Monday, April 16, 2018

Las Vegas Attorney David Jacks

Looking through my old high school yearbooks, I found this photo of my friend David Jacks. I met David in 1996, the week after my brother died. David was a senior at Eldorado High School and I was a recent graduate. 
David is a private person and may not be too pleased with me crowing about his accomplishments, but people should know who he is, now, while it matters. I might have lost my best friend on April 13, 2018. 
On that Friday the 13th, though racked with fears while holding a criminal at gunpoint, David nevertheless did what had to be done, which is, in my view, a sign of heroism. He detained the masked and violent madman that illegally came to David’s office until the police could arrive. 
David was the most decorated ROTC student in Eldorado high school history. After graduation, he worked briefly in construction, married, and then joined the United States Army.
While in the Army, David’s back was seriously injured. Not long after the back injury, his wife gave birth. The little baby needed open heart surgery. Also, during this time, David’s home was invaded and he had to hold off intruders in the back part of the house with his hunting rifle while waiting for the police to arrive. 
Six weeks to the day after the baby’s open heart surgery, David’s wife showed immaturity and selfishness, and in a few months’ time David was a single father of a healing baby, and was unemployed due to the Army medical discharge under honorable conditions for his back injury.
When David returned home to Las Vegas and became a PADI certified scuba instructor, he says he hoped that the water would relieve his back pain. However, scuba instruction did not pay well, so David obtained a job with Nevada State Bank. This job also did not last long. The first day of working at the bank after training, an armed robber held him up at gunpoint. 
Since he knew how to operate heavy machinery and could sit while working, David returned to construction work. When terrorists flew planes to take down buildings, David was hard at work making buildings and roads in the fastest growing city in America back then.
Just like those who know him would expect, in no time, he was running the construction company. Because of his physical limitations and the demands of being a single father of a toddler, he could not maintain the early mornings and long days of construction work forever and so he used his GI Bill to go to college with the intention of one day going to law school. 
Perhaps due to his several life and death experiences to that point, David really ate up life. He spent his time and money pursuing interests like becoming an airplane pilot, four-wheeling, and hunting in the backcountry of Northern Nevada. His experiences with his own divorce and child custody years earlier propelled him into that field of law when he was be-knighted to practice law in the State of Nevada.
He was a newly minted lawyer when he took on one of his most challenging cases and succeeded where many would not even try. I was proud of him then and wrote about it here:…/young-man-says-local-atto…
Over the years since becoming a lawyer, his victories are many. He has taken on extra study to become one of the best in his field, including attending a week-long National Family Law Trial Institute and an almost month-long Trial Lawyers College where he was taught by one of the greatest and most famous American attorneys who is still alive, Gerry Spence. For those who don’t know whether this is a big deal, as an attorney myself, I can tell you that very few attorneys do these things, less than 1%.
After his armed confrontation with the crazy five-time felon on April 13th even the police that came were calling him a hero. Dave repeated to me later that he didn’t feel like one, that there were many things in his life he was prouder of. 
I hope David is not too upset with me for writing this, but I am frankly tired of reading of all the great things about people in their obituaries. He deserves many accolades. With death so omnipresent in our news these days, I think we should honor and celebrate life while it is still here. 
I love you David.
Anthony M. Wright
April 15, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Attorney David Jacks Detains Madman with Gun at Firm

On Valentine’s Day 2018, I represented the spouse of a madman at a TPO hearing. It was supposed to be a formality where the TPO judge simply would determine whether the madman qualified for a free attorney to assist with a defense to the hundreds of violations, with which he had been charged, of the temporary protection order his wife had against him.  The TPO was ordered in October 2017 after numerous rants about suicide and homicide on social media, texts, and other communication to his wife. Despite the order to cease this conduct, he continued, violating the order hundreds of times.

At the hearing, true to form, rather than follow a logical and sane course, the madman argued with the judge and suggested he felt solidarity with the October 1 Mandalay Bay shooter and other mass shooters, which resulted in a 48 hour lockup, and culminated in the April 13, 2018 armed detention by David Jacks at our law offices. As I drove to my law firm following my business at court on Valentines Day, I learned about the high school shooting in Florida that occurred earlier that morning.

On Friday April 13, 2018, almost two months later, this madman left his utility truck running, parked in front of our main entry of our law offices in the fire lane.  He apparently drove across the valley to our offices not only under the influence of some drugs, but also with serious malicious intent.

He entered our suite wearing a mask with a skull and crossbones on it. Fortuitously, David Jacks happened to see the madman's truck while the madman was in the elevator on his way up to our offices.  During the madman's elevator ride, David obtained his firearm, secured a position, and then could detain the madman for several minutes while the police were called and everyone waited for their arrival. The Henderson police had been alerted by me on Valentine's Day of the potential threat following the hearing.

Our entire building, which houses five companies and dozens of personel, was unable to conduct business for several hours and nearby schools were on lock down due to this. After the police arrived, David Jacks was initially handcuffed but quickly released by the police when they realized his role in the events. He was then commended as a hero by the police for having used a weapon to detain a person who was up to no good without shedding any blood. David was also commended on local talk radio for this and the story was in the news within no time.

If fortune smiles on us, the madman will be locked up for a long, long time. He is currently charged by the police with five felonies in Henderson, NV.

Below is the video of that TPO hearing I attended. I share this so that we friends who know each other can understand on a more personal level the issues of sanity, domestic violence, drugs addiction, and gun use in our society than what we may glean from news articles about strangers. Not unlike the high schoolers in Florida who knew the gunman who killed many of their classmates and teachers, the madman in this situation as well as his wife, David, and I all went to high school together. If the people who know a madman the best cannot convince judges and officers to take action until a traumatic event occurs like on the morning of Friday the 13th, how can we stem the problems of violence, mental health, and drug use?

A link to the first and second hearing are below. During the second hearing, the madman and the judge go at it some more and the madman is arrested for his disappointing and relatively pointless 48 hours of custody for contempt of court.

Madman's utility truck being towed following armed detention by attorney David Jacks

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Huge triumphant win after working many years on a child custody dispute.  I won the lower court trial 4 years ago.  The decision was appealed by the loser.  The Nevada Supreme Court, in its published opinion, sent it back down on remand to be reassessed for a missing analysis by the judge. I re-briefed the case for the judge and have a final victory after 4 arduous years.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Visitation with your child not going ok

If you are having summer visitation with your child or are supposed to be and the other parents is being unreasonable, you likely should consult with a child custody attorney in Las Vegas in order to determine what your rights are. Sometimes a simple letter written by an attorney can help the matter to resolution and sometimes a motion filed with the family court is necessary. Either way, you may be surprised at how cost effective legal representation can be when you hire and experienced divorce lawyer in Las Vegas.  

Paying attention to how extremely difficult it is to go through a Child custody case in Nevada, your  Child custody lawyer will negotiate, mediate, and litigate as necessary.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Modern Relationships in Las Vegas -- Ten things to consider about being single

I have represented divorce and family law clients for nine years in Las Vegas and I pay attention to the trends in society, including the technological changes and the evolving views on relationships.  As part of my practice, I not only look at the law, but I do my best to present my clients with bigger picture concepts to help them through the horrible experiences that brought them to me.  I try to have them see things from their significant other's points of view and the point of view of a judge.

We live in a day and age of constant stimulation.  We see people do amazing things on TV, in movies (I include some movies below that you may want to watch), on Facebook, and Youtube.  We then examine our own dull lives and many of us determine that our significant other is a weight around our neck.  A ball-and-chain.  A restraint on freedom.   We realize that if we didn't have to share our time, money, and energy with this other person, whom we may still love (but not be in love with any longer) we could be doing those exciting things and meeting new and exciting people.

We then throw away the stifling comfort of a committed relationship in favor of the risk and potential rewards of adventure.  Of course, what many of us do not realize until it is too late is the downside of the risk of leaving someone to whom we were committed.  It is important to remember various truths about our so-called modern, civilized society as we break up with those who love us and seek out the temptations we have deprived ourselves of while in the committed relationship.  

Do not forget or fail to consider the following as you enter the world of single-hood after years of being in a committed relationship:

1.      AIDS and other life threatening or terminal sexually transmitted diseases still exist and are far more common in single people with multiple sexual partners.  STDs (or STIs) are virtually nonexistent in committed one-partner relationships. Many single women unintentionally spread disease with unprotected sex.  Some people intentionally spread disease.  There are some criminal statutes for spreading STDs, but if a person is dying of AIDs anyway, what can criminal justice really do?

2.      It is estimated that 1 in 20 people in the world is sociopathic (some think that it is more than that, but still, if it is 1 out of 20, that means you already know several sociopaths).  Brain chemistry, drugs, or a birth defect in which the amygdala of the brain is smaller than normal can cause this.  Sociopaths can act like they care about people, but they do this only to get what they want.  Sociopaths can be good for society (lack of empathy can make sociopaths good at sales, surgery, politics, and war), but can be very hard to deal with, and a small minority of sociopaths are criminals, a smaller minority consists of psychopaths who murder or rape for pleasure.  Sociopaths can be charmers who destroy what they charm. An excellent movie about a sociopath, depicted by Daniel Day-Lewis, who did good for society but was still horrible to those close to him is “There Will be Blood.”  Other single but mentally disturbed individuals can ruin your life too.  Take for instance Audrey Tautou’s character in “He Loves Me, He Loves me Not”.

3.      Two income homes with shared living expenses means more money saved than living singly (unless your domestic partner is using you and spending far too much).  Marriage gives tax breaks that single people cannot get.  Consider the financial impact logically as part of your resolve to break up.  The financial and emotional impact of divorce is brought home in the movie “The War of the Roses”.

4.      The grass is greener where you water it. Don’t envy your neighbor’s lawn, water your own.  Consider that the investment in yourself and your relationship may be better for you than fleeing it for new territory.  Meryl Streep’s character had to make a huge decision that meant sacrifice either way in “The Bridges of Madison County”. The bridge could be a symbol for her choice, stay home on one side, or cross over to a new world.

5.      Singlehood can mean rejection (both you rejecting others and them rejecting you), heartache, loneliness, and crazy exes.  You should always background check anyone you intend to get serious with.  You may find out that they have a history of drug abuse, sexual violence, or crazy exes themselves that can hurt you and/or your children.  The wife and mother to the character portrayed by Viggo Mortensen had no clue her gentle husband was a former murdering gangster in “A History of Violence”.

6.      If you do have children and want to enter single life, you still have a life commitment to them and some sort of connection with the other parent.   You may have court battles for child support even after the children are adults.  Worse yet, you may be left totally on your own to raise the child, such as what happened to Will Smith’s character in “The Pursuit of Happyness”.

7.      New people in your life can set you up in such a way that you face criminal responsibility.  Be wary.  Jim Carrey’s character did this to his lover in “I Love you Phillip Morris”.

8.      New is not necessarily better.  Committed love can be much better for your long-term happiness, than the thrill of a new love (crush), which lasts for a short while and leaves you worse off.  Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal’s character had to realize that his wife and child were more important than the cute young woman in “Mammoth”.

9.      Sometimes being single is much better than remaining married--and feeling trapped, take for instance Jennifer Lopez’s character in “Enough”.  Some people have to go through a few long-term relationships before they find the one that will be there for the rest of their lives, sometimes even with the same person.  In my practice, I have seen people in their second marriage to the same person.  A movie depicting this would be “The Marrying Man”. Former family court Judge Judy Scheindlin divorced and remarried her husband.  However, some never do find another that will love them as much as the one they threw away.  When you are old, will you live in despair and loneliness with all the regrets, or will you have friends and lovers keeping you in the moment instead of in the past?

10.         There are a lot of movies that can encourage adventurous risk-taking which should be considered in light of all of the above.  Such movies may include, “Titanic: in which Rose is convinced to pursue a romantic, adventurous life instead of a life with a rich husband”, “The Bridges of Madison County: about a wife having to choose between domesticity and adventure”, pretty much every movie with Michelle Williams in it (Blue Valentine: about a dwindling marriage, Take this Waltz: about a wife finding someone new, Mammoth: about a husband being seduced, Incendiary: about an adulterous wife who loses everything, including her mind, Broke Back Mountain: about a loyal wife with a disloyal gay husband, and even My Week With Marilyn: about a wife who strays)  Kramer vs. Kramer: about a mother and father fighting over a child”, “The War of the Roses: about a husband and wife fighting over everything through a divorce”, “Indecent Proposal: about a rich guy buying another man's wife”, "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?: about a tumultuous marriage", “Revolutionary Road: about an evolving marriage”, “Two for the Road: about a dwindling marriage” and "Rebound: about finding someone new after a divorce".

By Anthony M. Wright, JD

March 4, 2013

Anthony is a Las Vegas divorce attorney, licensed in Nevada since 2005. When considering marriage and divorce, it is advisable to meet with a Las Vegas family law attorney to more fully appreciate all your options.  Why are Las Vegas family lawyers so good at giving advice?  Because, Las Vegas is perhaps the marriage and divorce capitol of the entire world.  It is an adult playground where relationships are born and die.  Nevada has the easiest laws to get married and to get divorced, so clients flock here and the family law attorneys get plenty of experience.  An experienced divorce lawyer has probably heard and seen it all many times.  The relationship problems depicted in the movies mentioned in the article above are small compared to the real relationship problems most divorce lawyers are asked to handle in family court.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Young Man Says Local Attorney Saved His Life

A twenty-five-year-old young family man and manager of a local fast food restaurant was charged with a felony non-violent crime.  He did not have a lot of money to hire a private attorney and therefore was appointed a public defender.  He eventually had two public defenders on his case who negotiated what he thought was a good deal for him. 

This young man is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and he repeatedly asked if he would be deported to El Salvador, a place he had not been to since he was a young child.  One of his friends was recently deported to El Salvador and was promptly killed by the MS-13 gang there.

The public defenders said that he may be deported but they were not sure and that he would have to consult with an immigration attorney.  They suggested he take the plea deal because it meant that he would not get any prison time, even though it would be a felony conviction.  He took the deal and was returned to his family and his job.

Three months later, immigration officials arrested him and put him in lock-up for deportation to El Salvador.  This young man knew no one in El Salvador and faced the prospect of being killed or joining a vicious gang to survive.  Likely, he would never see his newborn child again.

While he was in lock-up, his family looked for an attorney to help him and found my friend attorney David Jacks.  David tried many procedures and filed documents with both federal immigration court and criminal court in Las Vegas.  His task was daunting and many criminal defense attorneys he turned to for guidance, including me, were skeptical that he could get results.  Over the next three months David optimistically worked every week on the case until he was able to get the Nevada criminal court in Las Vegas to reopen the case and overturn the conviction.  This post-conviction relief is a very difficult criminal procedure in Nevada and rarely is accomplished. 

To David’s credit, owing to hard and persistent work on the case, he succeeded in getting the conviction overturned and the crime reduced to a non-deportable offense -- a misdemeanor.  Once Las Vegas, or the State of Nevada, reduced the charge, the federal immigration court had no choice but to release the young man.  

After three months being locked up and facing almost certain deportation to a country where death or horror awaited, David Jacks’ work returned the young man to his waiting family.  Moreover, because the conviction was reversed, this young man can pursue US Citizenship, after which he will never face deportation again.

Later, the young man gave David a big hug and said, "You saved my life." 
Attorney David Jacks with happy client
Attorney David Jacks with happy client