FROM OUR READERS: Elect Judge Halverson again? Not a chance

To the editor:

Suspended Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Halverson desires another chance to “try to get a little smarter,” yet she argues that her present difficulties are primarily the fault of others, rather than acknowledging and accepting full responsibility for the problems she created (“Halverson vows ’08 re-election bid,” Tuesday Review-Journal).

As one who was granted the authority to make value judgments that affect the lives of others, her disingenuous arguments and abuse of her own judicial authority are unlikely to work to her advantage on Election Day. Just as well — I doubt that even her supporters would wish to “worship” Judge Halverson “from near or from afar.” The public deserves far better than a misguided control freak on an ego trip.

Randall Bassin


Attorney advertising

To the editor:

I read with interest your Sept. 10 headline, “Bar may face fight over lawyer ads.”

I admit, unabashedly, being one of those lawyers who does not advertise. I have practiced in Nevada for only months short of 50 years. I have had the privilege of serving as co-chairman or chairman of the MGM fire litigation, the Hilton fire litigation and the PEPCON explosion litigation. I have represented innumerable injured people and, unfortunately, far too many survivors of decedents. My practice was developed the old-fashioned way: I learned my profession and, because of the skills I have developed, my reputation spread and I was able to build a very successful practice.

I was born in the Bronx. I am certain that doesn’t qualify me as a blue-blood Boston aristocrat or one of the elitists from New York’s Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue. I oppose attorney advertising because it has created an atmosphere which has tainted the system of justice in this country. Advertising has made people believe that there is some sort of lottery or pot of gold just waiting to be plucked.

The people I have represented recovered damages the hard way: They suffered horrendous injuries, for which money can only partially compensate them. I oppose advertising because when I look at the vast bulk of those who advertise, I realize they have no real trial experience. Anyone can claim to be anything, but claims and results don’t necessarily agree.

I realize that the media is pleased with lawyer advertising. One only needs to turn the television set on to recognize the enormous source of revenue generated, just as driving down the streets looking at the billboards brings home the same message. Advertising serves legitimate purposes in areas where products are essentially fungible — i.e., Ford vs. Chevrolet; Nissan vs. Toyota — but the practice of law is not a fungible, mass-production product. Each case has its own variables and deserves individual, competent, experienced attention.

I fully respect the U.S. Constitution. I fervently support free speech, but I draw, as I believe the courts do, a distinction between political free speech which, for better or worse, is unbridled, and commercial free speech, which interferes with a vital civic interest, such as the administration of justice.

Neil G. Galatz


Mexican trucks

To the editor:

NAFTA, CAFTA, now Mexican trucks on our already crowded highways.

Last I heard, we are not allowed to drive our trucks all over Mexico, and our cars must have Mexican insurance at huge costs just to travel there. When I drove down to Mexico City many years ago, I had to stop at many “inspection stations” manned by the military or police. It required some cash to get by this inspection without taking everything out of the car and enduring a long delay while everything was looked over. You always paid! I saw many of their trucks (I was in the trucking business for 20 years), and they are not up to our standards in most cases — another danger.

Mexico strictly monitors its own southern border and rigidly enforces its own policies with regard to entry, egress, property ownership, work permits for aliens who want to work there and many other rules, such as a six-month limitation on a stay in Mexico, after which you much leave and go back to your home country.

Militant Mexicans who are here illegally are demonstrating in our streets and demanding the same rights as American citizens and immigrants who have gone through the legal steps for entry. How would Americans be treated if they demonstrated in Mexico for the same rights that Mexicans enjoy in their own country?

Finally, there seems to be a drug war going on in Mexico that is dangerous to their citizens and to anyone else who gets caught in the middle. Mexico is a huge country with wealth of its own that is not shared with their own people, and they want us to take care of their poor. It is time that the street for a better life begins in Mexico for its own people.

Deanna Dally



To the editor:

The editorial “More Sacramento silliness” in Monday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal should be of concern to all Nevadans because it clearly shows why more Californians are likely to flee their home state for better places.

Most new residents moving to Nevada recently have been coming here from California, and that trend is likely to continue. Because Californians have elected so many clueless politicians who have destroyed their own state, do we really want those voters moving to Nevada?

Perhaps a greater threat to Nevada comes from the west instead of the south. Maybe we should postpone building a security fence along our country’s border with Mexico and instead put a fence on our state’s border with California.

S.G. Hayes Sr.


Health care reform

To the editor:

It is interesting to see “HillaryCare” back on the radar screen, as well as “EdwardsCare” and “ObamaCare” as competing Democratic Party health care proposals. Sen. Hillary Clinton claims her proposal will cost the federal government only $111 billion a year as a tax on those with annual incomes over $250,000.

It is also interesting to see that none of the health care proposals advocated by Democrats include any semblance of medical tort reform. Nevadans know that huge jury verdicts in medical malpractice cases greatly increase medical malpractice insurance costs, which in turn greatly increase the cost of medical care and the cost of our private medical insurance.

We also know that the trial lawyers contribute large amounts of money to the election of Democrats because it is in their best interests to keep any kind of tort reform from occurring. Former Sen. John Edwards has made some of his personal fortune from medical malpractice cases and has personally benefited from the high medical costs we now pay.

Tort reform should be a part of any medical reform and should occur before we tax our people for medical care. The tax on incomes of $250,000 or above will only happen in the short run as Democrats get their foot in the door for national health care. Later, it will be a tax increase even on us in the lower brackets because it cannot work otherwise.

Edward J. Cooper


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