an email from Election America containing a voting link. It provides voters with a secure and confidential way to access the online voting and tabulation system. If you did not receive your email, contact Gale Skala at email@example.com.
Expanded candidate biography information is found below. Use the links to navigate to each race and specific candidates’ information.
District One – Clark County: Four Seats
The eligible candidates for District One include:
- Jeffrey Albregts
- Annette Bradley
- Richard Dreitzer
- Scott Lachman
- Catherine Mazzeo
- Casey Quinn
- Katrina Ross
- Kari Stephens
District Two – White Pine, Elko, Eureka, Churchill, Lander, Humboldt, Lyon, Lincoln, Douglas, Mineral, Nye, Esmeralda, Pershing and Storey Counties: One Seat
District Three – Carson City: One Seat
District Four – Washoe County: One Seat
The election in Washoe County is uncontested. The candidate who will be appointed to the open seat is:
- Gene Leverty
District One – Clark County: Candidate Statements
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 1982
Firm: Jeffrey R. Albregts, LLC
Present position: solo practitioner
Size of firm: 1
Practice areas of law: civil litigation
Affiliations: Clark County Bar Association, U.S. District of Nevada, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, American Bar Association, Nevada Law Foundation Colleague
I have practiced law in Nevada (primarily) as a trial lawyer here for the past 37 years now, my entire career. I accepted an associate’s position in Las Vegas right out of law school (University of Wisconsin) in January, 1982, and have practiced here since then as both a solo practitioner and as a partner and shareholder in two law firms. Currently, I am practicing solo again, primarily in civil litigation matters, and have now served 1 term on the Board of Governors. I also previously served a full term on the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board for the Nevada Bar, the last 8 of those years serving as chairman. As a member of the Board of Governors now, promoting high ethical standards for our Bar is important to me to maintain our independence as a legal profession and our continued self-governance. I’m also concerned for the “little folks” in our profession; the solo, small firm, small town and rural practitioners whose independence are and should be one of the backbones of our profession, too. To those ends, I wish to continue my public service to the Nevada Bar as a member of its Board of Governors. Thank you for your support.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 1998
Firm: Southern Nevada Health District
Present position: General Counsel
Size of firm: 2 attorneys
Practice areas of law: Health Law, Contracts, Compliance, Employment, Labor, and Public Administration
Affiliations: Clark County Bar Association, CCBA Community Service Committee, American Bar Association, Southern Nevada Women Attorneys Association, Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, Society for Human Resource Management
By way of introduction, I am a Maryland transplant (by way of Buffalo). I graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1996 and moved to Las Vegas shortly thereafter. I have been licensed to practice in Nevada since 1998.
My practice trajectory has been both interesting and fulfilling. Starting my career as a medical malpractice litigation associate, I am currently the Southern Nevada Health District’s General Counsel. I have been with the Health District for more than 8 years. My responsibilities include legal and programmatic support for the Health District’s four divisions, i.e., Administration, Clinical Services, Community Health, and Environmental Health. Before joining the Health District, I was University Medical Center’s Risk Manager and inhouse counsel for over 7 years.
As a regular supporter of Boyd Law Schools’ externship program, I have supervised and mentored numerous Boyd Law students in an externship at the Health District’s Legal Department. Additionally, I share my perspective on the intersection of the practice of law and public health as a frequent guest lecturer in UNLV’s Public Health Law course.
I am running for 1 of 4 open positions for Clark County on the State Bar Board of Governors. Why have I decided to pursue this opportunity? As trite as it may sound, my response is simply, I want to give back to the legal community that has given so much to me over the past 20 years. I support the Board’s mission to govern the legal profession by serving its members and protecting the public interest. I support their strategic plan which includes, among other things, lessening the burden of member compliance by identifying more efficient processes, encouraging and supporting continuing education resources and programs, and improving access to justice by supporting efforts to reduce costs and streamline processes for lawyers and the public.
As General Counsel, I understand, appreciate, and navigate the sometimes-squishy terrain of being a legal vs business advisor. This, coupled with my experience in private practice and working with outside counsel on litigated and complex business matters, affords me a unique perspective and ability to understand the challenges of fostering professional working relationships and successfully achieving a consensus among diverse and often competing interests for the betterment of our profession and community.
If I am honored to be elected to the Board, I pledge to build upon my experience and expertise to faithfully represent your interests. I am asking for your support and vote during the 2019 State Bar of Nevada Board of Governor’s election being held via online voting April 27, 2019 – May 27, 2019.
Thank you for your consideration.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 1998
Firm: Dreitzer Law
Present position: Principal
Size of firm: 1
Practice areas of law: Labor and Employment; Construction; General Commercial Litigation; Administrative Law
Affiliations: Licensed in AZ and MO; Vice Chair, Nevada Public Radio
I am just concluding my third term as a member of the Board of Governors. I am currently a sole practitioner, specializing in a broad spectrum of litigated and administrative matters. In prior years, I have worked with mid-size and large firms and have served as a Deputy Attorney General for several years. Thus, I have deep familiarity with the concerns and perspectives of attorneys in a wide range of practice settings.
In my tenure on the Board of Governors, I have served as liaison to the Nevada Board of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and have pushed for financial accountability, sound use of member dues dollars and amendments to CLE rules and regulations that make sense and eliminate confusion.
I have also worked with my fellow board members to promote attorney wellness as an important aspiration of the State Bar of Nevada (SBN). I believe that Nevada’s lawyers should have support options when facing the pressures of practice and that quality of life, physical as well as emotional well-being are critical to our professional success. Simply put, a centered lawyer is an effective lawyer.
I am also committed to financial accountability and transparency within the SBN. This means that the SBN must live within its means and responsibly manage your licensure fees. I believe that this commitment requires that members receive tangible value for their dues dollars and that dues increases be avoided at all costs.
If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected, I will continue to represent your interests in keeping with these principles and ensure that your input is sought on the issues before the SBN and that your concerns are taken to heart.
If you have any questions or concerns, I am always available to speak with you and would welcome the opportunity to hear your perspectives. Please feel free to call me at 702.245.5666, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and your consideration of my candidacy.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2010
Firm: Akerman LLP
Present position: Associate
Size of firm: 700+, 11 in Nevada
Practice areas of law: Consumer Finance and Appellate Practice
Affiliations: Young Lawyers Section Chair, American Bar Association Fellow, Summerlin North Baseball Coach, Temple Sinai Member
I was born and raised in south Detroit. I took a midnight train going anywhere and I wound up in Carson City, Nevada. I clerked for Chief Justice Michael A. Cherry and then headed south down 1-95 to begin my legal career in Las Vegas. Nearly a decade later, this blue-collar son of the Motor City is proud to call Nevada home. It has been quite the journey and I am happy to have shared it with you, the members of the State Bar.
We were once strangers waiting in line for the elevators at the RJC. Today, we are colleagues and friends working to find common ground to make the State Bar a unified voice for all lawyers—young and old. We want lower bar dues and rules of civil procedure that are logical and easy to follow. We want a streamlined disciplinary process and to attend the State Bar meeting without breaking the bank. We want working elevators and hearings without waiting two hours to be heard. We want a first-rate law school in our backyard and a mental health break between Christmas and New Years. We, the chosen ones who passed the hardest bar in the country, want to do good in our community through pro bono service and leadership. Together, we can take this bar anywhere we want.
I hope to be your hard-working voice on the State Bar’s Board of Governors. Connect with me on Linkedin, email me at email@example.com, or call me on my direct line, 702-634-5021, so that we can discuss making Nevada’s Bar what you want it to be. I appreciate your support and look forward to making the Bar stronger and better for all of us.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2002
Firm: Southwest Gas Corporation
Present position: Managing Counsel
Affiliations: Clark County Bar Association; State Bar of Arizona
Fellow Bar Members,
I am seeking re-election to the Board of Governors. I was elected to my first term on the Board of Governors in 2017 and would be honored to continue serving as your representative.
Our profession is constantly evolving and it is important that the State Bar be proactive in serving its members, building relationships with affiliate bar associations, and assisting the public. During my first term, I was a member of the Audit Committee and served as liaison to several State Bar sections and local bar organizations. If re-elected, I will bring the same level of commitment and advocacy to my second term.
I have lived in Clark County, Nevada for 25 years, and have practiced law here for 17. I attended UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, where I earned my Juris Doctorate in 2002. I am Managing Counsel at Southwest Gas Corporation where I handle various corporate litigation and administrative matters. I am also a member of the State Bar’s Energy, Utilities and Communications Law Section.
I was elected to the Executive Board of the Clark County Bar Association in 2008 and had the honor of serving as the organization’s President in 2016.
I believe my knowledge, experience, past bar leadership, and demonstrated commitment to our community make me uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Governors, and I respectfully request your vote. I am happy to further discuss my candidacy and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2008
Firm: Newmeyer & Dillion LLP
Present position: Associate
Size of firm: 69 lawyers (5 in Nevada)
Practice areas of law: Commercial litigation; Construction, Privacy and Data Security
I am running for the Board of Governors to be an agent of change. In short, I would work toward:
- More transparency about the Board of Governors—including finances and what the Board is
doing with regard to our dues, new rules, etc.
- More efficiency in communicating to the members and making the most of our dues, the annual
- Making sure the Board of Governors is working for the benefit of as many members as possible
while reducing bureaucracy.
While I cannot make specific campaign promises about what I would accomplish, I will promise that if elected I will work hard to make the Bar more efficient, more transparent, and more beneficial for its members. More specifically, I think that the members of the Bar should be more aware of what the Board is doing and how their dues are being spent, especially in light of how high our dues are. As part of this, I think that the Bar needs to revamp its Annual Meeting and make it more accessible and beneficial to the members at large. The 2018 annual report indicates the Bar spent over $166,000 on the annual meeting. While I cannot find any numbers on how many members attended, based on my experience, it was a few hundred at most. I think we should look at whether the current format of the Annual Meeting is effective use of the Bar’s resources that actually benefits members.
I would also like to see the Bar re-examine the current CLE requirements to ensure that they are effective. While there have been changes to CLE requirements over the last few years, I question whether those changes were necessary. I also think the Bar should work to clarify several aspects of attorney discipline.
If you want to know more about me, check out my firm’s website at www.ndlf.com. Some highlights: graduated from Cardozo School of Law; served as Chair of the Construction Law Section of the Bar in 2016; served as a Small Claims Pro Tem from 2017-2018; I have two kids and two dogs; and, I’m a big fan of the Vegas Golden Knights! If you have any questions or want to further discuss ideas for making the Bar work better for you, please feel free to reach out.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2012
Firm: Office of the Clark County Public Defender
Present position: Chief Deputy Public Defender
Size of firm: 120+
Practice areas of law: Criminal Defense
Affiliations: Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice (NACJ), National Association of Criminal Defesnse Lawyers (NACDL), American Bar Association (ABA)
Katrina Ross is a Chief Deputy Public Defender and has been with the Office of the Clark County Public Defender since 2013. Prior to her service at the Public Defender’s Office she was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Nevada from 2011 to 2013. She previously worked at the Iowa State Public Defenders Office after graduating from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2009. She is a member in good standing of the Nevada and Iowa State Bars. Her interest and areas of practice are in criminal defense, criminal justice reform, and civil rights law. She is an experienced and passionate advocate who hopes to improve the practice of law in Nevada by being a member of the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Nevada. She looks forward to supporting attorneys in Nevada and ensuring a high standard of practice for the members of the Nevada Bar Association.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2001
Firm: Jeffrey Burr, Ltd.
Present position: Of Counsel
Size of Firm: 6 – 10 attorneys
Practice areas of law: Trust Administration, Probate and Estate Planning
Affiliations: State Bar of Nevada Probate & Trust Law Section; Clark County Bar Association; State Bars of Nevada, Oregon and Washington; and Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys
My name is Kari Stephens and I am seeking a position as your Clark County Representative on the Board of Governors. I have been practicing law in Nevada since 2001. Prior to that time, I was engaged in private practice in the States of Oregon (1997) and Washington (1998). Since being admitted to the State Bar of Nevada, I have been actively involved in both the legal and local community. From 2003 to 2010, I acted as a Trustee for the State Bar of Nevada’s Clients’ Security Fund Committee. I also served as a Chair of the Community Service Committee of the Clark County Bar Association until I was elected to the Clark County Bar Association Executive Board in 2006. I served as the 2013 President of the Clark County Bar Association. In 2013, I also had the distinction of being selected as Vegas, Inc.’s 2013 Women to Watch on account of my involvement and achievements within the legal community. From 2014-18, I served two consecutive 2-year terms on the Board of Governors.
Due to my background and integration within the legal community, I believe I am well suited to offer perspective on all sides of the many issues facing the legal profession today. I have gained a unique understanding of both the history and future of law practice in Nevada. The practice of law is constantly evolving and we need to prepare and plan for the future of the profession. The State Bar of Nevada functions to regulate the practice of law and serve our membership. I want to be in a position where I can effectuate positive changes that are beneficial to our members. I am committed to access to justice, promoting diversity, improving lawyer well-being and maintaining high standards of practice. I encourage all members to take advantage of the resources that the State Bar of Nevada provides, and to have an ongoing dialogue with your district representatives about our existing policies and practices.
On a personal note, I enjoy hiking, cycling, traveling and spending time with family and friends. I actively volunteer for the parent-teacher organization to nurture the growth of students, as they are the future of Nevada. I would be honored to receive your vote to elect me for the Board of Governors.
District Two – White Pine, Elko, Eureka, Churchill, Lander, Humboldt, Lyon, Lincoln, Douglas, Mineral, Nye, Esmeralda, Pershing and Storey Counties: Candidate Statements
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2009
Firm: Cavanaugh-Bill Law Offices, LLC
Present position: Managing Member
Size of firm: Solo to small
Practice areas of law: General practice with a focus on Child Welfare, Employment Law and Family Law
Affiliations: State Bar of Nevada, Board of Governors; Access to Justice Commission; Nevada Supreme Court Bench-Bar Committee; Elko County Bar Association, President; Washoe County Bar Association
I am running for a fourth term on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Nevada. In my time on the Board as the rural representative, I have served on the Budget Committee, the Audit Committee, the Investment Committee, the Juvenile Justice Taskforce and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Taskforce to name a few. I have also served as Board liaison to the NLAP and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers as well as Ethics and Professional Responsiblity, the Nevada Lawyer, and the Family Law, Probate & Trust, Young Lawyers, Elder Law, Solo & Small Firm, and International Law Sections. Last year I was invited to serve on the Executive Committee making it the first time in over twenty (20) years that a rural representative has made it to this level of the Board.
I have a long-standing commitment to serving our community members and feel that through work on the Board I can be of assistance to those rural areas which are oftentimes overlooked relative to larger population areas. I have advocated at each and
every Board meeting for rural input and involvement on all matters coming before the Board. It is extremely important as the only representative for all twelve (12) rural counties that we have a strong, experienced representative to serve in this capacity. I pride myself in being available and responsive to fellow rural practitioners on matters of importance to them. Examples include the Supreme Court Rule Change (ADKT) to include a specific provision for rural public defenders; assisting rural members initiating a Workman’s Comp Specialization; assisting with bringing Substance Abuse and Child Welfare CLE programming to the rurals; and serving as a rural liaison for the Court of Appeals campaign. I am committed to serving the rural communities and ask for your vote when you receive the ballot for the next Board of Governors online election commencing April 27, 2019.
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2011
Firm: White Pine County District Attorney’s Office
Present position: Elected District Attorney
Size of firm: 5 attorneys
Practice areas of law: Municipal, Administrative, and Criminal Law
Affiliations: Member Nevada District Attorney’s Association, Member National District Attorney’s Association, Committee Member on Nevada’s Committee on Domestic Violence/Fatality Review Board. Member/Tracker White Pine County Search and Rescue, Member Bristlecone Bowman Archery Club.
Michael Wheable is an experienced Criminal Prosecutor whose duties include managing the White Pine County District Attorney’s Office, supervising nearly all criminal cases brought in White Pine County and representing White Pine County various aspects of Nevada law.
He graduated in 2011 with distinction from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. While in school, Mike had the privilege to study comparative constitutional law in Salzburg, Austria under United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and was a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court in 2011. Mike clerked for the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento.
After graduating, Mike moved back to Nevada and served as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Seventh Judicial District in Eastern Nevada. Mike then committed his career to his true love, public service in rural Nevada. Mike finds happiness and satisfaction in utilizing his training and talents in serving his community and making a good name for honest lawyers. Mike is furthering his interest in bettering his profession by seeking election to the Nevada Board of Governors, with the intent to represent those unique challenges hard working and ethical rural attorney’s face on a daily basis and provide an active voice in shaping the future of the legal profession in Nevada.
District Three – Carson City: Candidate Statements
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2006
Firm: Allison MacKenzie
Practice areas of law: Probate Law, Estate Planning, Guardianships, Business Entity Formation, Business Law, Labor and Employment Law, Family Law, Charitable Organizations, Gaming Law, Healthcare Law
Affiliations: First Judicial District Bar Association, Washoe County Bar Association, Ninth Judicial District Bar Association, American Bar Association, State Bar of Nevada, Carson City Justice and Municipal Courts; member, Nevada state bar Family Law Executive Council, part time instructor at Western Nevada College, Board Member Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada, Board Member Goni Canyon Preservation League
Joel W. Locke joined Allison MacKenzie in 2007. A native Nevadan, Joel Locke graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2000 and then obtained his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2006. He was admitted to practice law in the State of Nevada in 2006.
Admitted to Practice. Nevada, 2006
Admitted to Practice, U.S. District Court. District of Nevada, 2006
Law Clerk to the Honorable William A. Maddox, First Judicial District Court, 2006-2007
Awards & Recognition
Legal Elite, Nevada Business Magazine, 2017
B.S., Finance, University of Nevada, Reno, 2000
J.D., Gonzaga University School of Law, 2006
Date of admission to practice in Nevada: 2016
Firm: Nevada Gaming Control Board
Present position: Senior Research Specialist
Practice areas of law: Gaming Law; Administrative Law
Affiliations: American Bar Association, Washoe County Bar Association, Missouri Bar Association
Mike Morton currently serves as the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s senior research specialist, where he advises the Chair and other members of the Board on legislative and regulatory matters relating to gaming and represents the Board before the Nevada Legislature. He also serves as the Board’s liaison in negotiating Class III tribal gaming compacts and provides legal analysis and opinions to the Board and the Board’s six Divisions.
Mike maintains an active membership with the bar, serving as a judge for the High School Mock Trial Competition on the regional, state and national levels, as well as bringing the legal system into northern Nevada fourth grade classrooms as a facilitator of Goldilocks: Trial of the Century, a program of the Young Lawyers Section. Nationally, Mike is a member of the editorial board of The Health Lawyer, the bi-monthly health law publication of the American Bar Association (ABA), and serves as co-editor of HLBytes, the Association’s weekly health law email newsletter. From 2011-2013, Mike was a member of the ABA Commission on Disability Rights.
Prior to working for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Mike served as senior deputy legislative counsel to the Nevada Legislature, acting as counsel to the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services, the Sunset Subcommittee of the Legislative Commission, the Legislative Committee on Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, and the Nevada Task Force on Financial Security.
Outside of the legal profession, Mike sits on the Board of Directors of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet. Mike earned his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Boston College. In addition to Nevada, Mike is admitted to practice law in Missouri.