CCBA President’s Message

NOTE: For a special message in re COVID-19, from the CCBA President, see

The following content was written for publication in the CCBA’s print magazine, Communiqué (April 2020).

CCBA’s 40 Year Club of 2020

Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers

By Mariteresa Rivera-Rogers

On March 5, 2020, at the Smith’s Center for the Performing Arts, we celebrated the careers of those Clark County Bar members who have been practicing law in the State of Nevada for 40, 45, 50, and 55 years. They are an inspiration, and role models, to their colleagues and the legal community. Their dedication and contributions to the practice of law have left an indelible mark on the legal profession. Congratulations to all of you! (See list of inductees and honorees [listed below]). 

Inductees (Admitted 1980):

  • F. Kelley Cawley
  • Bruce Dickinson
  • Frank Ellis, III
  • Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach
  • Nevada Court of Appeals Chief Judge Michael Gibbons
  • Jodi Goodheart
  • Richard Harris
  • Stephen Kent
  • Ishi Kunin
  • Mark Lerner
  • John Muije
  • W. Randolph Patton
  • Michael Pescetta
  • Gary Schnitzer
  • Don Springmeyer
  • Eric Taylor
  • Arnold Weinstock
  • Kenneth Woloson

Honorees (Admitted 1975):

  • Robert Apple
  • Peter Bernhard
  • Andrew Brignone
  • Michael Buckley
  • Supreme Court of Nevada Justice Mark Gibbons
  • Supreme Court of Nevada Justice James Hardesty
  • Samuel Harding
  • John Hall Howard, Jr.
  • Dennis Kennedy
  • Richard Koch
  • Kirk Lenhard
  • Charles McCrea
  • Steven Parsons

Honorees (Admitted 1970):

  • Jay Brown
  • (Ret) Justice Michael Cherry
  • Gerald Gillock
  • Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt
  • R. Gardner Jolley
  • (Ret) Judge Lawrence Leavitt
  • William Urga
  • Bruce Woodbury

Honoree (Admitted 1965):

  • James Bilbray

In a beautiful setting on the 5th floor lobby of the Smith Center, colleagues, family, and friends gathered to celebrate this amazing group. Dan Polsenberg, the Honorary Master of Ceremonies, was able to elicit from each of the attending inductees and honorees stories from the past, advice and tips for young lawyers of today, with timely humorous comments included. You had to be there to appreciate the insightful and sincere recollections of the past and how law was practiced then. A time when a handshake was gold, a passing agreement with opposite counsel made in the halls of the courtroom was enough, and no stipulations or letters were required for a continuance. The advent of the pager, cellphones, emails, and etc., changed things —no direct phone calls, no meetings at lunch, no personal contact with other lawyers. Everything had to be in writing. The price to pay for the incredible advances in technology in the last 40 years. Something they all agreed on was the need to keep your integrity as a lawyer, be collegial, remain professional, and work hard but do not get consumed by your work. A shout out was given to Lawyers for Concerned Lawyers.

Thank you to Dan for a masterful performance and thanks again to all of those who opened up to reveal your souls to the crowd. Inductees’ and honorees’ words of wisdom and their collective voices of experience were inspiring to those of us in the audience. A special thanks to the members of the Judiciary and elected officials who were present and continue to support our organization.

We look forward to seeing you all at our future events, all of which are listed somewhere in this issue. I encourage you to sign up early for the upcoming 30th Annual Meet Your Judges Mixer to be held at the Smith Center on the new date of July 23, 2020. Tickets are on sale now. Capacity will be limited. For more info, see pages 31-32.

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.