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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

As a court employee, I often get the question, “how do I get out of jury duty?” Those who really have a hardship can get out of serving. But those who just don’t feel like serving could be missing out on an experience that is not only interesting, but might help them navigate the law in their own lives. We might be better off using reverse psychology and telling people that only a very special, select group of people get to serve; then, everyone would want to serve. Most judges have a story about a potential juror who tried to get out of serving and then ended up really liking the experience.

At District Court, we get tours from judges and court employees from around the world including: China, Russia and the Ukraine. They don’t use juries; but, they are definitely interested in the American system of jury trials. Our justice system is respected and viewed as a model worldwide. Jury trials are one of the many rights guaranteed by the Constitution that make the United States exceptional.

Bethany Barnes with the Las Vegas Sun interviewed judges and got a sample of the excuses people use to skate out on jury duty http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/feb/28/dog-ate-my-summons-and-other-unique-excuses-get-ou/.

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Image              Family Court is now accepting applications from attorneys interested in serving as Pro Tem Hearing Masters in Domestic Violence/TPO, Child Support/Paternity, Mental Commitment, Guardianship, Juvenile Delinquency and Dependency, Discovery and Truancy Courts.  This recruitment occurs on a regular basis to insure that trained attorneys are available to assist the Court in those roles. Anyone who is interested is required to submit an application, whether they have previously served as a Pro Tem Hearing Master or not.  Applications from interested attorneys are due on or before March 28, 2014.

            Attorneys who apply should be aware that specific training will be required of any who are selected, prior to sitting as a Pro Tem Hearing Master.  They should also be aware of opinions of the Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics and Election Practices which would affect them, including Opinions JE 99-004 and JE 04-003.

             Those who are interested in applying for the first time, or in continuing to serve as a pro tem, should contact Angelica Baltier at baltiera@clarkcountycourts.us or 455-4622 to receive an application.

            Following the due date, applications will be reviewed and selections made.  It is possible that more individuals than the number necessary will apply.  Thus, applicants will be notified whether they have been accepted and, if accepted, when their training will occur.

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Six judges were in attendance for the Dec. 10 Civil Bench Bar meeting. Recent Supreme Court decisions were a prominent topic. Lawyers who are looking to use Power Point presentations in cases were advised to look at 59703 – Watters v. State another opinion of particular interest 55817 Perez V. State http://supreme.nvcourts.gov/ . Judge Kenneth Cory will be taking on the docket from the outlying areas. A civil case reassignment to distribute Judge Cory’s civil caseload will be effective Jan. 4. The next Civil Bench Bar will be Jan. 14 at 12:05 p.m.

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A class of fourth graders got an education on the justice system when they sat through the court calendar of District Court Judge Douglas Herndon. They then got to test their chops in a court of law with a mock trial: The Ministry of Magic vs. Harry Potter. The students from the Meadows School were prepped by their teacher for their day in court. They played the roles of judges, jury, attorneys and witnesses. The fabulous fourth graders peppered Judge Herndon with questions; he in turn, grilled them about what they learned. They appeared to have learned a lot. Two more mock trials are scheduled with Judge Herndon April 18 and May 4 at 10 a.m. in courtroom 16D at the Regional Justice Center.

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Business Court Bench Bar to be held in courtroom 3H on March 28 at noon.

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The Eighth Judicial District business court will host a Bench Bar Meeting on March 28 at noon at the Regional Justice Center in courtroom 3H. The meeting will cover issues specific to the business court. Each of the five business court judges will offer an introduction. Performance information for 2016 will be provided; and questions, comments and concerns will be addressed. Bench Bar Meeting are a great way for attorneys to stay on top of new information and trends, network and clarify questions that can improve effectiveness in court.

 

 

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Attorneys who attended the February Civil Bench Bar Meeting learned how new technology is changing things at District Court. Court CEO Steven Grierson gave a behind- the-scenes look at how things get done. He gave a first-hand look at a new tool used by the court to live-track District Court E-filings. The March 14 noon Bench Bar meeting in courtroom 3A will offer up more useful information including: an overview of February Nevada Supreme Court decisions and what they mean, security and what is being done to keep the courthouse safe, and hot topics around the Eighth. This month’s visitor is Bryan Scott, the President of the State Bar of Nevada.

 

Attorneys who attend the Bench Bar meetings are first to hear the latest information coming out of the Civil Division of the Court in terms of technology, rules and trends.

 

The January Civil Bench Bar meeting was informative, entertaining and delicious because lunch was served up in the form of a chili-cookoff. Judge Linda Bell took first prize in the blind chili taste test contest.

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The Eighth Judicial District business court will host a Bench Bar Meeting on March 28 at noon at the Regional Justice Center in courtroom 3H. The meeting will cover issues specific to the business court. Each of the five business court judges will offer an introduction. Performance information for 2016 will be provided; and questions, comments and concerns will be addressed. Bench Bar Meeting are a great way for attorneys to stay on top of new information and trends, network and clarify questions that can improve effectiveness in court.

 

 

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Nearly 3,500 children in the community are receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Many of them are in foster care. They are scared, lonely and intimidated by the system that they have been thrown into, through no fault of their own. CASA volunteers bring hope and stability to these children. A new group of CASA volunteers will take an oath to speak on behalf of abused and neglected kids on Monday, Feb. 13 at noon, at Family Court, Courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road.

There is a big need for CASAs in Clark County. Several opportunities are upcoming for people who want to have a positive impact on the life of a child. Those who want to help abused and neglected children are invited to one of the upcoming CASA orientations: Feb.15 and March 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.

There are 323 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for foster children in our community. Many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Last year, more than 900 children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, and deal with school challenges and home life. The goal is to get a CASA volunteer for every child in foster care.

“I invite community members to pay it forward by volunteering as a CASA,” said Family Court Judge Frank

Sullivan, who will administer the oath to the CASA volunteers. “When children have a CASA, they have a voice. That voice helps to ensure they get the opportunities that every child deserves. When children have opportunity they have a shot at a bright future, which is good for the entire community. I encourage anyone who is looking to make a difference in our community to consider volunteering as a CASA.”

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them. In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges. For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program.

“In family cases we see the heartbreak of children who are neglected and abused. We are fortunate to have great volunteer advocates to speak on their behalf; but more are needed.” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “Our goal is to have an advocate for each of the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of the Family Division.”

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During the Feb. 6 Med/Mal Sweeps, 378 cases were reviewed by Judge Jerry Wiese with attorneys present to determine if they were on track to meet the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS).

Med Mal Sweeps are done annually to review cases and ensure they are on track to comply with NRS 41A.061.1(b) which states: The court shall, after due notice to the parties, dismiss an action involving professional negligence if the action is not brought to trial within 3 years after the date on which the action is filed.

“We called a lot of cases and we got a lot done. The sweeps offer a good opportunity for attorneys to take stock of their cases to ensure that they are moving along as they should,” said Judge Wiese. ”Court staff did an excellent job preparing and keeping things moving with this large volume of cases. I appreciate the work that all those involved put in to get this done.”

Judge Wiese enters the status check process well prepared. Each judge who handles med/mal cases provides their stack of cases and other relevant information to Judge Wiese’s judicial executive assistant Tatyana Ristic who gets things in order so the process moves like clockwork.

NRS 41A.061.1(b) http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-041a.html#NRS041ASec061

NRS 41A.061  Dismissal of action for failure to bring to trial; effect of dismissal; adoption of court rules to expedite resolution of actions.

1.  Upon the motion of any party or upon its own motion, unless good cause is shown for the delay, the court shall, after due notice to the parties, dismiss an action involving professional negligence if the action is not brought to trial within 3 years after the date on which the action is filed.

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Hundreds of bright young  students with anxious parents and other supporters impressed an all-star lineup of justice professionals and officials who judged the We the People Nevada State finals competition. We the People is a program intended to foster student understanding of American democracy, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Students from 12 high schools, who won regional competitions throughout the state of Nevada, including eight from the Clark County School District (CCSD), converged on the West Career and Technical Academy for the Nevada State Finals competition and wowed the judges with their presentations. It’s round-robin, debate-style competition, run in a manner similar to a sports tournament. Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Elissa Cadish moderated the event and presented the trophies and awards. Former U.S. Senator Richard Bryan received a standing ovation from the sea of students and families for his keynote speech on democracy and the Constitution at the closing ceremony. The top team from this event will advance to the national finals set for April in Washington, D.C.

The State Bar of Nevada hosts/sponsors the competition along with the Clark County School District, Washoe County School District, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Embracing Law Related Education and the justice professionals that make it all work.

First Place – Reno High School – 1,329

Second Place – Incline High School – 1,301

Third Place – Southwest Career and Technical Academy – 1,296

Fourth Place – Clark High School – 1,271

Fifth Place – Reed High School – 1,266

Sixth Place – West Career and Technical Academy – 1,201

Seventh Place – Canyon Springs High School – 1,195

Eighth Place – College of Southern Nevada High School East – 1,182

Ninth Place – Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School – 1,180

Tenth Place – Las Vegas Academy of the Arts – 1,134

Eleventh Place – Silverado High School – 1,107

Twelfth Place – ATECH – 1,105

The Results of the Unit Awards were:

Unit I Award Third Place Clark High School; Second Place Reno High School; First Place Reed High School

Unit II Award Third Place Clark High School; Second Place Incline High School; First Place Reno High School

Unit III Award Third Place Incline High School; Second Place Incline High School; First Place Southwest Career and Technical Academy

Unit IV Award Third Place Reno High School; Second Place West Career and Technical Academy; First Place Incline High School

Unit V Award Third Place Canyon Springs High School tied with Incline High School; Second Place Reno High School; First Place Southwest Career and Technical Academy

Unit VI Award College of Southern Nevada East High School; Second Place Reno High School Third Place Tie between Clark High School and Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

There was  an all-star lineup of justice professionals and officials who volunteered time to judge the competition including: Professor Fred Lokken, Judge Elliott Sattler, former Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, Professor Rachel Anderson, Judge Andrew Gordon, Judge Cynthia Leung, Judge Gloria Sturman, Professor Sondra Cosgrove, Judge Scott Pearson, Judge Lynne Simons, Daniel Schiess, Esq., Professor David Tanenhaus, Professor Michael Green, Judge Philip Pro (Ret.), Justice Michael Douglas, Andrew Lingenfelter, Justice Nancy Saitta (Ret.), Mark Simons, Esq., Kimberly Maxson-Rushton, Esq., Magistrate Judge George Foley, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, Franny Forsman, Esq., Judge Richard Boulware and Judge Mike Nakagawa.

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