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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


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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 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 . 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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Judge Kathleen Delaney had a fifth grade class from St. Viator’s sit in on her calendar. After watching the wheels of justice turn in the courtroom, the wheels in the students’ minds were turning. They asked the judge some very thoughtful questions. One student got a big laugh when he asked the judge if she ever got frustrated with what happens in court.

Students from the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law spent part of their spring break in an alternative program where they learn about the practice of law and the courts. They sat in on court, attended a judges meeting and got some Q&A time in with the judges.

District Court is involved in a number of initiatives to educate students about the justice system.

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DC 7 Photo

Judge Linda Marie Bell was selected to be the new chief judge of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. She will succeed Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in the post effective July 1. The District Court judges vote on who will serve as the chief judge for a two-year term. The chief judge maintains responsibility for managing the administration of the court. “I look forward to working with everyone in this new capacity,” said Judge Bell. “A key area of focus for me will be long-term planning to ensure the court is well positioned to meet the demands of the future and achieve significant goals.”

Judge Bell grew up in Nevada. She graduated from Bonanza High School and the University of Nevada, Reno with honors. In 1993, she received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. She worked in Las Vegas law firms, practicing primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and family law. For twelve years prior to taking the bench, Judge Bell worked as a public defender.

Judge Bell was elected to District Court Department 7 in 2008. Since taking the bench in January of 2009, she has handled both civil and criminal cases and managed the criminal division specialty courts for more than two years. She also ran the grand jury for six years. Judge Bell served on the court’s legislative committee every legislative session since 2009. Judge Bell currently serves as the secretary for the ABA National Conference of State Trial Court Judges. She previously served as president of the  Nevada District Judges’ Association and the Howard D McKibben Chapter of the American Inn of Court. Since 2011, she has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV. She is active the in community, including participation in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas program.

“Judge Bell has an outstanding track record of leadership through her work with the specialty courts and other programs for the judiciary and the community,” said current Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “She brings a wealth of experience and a high level of commitment that will be assets in the role of chief judge.”

During her term as chief, Judge Gonzalez established a jury services committee and put into action a plan to add active voter registration names to the Court’s Jury Master List. Judge Gonzalez implemented improvements to how minor guardianship and involuntary commitments are handled. She spearheaded logical enhancements to business practices to maximize space and proximity to enhance interface at the court with a business pod and a guardianship/probate pod. Under Judge Gonzalez’s leadership, management for homicide cases was also centralized to improve efficiency in the timely disposition of such cases.



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WynnVOkadaStipOrder3_14_18 Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a Stipulation and Order to dismiss claims 1,5,7 and 10 contained in Elaine P. Wynn’s Sixth Amendment Counterclaim and Crossclaim on Grounds of Mootness in the Wynn Resorts vs. Kazuo Okada case.  A number of developments  have occurred recently in the case.  A motion hearing is set for March 16 at 8 a.m. in courtroom 10B. WynnvOkadadaStipOrder3_14_18


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Judge Richard Scotti issued a written ruling today in the media case against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department regarding records from 1 October.

Link to ruling


Twenty-eight Eighth Judicial District specialty court participants have completed their treatment successfully and will graduate on Friday, March 9 at 3 p.m. in the Jury Service Room on the third floor of the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave. The graduates will be individually recognized by their presiding judge with a certificate of completion, a special reminder token and cake. One veterans court graduate will receive a Quilt of Valor, specially made by the Quilts of Valor non-profit organization.

“I look forward to celebrating the graduates successful completion of their rigorous treatment,” said Judge Linda Marie Bell, who preside over several specialty court programs. “These graduations are an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates and convey the importance of their achievements as the move onto a lifetime of recovery.”

Specialty courts, solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.

“Our graduates have come a long way. It’s rewarding to see their transformation and celebrate as they re-join their loved ones and community. They are now able to function, accomplish goals and live productive lives,” said Judge Carolyn Ellsworth, who presides over the drug court.


The joint Guardianship, Probate, Trust, Elder Law Bench-Bar meeting gave attorneys in attendance a whole lot of useful information on what’s new to protect one of our community’s most vulnerable populations.

Nevada Deputy Secretary of State, Gail Anderson highlighted new features added to the Nevada Lockbox program including, the request to nominate guardian form and the guardianship nomination registry. The new additions to the Lockbox program are aimed at protecting individuals in need of a guardian. The form provides for a way to nominate a guardian and keep it in the Secretary of State Lockbox to ensure the ward’s wishes are met. Online resources for Lock Box can be found on the Nevada Secretary of State website.

Nevada state Senator Nicole Cannizzaro and Jay P. Raman from the Clark County District Attorney’s office covered the topic of elder abuse and reviewed some of the legislative changes that have been made to protect older adults and reduce the potential of exploitation.  View Senate Bill 229

The Nevada Lockbox is an electronic registry, established in 2008, is securely maintained on the Nevada Secretary of State website. Lockbox contains electronic reproductions of each document filed by registrants. The Nevada Lockbox has two filing components: the Advance Directive Registry and the Guardianship Nomination Registry.

The Advance Directive Registry is a simple and secure system to ensure that the medical wishes of those registered are followed. Copies of filed advance directives are kept confidential but readily available to those registered and to their health care providers, when needed, 24-7.

A presentation was also made on how law firms can to get paralegal help on projects without staffing up.

Bench-Bar meetings are great opportunity for attorneys to grab lunch, get the latest court news and learn secrets to being more effective in court. Attending lawyers are invited to raise issues, ask questions and make suggestions.

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