Nevada Attorney General | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Attorney General

Don Chairez

Don P. Chairez

Age: 51

Hometown: Henderson

Occupation: Attorney

Family: Wife, Maria; 2 daughters

Political Background: Republican, deputy district attorney in Washoe and Clark counties, 1989-1994; district court judge in Clark County, 1994-1998; Republican nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (CD-1), 1998

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Over the past 18 months, the Attorney General’s office has made much broader and more frequent use of outside counsel than in the past. Since outside counsel is expensive, what would your policy on this be? Can the state develop expertise to handle more of these cases in-house or is that not cost effective? When and for what types of cases do you believe the state needs outside counsel?

Generally speaking, the Attorney General’s office should be staffed with attorneys who are experts in their particular field and, therefore, have institutional knowledge that an outside law firm would not have. I believe outside counsel should be used rarely. The Attorney General’s office in California never hires outside counsel, nor does the US Attorney’s office. Outside counsel is expensive, because a private law firm is more likely to turn every leaf in researching extraneous issues much the same that doctors tend to order excessive lab tests to make sure they are not sued. There is even the temptation to pad their bills, since the taxpayers supposedly have deep pockets.

I would prefer to hire outside counsel only in a situation where there is a proven conflict of interest. I would also hire outside counsel when the team chiefs in the AG’s office agree that our lawyers absolutely do not have the expertise to handle a matter.

What are the most pressing criminal issues faced by the state Attorney General’s office, as opposed to the local District Attorneys? How would you go about addressing them?

Political corruption and fraud. Often times, a local DA, who has to ask for funding from his local politicians and often socializes with them to make sure they get funded, is reluctant to look into cases of corruption. The AG’s office, which is not dependent on County Commissioners for funding can aggressively look into these matters.

Secondly, with the advent of new technology, con artists are finding new ways to exploit the unwary. Too often these victims are senior citizens and children, who are vulnerable because they trust strangers.

Contact information:

Telephone: (702) 871-7605

E-mail: andymatthews35@yahoo.com..

Catherine Cortez Masto

Age: 42

Hometown: Las Vegas (native Nevadan)

Occupation: Attorney, former prosecutor

Family: Husband Paul, extended family throughout Nevada

Political background: Democrat, this is my first race for public office. However, I have been involved in the political process for much of my life. During my career, I served as a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office, as chief of staff to former Governor Miller and as Assistant Clark County Manager working with the elected Board of County Commissioners.

Over the past 18 months, the Attorney General’s office has made much broader and more frequent use of outside counsel than in the past. Since outside counsel is expensive, what would your policy on this be? Can the state develop expertise to handle more of these cases in-house or is that not cost effective? When and for what types of cases do you believe the state needs outside counsel?

I am committed to reviewing this practice to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and efficiently. I believe the legal expertise to effectively represent the state agencies, boards, and commissions should be in-house. I will ensure that the office has the most qualified, experienced, talented and resourceful individuals to represent the interests of the citizens of Nevada. There may be cases that warrant contracting with outside legal counsel for specific expertise, and it has been the practice of the state to evaluate that need on a case by case basis.

What are the most pressing criminal issues faced by the state Attorney General’s office, as opposed to the local District Attorneys? How would you go about addressing them?

Sexual predators; methamphetamine use and distribution, identity theft, domestic violence; elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and public corruption are some of the most pressing issues facing this state and the Attorney General must take an active role in the education, investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of these crimes. Every community in this state is challenged by limited resources and high criminal caseloads, which is why it is imperative that the Attorney General work collaboratively with local, state and federal law enforcement and the district attorneys’ offices to combat these crimes.

Contact information:

Telephone: (702) 228.4226

E-mail: ccm@catherineforag.com

Chris Johnson did not respond to attempts by the Appeal to include him.