UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs
Nov. 4, 2016
UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
From Dean Dan

This Saturday, the Boyd School of Law hosts the annual Alumni Dinner and Alumni Awards Presentation and celebrates the 15th reunion of the charter class, the 10th reunion of the class of 2006, and the fifth reunion of the class of 2011. We are honored to have as our guest Congresswoman Dina Titus, who will deliver introductory remarks, and Professor Mary Berkheiser, who will deliver faculty remarks. A highlight of the evening will be a conversation between Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson trial, and our own Clark County District Attorney and adjunct professor at the law school, Steve Wolfson.

The Alumni Dinner also gives us a chance to recognize and honor some of our many distinguished alumni, including Joe Cain '01, who will be named Alumnus of the Year; Ogonna Brown '01, who will receive the Distinguished Service Alumni Award; Hillary Walsh '12, who will be honored with the Young Alumni Award; and Brenda Weksler '02, the Alumni Volunteer Leadership Award winner. The Dinner is also an occasion to thank our outgoing Alumni Chapter Board and welcome the new Board officers: President Gabrielle Angle '10, Vice President Alison Braiser '07, Secretary Francesca Resch '12, Treasurer Amy Ismail '13, and Past President Brenda Weksler '02.

We owe special thanks to our sponsors Lev Brands; Craig P. Kenny & Associates; Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Wray, Puzey & Thompson; Mark and Gloria Fine; and the Boyd Alumni Chapter Board. The Alumni Dinner is one way to celebrate the achievements of our alumni and to make sure our alumni stay in touch with their law school and with one another.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Faculty Spotlight

This week and next, we will feature faculty members whose work focuses on questions and methods of dispute resolution. Professor Jean Sternlight is the Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law and directs the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution.

What is the most significant thing you are working on right now?
I am at the very beginning stage of a project that will consider how future technological developments are likely to affect our civil and criminal justice system. Historically our justice system has been concerned both with trying to find truth and with deciding how to deal with that supposed truth. However, with technological developments, the truth-finding aspects of our system of justice may improve substantially. With cameras everywhere, and with evolutions in brain science, many facts that were disputed may become clearer. We will have a pretty clear idea of what happened, and even possibly what people were thinking when they committed particular acts. Yet, we will still need to focus on the how we want to deal with the truths that we find. When do we want to seek reparations? To heal? To punish? My tentative thought is that even as technology evolves, the human side of dispute resolution will remain as important as ever. I believe that my work on lawyering and psychology will continue to be relevant as we try to design dispute resolution systems for the future.

What have you read, listened to, or watched recently that has influenced you or your work? Recently a student suggested I might enjoy the new Amazon TV series, "Goliath." He was right. I am enjoying it a lot. Maybe too much. But at least as I watch TV, I can tell myself that I am doing something relevant to my job. The show is about a beaten-down lawyer, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who takes on a battle against a big evil company. There is sex, violence, and suspense, but personally I find the civil procedure aspects the most exciting. Unlike most lawyer movies and shows, which focus on the trial, this show features pretrial matters like motions to dismiss, settlement conferences, and discovery. And, the show even features a cameo by a real Ninth Circuit judge, Alex Kozinski, playing himself. I am not sure yet how the show will influence my work but hopefully I will find a way so I can justify the time I am spending watching the series.

What is it about being a law school professor that inspires or motivates you? Today a student asked me how long I have been teaching. When I replied that I have been teaching since 1992 she responded "that is the year I was born." I think we were both a little shaken. It definitely does not feel like I have been teaching for twenty-five years. Probably the reason the time has flown so quickly is because I so love what I do. I am motivated by trying to help my students be the best lawyers they can be, and thereby make this world a little better place. Nothing makes me prouder than reading of my former students' many accomplishments.
Student Spotlight

What do you miss the most about your native Buffalo, New York?
What I miss most is spending time with my family, much of whom still resides there. Dull moments do not exist when we're together and some of my fondest memories involved playing and watching hockey. I look forward to taking my son to watch NHL games here in Las Vegas next season, especially since I won't be driving through snowstorms to find the arena.

How have you managed to balance work, study, and family as a part-time evening student? The stress with law school is greatly reduced with effective time management; knowing when it's time to cut and go is crucial. For those who entertain the idea of attending law school part-time while supporting a family, it is important to have a game plan from the very beginning and stick to it along the way. Communicate with your significant other and make time for each other.

Your family grew earlier this year, right? How's everyone doing? My son, Wyatt, is wise beyond his ... months. Every day he surprises me with how fast he learns. No doubt, he gets it from his mother. We recently made our first trip to Moab, Utah and he slept through his first thunderstorm in a tent without shedding a tear.

As you approach graduation in December, what would you say was the highlight of your time at Boyd? My favorite moment at Boyd occurred prior to an exam during our second semester, when the stress was at its highest. It was obvious that some of our classmates were extremely nervous. We have some seriously entertaining personalities in our class, and on this occasion, my classmates did a great job of pretending to have prepared for the wrong exam when they arrived to the exam room. This became a pre-exam ritual.
Alumni Spotlight

Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Government Affairs at NYX Gaming Group, Ltd.; Member of the Alumni Chapter Board and Chair of Fundraising for the Alumni Chapter Board

Why do you feel it is important to donate to the law school? While I was attending Boyd, I had access to many resources that contributed to my success today. That's one reason why I believe it is important for alums to be involved in the law school's future after entering the legal profession, whether as a guest speaker at the law school, a member of the Alumni Board, participating in PILA auctions or contributing financially to the school. Any way that alums can contribute is important.

What is the best business advice you have received? I've received advice throughout my career. A key point to remember is that there may be someone on the other side of the table today who is sitting next to you tomorrow, so it's important to treat the other side with respect.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I would have to say I enjoy traveling, but politics is definitely a passion of mine. I have volunteered for campaigns and grassroots efforts, as well as government affairs professionally.

What is something that people might not know about you? Four generations of my family have lived in Las Vegas.
Community Spotlight

Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Aristocrat Technologies, Member of the Gaming Law Advisory Board at the Boyd School of Law

Tell me about your decision to serve on the Gaming Law Advisory Board and what makes Boyd's mission meaningful to you. Boyd has done very well for a relatively new law school, and I think things are going in the right direction. I've been fortunate in my career to have had a number of people help me, and I think it's about giving back to people the way that people have given back to me. I like to say, "You live the experience to teach the experience." If I can help someone, or if they think I might have some value to add, I'm happy to do that. I've been a part of the Las Vegas community for 14 years, so given my background, being a member of the Gaming Law Advisory Board made sense as a way for me to try and make a difference.

What was your first or most memorable job? My first job was actually picking fruit in a field in extraordinarily humid weather. However, the best job that I had up until my professional career was as a bartender at a popular college bar. That was actually a lot of fun because I got to meet a lot of interesting people and have a good time while I was working and making money.

What's your favorite travel destination? Since I've joined Aristocrat, I've had the opportunity to travel to a lot of different places. My favorite place that I've been is Queenstown, New Zealand. There is beautiful terrain and a very diverse environment. It had the feel of a Colorado ski town, very laid back with a lot of outdoor activities, which I really enjoy.

Tell me about something you've read that's made a real difference to you. You'll probably think that I've lost my mind. From my perspective, the most important book I've ever read, and that I still read today, is Oh! The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. I think there are so many lessons to be learned from that book. If you continue to keep those lessons in mind, it will provide you with a different perspective at points in your personal life or professional career.

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

UNLV is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Achieving Excellence Through Diversity.

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