Court corrects reference to attorney


New information shows that Las Vegas City Council candidate Jennifer L. Taylor did not work on a lawsuit that her opponent in the race is trying to use to paint her as an anti-consumer attorney.

U.S. District Court corrected a court document Thursday, stating that the case, Ryan v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., was handled by Jennifer N. Taylor, a different local attorney. Originally, the court's list of attorneys of record for the case included both of their names.

In addition, attorney Drew Cass, who also worked on that case, clarified remarks he made to the Review-Journal earlier this week. He said Taylor never worked on the case, and that "any suggestion to the contrary in my voice mail message was incorrect."

Taylor said the attack on her legal career grossly distorts her work as an attorney, which she says is mostly focused on helping homeowners against developers and big businesses.

Taylor wants her opponent, incumbent City Councilman Steve Ross, to apologize and send out corrected mailers.

Ross' campaign did update a Web site. "We accept her word on this," it now says of the Ryan case, although the page with the original denunciation was still up Friday afternoon.

Gary Gray, Ross' campaign manager, maintained that it's fair to criticize Taylor for her work history, noting that her law firm's biographical profile points out her work defending Del Webb, a large home-builder.

"The entire issue she raised is conflict of interest," Gray said. "Why shouldn't we raise the same issue?"

Taylor and others have criticized Ross for stepping into the role of secretary-treasurer for the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council, which promotes union labor.

A state ethics panel said it was OK for him to take the post while sitting on the council, but that the way was fraught with ethical peril.

Three people have filed a complaint stating that Ross should have noted a conflict of interest on three of his council votes.

The Nevada Ethics Commission hasn't said whether it will pursue the complaint yet, Tyson Wrensch, one of the complaint's filers, said Friday.

Ross and Taylor are competing for the Ward 6 council seat and will meet in a primary election April 7. Early voting is under way and ends April 3.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

 

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