Volume 17, No. 4 Protect Yourself from Fraud
advice from an Expert
The current recession, coupled with high
unemployment, makes it more tempting than ever
for desperate people to turn to crime. Frank
Nevada Law Foundation
Abagnale, one of the world’s most respected
authorities on forgery, embezzlement and identity
theft, recently presented valuable anti-theft advice
at community events sponsored by Nevada State Bank.
Abagnale is the author of "Catch Me if You Can," a
book that detailed his career as a confidence man,
forger and imposter. This autobiography was later
made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. For
more than 30 years, Abagnale has provided fraud
prevention advice to hundreds of financial
institutions, corporations and government agencies • Payroll controls should require supervisory
around the world. approval to add new employees to the system or to
change the rate of pay.
Here are some of his suggestions about
protecting yourself and your firm from identity theft • Likewise, controls should be used when adding
and embezzlement: new vendors or suppliers.
Identity Theft: • Make sure separate groups of people are
responsible for accounts payable, accounts
• Guard your Social Security number vigilantly, and
receivable and banking functions. People issuing
do not have it printed on your drivers license or checks.
checks should not also reconcile the bank account.
• Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits
• Conduct periodic surprise audits of all your check
Statement once a year to make sure someone is not
using your number at a job.
Excerpts from Abagnale’s presentation may be
• Monitor your credit report closely.
found at a special Nevada State Bank Web
• After applying for a loan, credit card or anything page: www.nsbank.com/fightfraud.
else that requires a credit report, request that
the SSN on your application be truncated or
completely blacked out. Trustees
• Protect your computer with Internet security David C. McElhinney, Esq.
software, and update it regularly. Chairperson
• Shop only on secure websites that begin with
Robert T. Eglet, Esq.
• Use a crosscut shredder to destroy old bank and
credit card statements, as well as any “junk mail” Sarah Guindy
credit card offers. Secretary/Treasurer
• Do not mail checks from home - they can be
Vince Consul, Esq.
stolen from your mailbox and altered.
G. Dallas Horton, Esq.
Preventing Embezzlement: Nelson Mackenna
Robert Maddox, Esq.
• When hiring, conduct background checks,
confirm all references and employment dates, and
Matthew Sharp, Esq.
consider bonding employees in sensitive positions.
Legal Aid Programs Face Budget Cuts
By David C. McElhinney
We are currently experiencing the worst legal aid groups, providing on a national
economic downturn since the Great scale, $212 million in 2007. But as a
Depression. When the subprime result of the collateral damage from the
mortgage crisis struck, people stopped free-falling interest rates, the
buying houses, which meant lawyers Massachusetts budget for civil legal
stopped handling as many real estate services has been cut from $27 million
transactions which happened to be one to $19 million. The Boston branch
of the largest contributors to IOLTA expects to lay off up to one-fifth of its
accounts. On top of that, the Federal lawyers and paralegals in 2009. New
Reserve started slashing the federal York’s 2009/2010 budget proposal
David McElhinney, Esq.
fund rate, which is linked to the rates for would cut the entire $8 million it gives to Chairperson
IOLTA accounts. legal service groups. In Connecticut it is
reported that IOLTA funding in 2009 will
Legal aid programs across the nation
be half of what it was last year. This has that list is still growing. Additionally, a
are facing budget cuts of up to 50%,
forced the local legal aid program to cut number of our Nevada attorneys have
and laying off attorneys and closing
three paralegal positions and contemplate proactively agreed to move their trust
offices, depriving many disadvantaged
a six-month, 20 percent pay cut for all accounts to one of the banks offering
Americans access to crucial legal
attorneys to avoid layoffs. The West better interest rates on IOLTA accounts.
services they need to escape from
Coast is faring no better. IOLTA (If you want to see a list of the banks
domestic violence, prevent
programs are expecting funds to and the particular terms they are
homelessness from eviction or
decrease in Oregon by 66% in 2009, offering, you can go to our web site at
foreclosure, and access life-saving
and by 33% in Washington. www.nevadalawfoundation.org. Click
public benefits to which they are legally
on “IOLTA Program”, and then click on
entitled. This is taking place even as Despite this national trend and decline
the pull down menu item “Banks
requests for representation arising from in IOLTA funds, we are happy to report
Offering Preferred IOLTA Interest.”
foreclosure disputes, evictions and that the Nevada IOLTA program is doing
unemployment benefits soar. remarkably well. This is certainly due in Thanks to some good fortune and a lot
part to the hard work and assistance of of hard work our foundation is thrilled to
In a recent January 2009 New York
many individuals, including distinguished report that Nevada’s IOLTA revenue
Times article the director of Connecticut
members of the Supreme Court, the from January through May 2009 is up
Legal Services said that local agencies
State Bar, several of the state legal nearly 25% as compared to the same
were already giving out pink slips and
service providers, members of our own time period in 2008. I offer a heart felt
that 50 to 150 legal positions in his state
board of trustees and our executive thank you to our preferred banks, and
might be lost.
director. As a direct result of those to those attorneys who have taken
According to the American Bar efforts a number of Nevada banks have the initiative to move their trust
Association, state run IOLTA programs already agreed to raise the interest rates fund accounts to one of these
have been a godsend for struggling they pay on their IOLTA accounts, and participating banks.
2 Foundation Perspective
Bank of Nevada
Proud supporter of
Nevada Law Foundation &
Access to Justice Commission
We are a State Bar of Nevada Preferred Interest Provider for IOLTA accounts.
Exclusively for law firms and attorneys
JURIS Big Bank Capabilities.
B A N K I N G Small Bank Personal Attention.
Discover why Bank of Nevada is A Single Relationship Manager.
the bank of choice for more Southern
Nevada law firms and attorneys.
OFFICIAL BANK OF THE
CLARK COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
For more information, please contact bankofnevada.com
our JURIS Legal Banking Group
0809 Affiliate of Western Alliance Bancorporation
Foundation Perspective 3
ABA Celebrate Pro Bono Week is October 26-30
Because we care, because we can
By: Kristina Marzec, Executive Director, qualifying clients in need per attorney. Access to Justice Commission joined
Access to Justice Commission Daunting numbers indeed. And this with the Nevada Law Foundation in a
does not take into account the new campaign to negotiate with banks in
Why Pro Bono?
foreclosure mediation program, which 2008 and 2009 to voluntary raise IOLTA
If you don’t look out for yourself and the early statistics unsurprisingly evince will interest. Banks from all over the state,
health of your business, no one else will, be extraordinarily busy as Nevada about fifteen at last count, joined the list
right? One must therefore take care of continues to hold the unfortunate spot to aid the cause.
oneself to be in a position to then help of number one in foreclosures for
The Nevada Law Foundation and the
others. But then, if we don’t follow the nation.
State Bar of Nevada’s respective
through and take care of others, who
Supporting Pro Bono financially websites post the Access to Justice
else will? If not you, then who? All of
Commission’s Preferred Interest
us--lawyers, legal practitioners, There are many opportunities to provide
financial institutions list, along with the
philanthropists, business professionals, funding to pro bono. For example, you
rates each has agreed to pay. These are
members of this community-- have a may donate directly to a civil legal aid
banks that have entered into voluntary
stake in keeping our neighbors and provider of your choice. You may
agreements to raise the interest paid on
businesses afloat. Civil legal aid helps participate with dues check-off in lieu of
IOLTA. There are a number of
the poor, the working poor, and the pro bono work under Rule of
benchmarks from which a bank can
newly poor. It can keep folks out of the Professional Conduct 6.1 when you pay
choose to be on the list; all represent an
social welfare system in many cases. It your annual dues. You can donate to the
increase in past rates. You have a
keeps mothers with children, and away Nevada Law Foundation. By far, one of
choice where you bank, and something
from abusive partners. The face of civil the easiest and low-effort ways with
as simple as moving your trust account
legal aid could be sitting next to you in significant potential yields is to place
to a bank providing improved interest
church, fixing your favorite flavored your IOLTA trust accounts with a
(many as high as 2%) can mean the
$4 coffee, or answering the phones at preferred interest provider.
difference of thousands of dollars to
your doctor’s office. Lawyers are
Did you know that your IOLTA interest legal aid.
uniquely situated to know just how valu-
helps to fund full time civil legal aid
able the right legal advice at the right Supporting and celebrating Pro Bono
programs? Do you even know how much
time can be—literally life changing, and
interest your trust account is earning? One of the Nevada Supreme Court Access
often life saving.
to Justice Commission’s goals is to build a
If you are not banking with a preferred
Before the economic crisis hit, 80% of proactive approach to the continuum of
interest bank, you might be shocked at
civil legal needs, including those of our care in meeting the civil legal needs of the
the interest on your trust account. One
children, victims of domestic violence, disadvantaged. This includes everything
of the top three trust account holders in
and seniors, were unmet due to the from legal information and self-help cen-
Nevada is currently paying less than
inability to provide resources, both ters, to brief services, clinics, and hotlines,
human and financial. Did you know up to full legal representation. Success
Nevada has only about 60 full-time civil Fortunately, under the leadership of requires a partnership among all
legal aid attorneys in Nevada? That co-chairs Chief Justice James Hardesty stakeholders such as the UNLV Boyd
works out to a case load of 5,000 and Justice Michael Douglas, the School of Law, legal aid providers,
4 Foundation Perspective
the state and county bars, the bench
and bar, the Foundation, and the
communities served by these programs.
It does indeed take a village, and the
Commission strives to provide strong
leadership from the bench and bar to
support a positive culture of pro bono in
As stated by Nevada Law Foundation
Vice-Chair Robert Eglet, the primary
goal of the Foundation is to fund and
maintain programs that provide
legal-related services to the poor, to
victims of domestic violence, and for
Goals for the celebration include: Legal Services, and a number of other
children protected by or in need of
unique ideas. A schedule will be posted
protection by the juvenile court. As it 1. Recognizing the pro bono efforts
of America's lawyers by September 15 to the State Bar of
happens, 2009 is the 25th year that the
Nevada website at www.nvbar.org and
Nevada Law Foundation has been 2. Recruiting more pro bono volunteers
continue to be communicated in various
serving the legal needs of disadvantaged
3. Mobilizing community support other forums as we finalize event details.
Nevadans through funding of our civil
for pro bono
legal aid providers: Legal Aid Center of If you would like to participate with
Southern Nevada; Washoe Legal Nevada is participating is this national National Pro Bono week or event host
Services; Nevada Legal Services; celebration. As this article goes to print, an event, please contact the author at:
Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevada; the Access to Justice Commission is
working with Nevada’s legal aid 702-317-1404 or
and the Senior Law Projects in both the
providers, UNLV Boyd School of Law, email kristinam@Nvbar.org
City of Las Vegas and Washoe County.
the Nevada Law Foundation, and the It all adds up
This year, the last week in October is
state and county bars to finalize events
National Celebrate Pro Bono week. The Your support of the Nevada Law
to occur throughout National Pro Bono
ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono Foundation and pro bono is very much
week to support, encourage, and honor
and Public Service chose to launch this appreciated—and desperately needed.
pro bono in Nevada. At present, among
important initiative now because of the For all who have donated time and
things in planning and close to finaliza-
increasing need for pro bono services money, THANK YOU. Please know no
tion are a kick-off cocktail reception
during these harsh economic times and matter how you choose to do it, whether
Monday night, a senior law day event
the unprecedented response of by taking a pro bono case through a
put on by the City of Las Vegas Senior
attorneys to meet this demand. legal aid provider or on your own,
Law Project, a number of CLE events by
Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada moving your trust account to a preferred
One of the guiding principles of the Pro
throughout the week, a breakfast/CLE interest bank, financial donation, or any
Bono Committee's planning is to
event hosted by Washoe Legal Services other of the various actions that pro
support local pro bono awards, events,
and the Washoe County Senior Law bono service comprises, it all adds up.
and programs. The legal needs of the
Project, a public interest lecture, an No donation is too small, no act
poor are local issues, and although
awards ceremony hosted by Nevada of kindness ever insignificant. If we
nationwide, this celebration is intended
don’t do it, no one will. And we can do
to have a local focus and impact.
Foundation Perspective 5
NL F Partners with Banks to create
“Preferred Interest Provider” Program
by Suzan Baucum, Esq.
In the last few years, the Foundation are working hard to rectify
Nevada Law Foundation has overseen a this situation, because, quite frankly,
great overhaul in the efficacy of the those most hurt by a downturn in the
IOLTA program, which has lead to a economy are those people that our
massive increase in funding for our organization was created to help.
state’s victims of domestic violence and Nevada’s abused, forgotten, and poor
most disadvantaged citizens. are in need of dire help in the best of
Mandatory participation in IOLTA is now economic times. Imagine their
required, and the monies that the situations now.
Foundation has been able to raise have Suzan Baucum, Esq.
The Foundation and our partners on Executive Director
been substantial. A great many things
Access to Justice are in the process of
have lead to this increase, not the least
enrolling as many banks as possible in the good that this transfer could do for
of which have been the discussions and
our newly created “Preferred Interest Nevada’s indigent, its victims of
work of many members on our Board of
Provider” program. These are banks domestic violence, and for those who
Trustees, and the unfailing efforts of a
that have agreed, in the name of are in desperate need. If your current
number of people at the State Bar of
fairness and charity, to adjust their bank awards an interest rate of 0.25%,
Nevada and the Nevada Supreme
interest rates to a respectable number in while one of our preferred interest
Court. I thank you all for your
support of our cause. The Foundation partners awards 2%, over time, your
commitment to our cause.
has been able to enlist as partners: 1st switch could make quite a difference.
But, we can do more. And so can you. Commerce Bank, Bank of George, Bank And if you were to sway a friend, a
of Nevada, First Independent Bank, colleague, or your firm to make the
The Nevada Law Foundation, the State
Heritage Bank, Meadows Bank, Mutual same switch, that difference can go
Bar of Nevada, and the Access to
of Omaha Bank, Nevada Commerce from moderate to monumental in a
Justice Commission have been working
Bank, Nevada State Bank, Red Rock matter of months.
hard to increase funding to those
Community Bank, Service 1st Bank of
groups that we support who are the last If you have not done so already, I urge
Nevada, and U.S. Bank.
line of defense for Nevada’s indigent you to check out our Preferred Interest
population. One of the first steps in Opening a trust account with a Partners and to convince your
increasing funding is seeing to it that the Preferred Interest Provider is easy. In colleagues to do the same. I thank all of
paltry interest rates paid by many banks most instances financial institution you for participating in IOLTA, and for
throughout Nevada are raised. While representatives will come to your office your dedication to the goals of the
many of these rates are suffering to assist you with opening your Nevada Law Foundation.
because of the downturn in the account. You won’t even have to leave
economy, others have been historically the comfort of your office. Think of
low for some time. We at the
6 Foundation Perspective
Nevada Law Foundation
September 18, 2009
A major portion of all IOLTA funds shall be disbursed for the purpose of providing
legally-related services to the poor; victims of domestic violence and to children
protected by or in need of protection by the juvenile court. The remainder of the IOLTA
funds shall be allocated to law-related educational programs for members of
The Foundation desires to make maximum use of its IOLTA funds. The trustees follow
adopted guidelines that assist them in the grant decision-making process. Preference
is given to applicants with evidence of community support and broad geographic
distribution of IOLTA funds throughout Nevada. For comprehensive guidelines please
contact the Nevada Law Foundation.
Deadline and Timeline for Grant Applications
The application for assistance for grant awards is for the period January 1, 2010
through December 31, 2010. Grant applications will be available September 18, 2009
and applications will be due in the Foundation office no later than 5 pm,
Thursday, October 15, 2009.
For further information please contact the
Foundation office at 702-384-1204.
Foundation Perspective 7
NLF Perspective NON PROFIT ORG.
Official Publication of the LAS VEGAS, NV
Nevada Law Foundation Permit #2157
Nevada Law Foundation
Perspective 500 South Seventh Street
Written for all Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Suzan Baucum, Esq. Return Service Requested
Annabelle’s All Occasions
Please submit comments,
articles or photos to:
Suzan Baucum, Esq.
Nevada Law Foundation
500 South Seventh Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Calendar of Events
September 18, 2009 2010 Grant Applications Available
October 15, 2009 Grant Applications Due
October 26-30, 2009 Pro Bono Week
December 4, 2009 Nevada Law Foundation Board Meeting