In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Patrick C. Clary, Esq.

Patrick C. Clary, Esq.

Patrick C. Clary, Esq.

In 2007, at a special event hosted by the CCBA, Patrick Clary, Esq. shared some of his memories from 40 years of practicing law at the "40 Year Club Induction Ceremony & Luncheon."

In 2007, at a special event hosted by the CCBA, Patrick Clary, Esq. shared some of his memories from 40 years of practicing law at the “40 Year Club Induction Ceremony & Luncheon.”

Born on June 4, 1942, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He passed away peacefully on February 18, 2014, after bravely battling a long illness. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 37 years, Diane, his sister, Joan Davidson (Donald), his devoted son and daughter, Brian (Jenara), Bridget Burckhard (David), both whom reside in Reno, Nevada. He deeply loved and cherished his four grandchildren whom gave him such pride and joy in his life, Tyra, Bella, Jessica and Jacob.

Our community has lost a strong voice for the arts, for better international understanding, and for good government. He was a special friend to many, and an advocate of civic virtue. He will be missed, and will be remembered for the all the good work he did.

A native of Las Vegas, Pat graduated with honors from Las Vegas High School in 1960, attended the University in Reno, 1960-1962, where he was inducted into the Delta Sigma Rho National Forensics Fraternity; and received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from American University (AU) in 1965 and 1967, respectively; while a student at AU’s School of Government and Public Administration, he was inducted into the Pi Sigma Alpha Honorary Political Science Society.

Active in the arts since his youth and trained in classical piano, M r. Clary was President of the A Cappella Choir at Las Vegas High School and President of the Young Friends of the Symphony in Las Vegas when Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic performed their only concert ever there.

Also active in the Democratic Party since his youth, Mr. Clary was a Democratic candidate in Nevada’s Second Congressional District in 1994 with the support of the Clinton-Gore Administration and shortly thereafter was General Counsel of the Nevada Democratic Party. Following his service as a page at the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, Mr. Clary was appointed State Chairman of the Students for Kennedy-Johnson during the Presidential campaign in 1960. While a student at American University in Washington, D. C., starting in 1962 he worked under the patronage of then U.S. Senator Howard W. Cannon (D­ Nev.); he was Legislative Assistant to Hon. Walter H. Moeller, M ember of Congress (D-Ohio), 1966-1967.

He completed a three-year term as President of the Nevada Arts Advocates (NAA), a 34-year-old statewide organization that supports all the arts in Nevada. He is also an honorary board member of the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras. Mr. Clary was also a founder of the Las Vegas Philharmonic in 1998, served on its Board of Trustees.

He was the founder over decade ago of the Nevada Committee on Foreign Relations.

Memorial services will be held on February 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church Episcopal, 2000 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104. A celebration of life will follow immediately.

In lieu of flowers, please make donation in his memory to the Las Vegas Philharmonic, 1412 S. Jones Blvd., Las Vegas NV 89146.

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Sundays with Neil

Neil Galatz golfing
By Marty Kravitz

On January 3, 2013, the State of Nevada lost a true giant of our profession. For those of you who knew Neil Galatz, it would be redundant to talk about his incredible success, immense talents, numerous honors, and massive verdicts. Rather than reiterate those accomplishments, I would rather discuss a different side of Neil.

In the eulogies given by Senator Harry Reid and Judge Allan Earl, they repeatedly described Neil as a “perfectionist” in everything that he did. While that statement is mostly true, there was one drastic exception. Neil was a terrible golfer. He had a horrible grip, an unbalanced stance, and he slapped at a golf ball like he was swatting a fly. Due to his lack of skill, he bought cheap golf balls by the gross. Convinced he could “buy” a better game, Neil also bought new golf clubs almost every year.

But Neil always liked a challenge. Thus, in his late 50’s, he decided to take up golf. We both joined TPC Las Vegas, and his decision to tackle golf changed my life. For almost twenty years, if we were both in town, and the weather was good, Neil and I played golf every Sunday. I would like to tell you that it was about the challenge of the game, but I soon realized Sundays were not about golf. Instead, our Sundays were about camaraderie. Neil and I would talk for hours about our profession, families, politics, culture, wine, and how to be better trial lawyers. He bemoaned demeaning legal advertising; he was upset by certain doctors and lawyers colluding to run up unnecessary medical expenses; he despised lawyers who used shortcuts to extract settlements; and he was frustrated by the increasing lack of competence within the Bar. Neil was a consummate trial lawyer. Every word carefully mapped; every theory explored to the fullest; and he understood very clearly that the better prepared lawyer usually obtained the better result. He felt that the non-binding arbitration system had actually lowered the professionalism of the Bar because the system did not require young lawyers to learn their craft and fully utilize the rules of evidence.

Neil appreciated intellectual pursuits. At age 77, he started reading string theory and quantum physics. Most importantly, he would boast about the accomplishments of his family. Elaine, Neil’s wife, was the smartest person he knew, and he always talked about her in glowing terms. She was simply the best part of his life.

As time went on, Neil became part of my family. He took an active interest in their achievements; taught my wife how to appreciate wine; and my friends became Neil’s friends. We traveled the world together, looking for any excuse to play golf anywhere, anytime—Hawaii, Carmel, Bandon Dunes, Palm Springs, or the Caribbean. We always found a reason to do another quick retreat. On one trip to Hawaii, the golf marshal asked Neil if he was my father. I replied, no, he was my “grandfather.” Neil was mortified because he called me “kid” and treated me like his little brother.

Neil took an active interest in all of my cases. Whenever I prepared for trial, I could always call Neil and discuss tactics and debate theory. In the midst of one rather contentious trial, I called him at 10:00 at night to ask him how I should approach a particular problem. Neil gave me very straightforward directions, and finished with: “remember, stay calm, stay focused.” Neil was always calm and focused.
For those who knew him, I am certain they have similar stories. Neil always offered sage advice and helped anyone in need. He was simply a gentlemen and a scholar. I will miss my Sundays with Neil.

Marty Kravitz is the managing partner at Kravitz, Schnitzer, Sloane & Johnson specializing in insurance coverage and defense, commercial litigation, and hotel liability. He also serves as a Short Trial Judge, Arbitrator, and Mediator. He is a member of Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, DRI, CCBA, and American Bar Foundation.

This article was originally published in the printed magazine COMMUNIQUÉ, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association.(February 2013, Vol. 34, No. 2). All rights reserved.

Jay Earl Smith, Esq.

Jay Earl Smith, Esq.On Jay Earl Smith passed away on February 6, 2012, after a courageous fourteen month battle with cancer. Jay was my friend for nearly twenty years, and my partner, along with Kent Larsen and later joined by Stewart Fitts, for the past sixteen years.Jay attended the University of Utah, where he received an Honors B.A., graduating magna cum laude, in 1977, and a J.D. in 1980. He came to Nevada in 1980, served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Steffen, Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, and later was a partner at Jolley Urga Wirth & Woodbury for many years until we started our firm.Not long after we first met, Jay described himself to me as a “problem-solving” guy. In part, Jay was successful at solving problems because he had a first rate intellect. He kept on his desk a miniature of Rodin’s “The Thinker,” and that is how he viewed himself—always thinking. His methodical, careful, intellect brought order to chaos.

Somewhat ironically for our profession, Jay was also successful at problem solving because he avoided anger and contention. Jay was the first one to lower the volume in heated conversation, find humor in a situation, or take time to understand everyone else. In so doing, he cleared away the chaff and could focus on the real issues.

Jay’s success also stemmed from his own professionalism. He was a consummate gentleman in every way—always courteous and accommodating, to the fullest extent possible under law and procedure, and more than merely well-prepared—he was absolutely prepared.
Professionalism is difficult if not impossible to define. In my opinion, the most accurate description was made not by an attorney, but by the poet Robert Frost. In one of my favorite poems, Two Tramps in Mudtime, Frost wrote:

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight
.

For Jay, our profession was not to be separated as vocation or avocation. As his “two eyes [made] one in sight” Jay saw clearly his purpose in the practice as one in which he served his family, his clients, and his profession by being the very best he could be in every way.
Many have rightly told me that Jay would have been a stellar jurist. However, we needed Jay in private practice to show us all how we should practice our profession. We are grateful to have been his friend and his partner and we, along with all of our attorneys and staff, will miss him more than we can say.

Submitted by Michael B. Wixom. Mr. Wixom is a member of Smith Larsen & Wixom. His practice focuses on banking, corporate and commercial law matters.

Michael P. Golden, Esq.

Michael P. GoldenOn March 24, 2011, Michael P. Golden, Esq., of Las Vegas, Nevada, a long-time member of the Clark County Bar Association, expired from natural causes.Mr. Golden graduated with a bachelor and masters degrees in business from Creighton University and a later with a law degree from the California Western School of Law in 1977. Thereafter, he practiced law in Reno, Pahrump, and Las Vegas for about 33 years. At the time of his death he was an insurance defense counsel in Las Vegas for Farmers Insurance Exchange, having especially excelled as legal counsel in arbitrations and short trials.Michael’s numerous friends and the Nevada legal community will sorely miss his professionalism, humor, and love of humanity. Services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at Davis Funeral Home located in Las Vegas.

Patrick James Murphy

Patrick MurphyOn September 9, 2010, prominent attomey, golfer, motorcyclist and fisherman, Patrick James Murphy, concluded his grand tour through the ancient and modem wonders of this world, passing away during a fishing and golfing trip in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was just days short of his 57th birthday.A skilled and respected trial attomey, Pat served as President of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, and was not only admitted to the Nevada State Bar, but was also a member of the bars of the U.S. District Court for the State of Nevada, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

A summa cum laude graduate of the Northern Michigan University with a bachelor of science in education, Pat Murphy obtained his juris doctorate from the Seattle University School of Law in 1980 and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he practiced law for the next 30 years.

To spend further time discussing his courtroom prowess would be to diminish the extraordinary nature of this man. His true greatness lay in his ability to enjoy his life and to entertain his friends. A former Jack Pine Enduro trophy winner, Mr. Murphy owned, rode and raced a countless number of vintage and modern motorbikes, taking great pains to grievously injure himself and, on a number of occasions, to break many of the major bones in his body. Pat was a Honda factory-certified 2-stroke mechanic.

An avid fisherman, Mr. Murphy belonged to formal and informal fly-fishing clubs in Nevada and elsewhere. He also enjoyed deep-sea fishing in the Carribean, the Pacific northwest and the Gulf of Mexico. Pat was easily identifiable with his beaten-up canvas Safari hat, his fish-finding sunglasses, and his flask of Jameson Irish Whiskey or his beloved Basil Hayden Bourbon.To say that Mr. Murphy loved his golf is like saying that a bear loves its honey. He was not just a member of the Las Vegas Country Club and Spanish Trails, but managed to obtain an associate membership of St. Andrews in Scotland. A self-proclaimed “scratch” golfer, Pat’s divots may still be found in courses from Maine to California, and a 7-iron is still to be seen half-buried at the 8th hole of the Country Club. He is remembered on courses from Greece to Australia.
Pat is survived by his parents Ralph and Jayleane Murphy, his brother, Michael (Janine) and nephew Sean Patrick Murphy. A memorial “wake” in remembrance of Mr. Murphy will be held this Thursday, September 16, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the ballroom located on the second floor of the California Hotel and Casino. In lieu of flowers, it was Mr. Murphy’s fondest wish that his friends send each other copies of the 1952 John Ford film, “The Quiet Man”, starring John Wayne, Maureen 0′Hara and Barry Fitzgerald.

Robert Nelson-Kortland

Beloved CCBA member and supporter of the Shoes That Fit Program has passed away. A memorial service for Robert Nelson-Kortland was held on Friday March 12, 2010 at the S. Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 1900 Buchanan Blvd. in Boulder City. In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family suggests contributions in his honor to the Clark County Law Foundation’s “Shoes That Fit” program. CCLF is a is a 501(c)(3) organization. A tax-deductible donation may be made to #88-0320324. Checks can be made payable to Clark County Law Foundation with a memo “Shoes That Fit – In memory of Robert Nelson-Kortland” and sent to CCLF at 725 S. 8th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101. For more information on this program, visit the Community Services page or contact L-Ikera Retzloff, (702) 387-6011.

Charles Lynn Titus

“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:13Charles Lynn TitusCharles Lynn Titus
10/29/48 – 9/21/09
60-year-old Omaha native, Las Vegas attorney and published author, Charles L. Titus, went missing Monday while scuba diving off the coast of the Cayman Islands. Titus and his wife, Rose, were in the Cayman Islands celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary and conducting research for his second novel.

They were diving among a group of five experienced divers and two dive guides at Eagle Ray Pass, North Wall just outside the Main Channel when he disappeared as the group ascended toward the surface. A search operation commenced involving private dive boats, Department of Environment boats, the joint Customs, Immigration and Police Marine Unit. The rescue and recovery effort was exhausted.

Titus was born on October 29, 1948 and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Creighton Prep in 1966, Creighton University in 1969 and Creighton University School of Law in 1972. He was a prominent trial attorney in Omaha until he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1994 to open ATI Title., an affiliate of Wells Fargo Bank group. Charlie later became a lead litigator at Santoro, Driggs, Walch, Kearney, Holley & Thompson, and he conducted a variety of bench and jury trials in Las Vegas. He recently published his first novel “Vegas Diary: A Dish Served Cold.” Charlie was currently researching his second novel which was to be set in Savannah, Georgia with ties to Savannah, Grand Cayman.

While Charlie’s accomplishments as a lawyer and mentor were themselves exceptional, it is how Charlie lived life outside the office that made him virtually everyone’s friend. Charlie was an accomplished musician and had played keyboards in a rock band, “The Intruders” which held a reunion last year. He also was an avid golfer, scuba diver and snow skied regularly in the winter time with his wife, Rose, and friends at their cabin in Southern Utah.. Somehow in his spare hours, Charlie also earned a black belt in karate, showing how accomplished Charlie was in so many fields of endeavor. Charlie immediately brought good cheer to any group privileged to have him. He always had a story to tell, and whether it was a tall tale never mattered, he was always entertaining. Charlie was truly a remarkable husband, father, grandfather, attorney, colleague and friend. You might say that he truly was a renaissance man in every sense of the term.

Charlie is preceded in death by his parents William and Luella Titus and brother William (all of Omaha). He is survived by wife, Rose (Las Vegas); daughter and son-in-law, Brittany and Matt Benson (Olathe, KS); son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Kelly Titus (Omaha); grandchildren, Sam and Katie Benson and Grace, Ruby and Edie Titus; brothers and sisters-in-law, Dr. Steve and Debbie Titus and Dr. John and Mary Titus (all of Omaha); sister and brother-in-law, Jeannie and Dr. Gerry Nelson (Highlands Ranch, CO); many nieces, nephews, family and friends.

A memorial for family and friends will be held on Saturday, October 3rd at Erin Court 4714 N. 120th Street in Omaha, Nebraska 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. An additional memorial will be held on October 24, 2009 in Las Vegas at the Titus’ residence starting at 6:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made one of the following entities:
Charlie and Rose Titus Scholarship Trust
Bank of Blue Valley
c/o Matt Benson – Branch Manager
1235 East Santa Fe
Olathe, KS 66061

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society
P. O. Box 30158
Las Vegas, NV 89173

Ronald McDonald House
620 South 38th Avenue
Omaha, NE 68105