Based on a theme of “The Great Debate,” the 2019 Annual Meeting invites speakers to frame their presentations in a way that poses a question – and through the presentation, explore the issue further. The State Bar of Nevada is excited to bring the following nationally-recognized speakers to the 2019 Annual Meeting.


Ed Walters: The Malpractice of Hunches                                                                    

Businesses rely on data analytics for almost every part of their operations – from marketing and supply chains to personnel and sales. But lawyers answer client questions, for the most part, based on limited experience (at best) or hunches (at worst). As clients seek to make more data-driven decisions, what obligation do law firms have to collect and refine data about opposing parties, judges, outcomes, and costs?  Under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Fastcase co-founder and Georgetown Law professor Ed Walters asks, “Are lawyers obligated to employ and supervise artificial intelligence and data analytics tools?”


Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we Must Reclaim                                    

Does political campaign financing weaken the American democracy? Does the dependence of candidates for office on the funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens create corruption in our political system? With rapid-fire visuals, Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig will explore the political funding process and the effects on our political system.


Steven Velkei: Does the Future of Diversity Depend on Straight, White Men?

A diverse legal practice is a competitive legal practice. Firms and organizations with a wide variety of viewpoints reach a wider audience of clients and have more perspectives available to tackle problems. So why is it that diversity efforts are more successful when championed by those leaders who are not members of the diverse groups who stand to benefit? Steven Velkei, former chair of the U.S. Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the world’s largest law firm, will explore the question of who should best lead the charge to promote diversity and inclusion in the profession and how best to do it.


More Program Descriptions:

A View From the Bench: During this session, Nevada Supreme Court justices will explore their decision-making process in detail, using examples drawn from two actual cases from the past year. In addition, Justices Cadish, Silver and Stiglich will describe their experiences from their first six months on the Nevada Supreme Court bench, noting how their current service differs from their experiences in their previous judicial roles.

Debating the Duty to Report: It’s tough watching a colleague struggle – and Nevada attorneys have a duty to report when they know that another lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer have come into question. But the duty to report can result in getting a peer some much-needed help, too. Through audience participation, we’ll explore engaging hypothetical scenarios while contemplating Nevada Rule of Professional Conduct 8.3’s duty to report. Presented by Justice James W. Hardesty and Dan Hoogie, Office of Bar Counsel; moderated by Kristine Kuzemka, Nevada Lawyer Assistance Program

Rocky Mountain High: Emerging Issues in the Cannabis Industry: This session will provide participants with a solid grounding in cannabis industry with respect to critical accounting and tax compliance issues.  Emerging trends in agricultural hemp and CBD will be covered. The session will cover business and intellectual property appraisal nuances and challenges.  Presented by Ron Seigneur, Signeur Gustafuson LLC