Attorneys on the Hawaiian beach
July 19, 2002
What’s wrong with this picture?
Members of the Nevada Bar Association flew from the convention capital of the world, Las Vegas, to Kona, Hawaii, for their state convention.
In addition to attorneys who had to foot their own bills for the trip to Hawaii, which is no doubt tax deductible as a business expense, they brought along 21 members of the bench at all three levels.
Six Supreme Court justices filed expenditures of $10,237 to help defray the costs for the four-day convention.
A dozen district judges, including Carson City’s Bill Maddox and Douglas County’s Michael Gibbons, and three justices of the peace all filed for reimbursement at the rate of $1,200 a pop.
Las Vegas Judge Mark Gibbons defended the expense, saying not one dime came from taxes. That’s true for the district judges and justices of the peace, who used court funds. The same cannot be said for the six Supreme Court judges, who will be drawing from the general fund for some of their reimbursement.
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And to say the conference didn’t cost Nevada taxpayers isn’t exactly accurate.
Gibbons said he preferred the conference when it was in Lake Tahoe.
The benefit Hawaii received by hosting the convention in sales tax, room tax and a variety of other costs was a benefit to their taxpayers.
Last year’s conference was held in Squaw Creek, not in Nevada, but at least close.
In 1999, the State Bar held its conference in San Diego.
Our concern is that an organization consisting of more than 6,000 people based in the state of Nevada seems to be looking for places outside the state to hold its convention.
About 430 people, including 280 members of the State Bar, attended the convention in Hawaii.
The money those people spent in Hawaii went into that economy instead of Nevada’s.
For the record, this year’s Nevada Press Association convention will be held in Pahrump. Last year’s was held in Carson City.
We call on members of the bar to choose Nevada for their next convention.