CCBA President’s Message

Becoming a Bar Leader

Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers

By Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers

As the nation debates the impeachment of the U.S. President, we have experienced a sudden change in the presidency of the Clark County Bar Association (CCBA). This change, however, does not come with any controversy or political divisiveness. Rather, it is a change that sometimes comes with being a lawyer.

Many of us in our legal careers have made the difficult decision to change law firms, change practice areas, or change from private practice to government or in-house positions. Just over a month before becoming the CCBA President, I was confronted with one of those life decisions. This change, however, takes me to another state.

It was a hard decision to make because I have been part of the CCBA since my first official day as a Nevada lawyer. I recall at the swearing-in ceremony, I approached the CCBA table and was met by Cathy Mazzeo and Kari Stephens, both of whom later became CCBA Presidents. They told me how I could become involved with the CCBA, so I joined the New Lawyers Committee. After I “aged out,” I then joined the Publications Committee to help with the award-winning publication that keeps me updated on current legal topics, the Communique.

I joined the CCBA Board and met some amazing attorneys during my time. I was able to discuss and deliberate important policies and decisions with judges, law firm partners, solo practitioners, in-house attorneys, and government counsel. This was my favorite part of the CCBA—the people! I enjoyed meeting and working with attorneys and members coming from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. I observed leadership of several CCBA presidents, all of whom were outstanding in their own way, and worked with the wonderful staff—Donna Wiessner and Stephanie Abbott—who keep the CCBA running so efficiently and effectively.

Within a one month period, I interviewed for, accepted, and moved across the country for the role of Director of Sports Gaming Regulation for the Tennessee Lottery. I was sad to leave the CCBA before serving as President, but was confident in my decision knowing that Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers would take my place. She has dedicated countless hours to serving the CCBA and always took such a thoughtful approach to CCBA decision-making. The CCBA is in good hands!

While I regret not being able to say goodbye to the numerous CCBA colleagues I have met over the years, just know that you will always have a colleague to come visit in Nashville! Thank you CCBA, members, and staff for a wonderful 17 years in Las Vegas.

Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers is an associate at the Las Vegas criminal defense firm Wright Marsh & Levy. Her areas of practice include criminal law and juvenile law. She is fluent in Spanish, and both the federal and state courts recognize her as a certified court interpreter. Mariteresa is a committee member of the AOC Judicial Council of the State of Nevada Language Access, the Interpreter Certification Advisory Committee, and the Clark County Indigent Defense Selection and Appointment Committee. Her spirit of community and professional service has also led to involvement with the Latino Bar Association, Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys, Clark County Law Foundation, and Nevada Supreme Court Task Force on Racial and Economic Bias. Mariteresa serves as president of the Clark County Bar Association through December of 2020.

Note: This page is updated with the release of each edition of the printed bar journal, Communiqué.