CLA Distinguished Alumni 2010May 15, 2010
Justice Michael L. Douglas ’71, the first African American justice in Nevada’s history, was appointed to the Court in March 2004, and thereafter twice elected. Justice Douglas, a native of Los Angeles, came to Las Vegas in 1982 from Philadelphia, PA., where he had been working as a private attorney. His Nevada career began as an attorney with Nevada Legal Services in 1982. Two years later he was hired by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and served in the Civil Division until 1996. In January 1996, he was appointed to the Eighth Judicial District Court bench and was retained in an election later that year, serving until his appointment to the Supreme Court. Justice Douglas currently co-chairs the Nevada Supreme Court Bench-Bar Committee, the Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, and the Nevada Supreme Court Specialty Court Funding Committee.
A graduate of California State College, Long Beach, in 1971 and the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1974, Justice Douglas has been a member of the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada and Vice President of the Nevada District Judges Association.
Dr. William P. Bennett, Esq. ’61 is currently retired from the Crystal Cathedral as General Counsel but is actively involved with TheChurchCounsel.com. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at CSULB and received his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Southern California, where he graduated 8th in a class of 135. While at USC, he served as editor on the Southern California Law Review. Dr. Bennett also holds a Masters in Specialized Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and is a Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Even in his retirement, Dr. Bennett provides legal counsel on a case by case basis for clients such as Simon Greenleaf University, Campus Crusade for Christ International and the Crystal Cathedral Ministries. In previous years, he opened a real estate brokerage office in Long Beach after having practiced real estate law for 20 years. He is a Certified Investment Specialist and is past chair of the Long Beach Bar Association Real Property Section and past President of CZI Investment Society.