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eighthjdcourt

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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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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The Eighth Judicial District Court is accepting employment applications for court hearing master from today, until the closing Feb. 27, 2017 at 5:01 p.m. The hearing master job is an exempt position and rules and procedures governing the competitive process, do not apply.

This position will report to the chief judge. The selected candidate will primarily be responsible for managing the court Alternate Dispute Resolution and Short Trial Programs, but may be assigned other collateral duties, including but not limited to, arbitration, mediation, and hearing discovery matters in civil/criminal and family court under the direction and supervision of the chief judge.

Once hired, the hearing master may not engage in the private practice of law. Eligible applicants must be a member in good standing of the State Bar in the State of Nevada.

Candidates are required to submit a resume (and preferably a cover letter).  Resumes must be received by District Court Human Resources prior to 5:01 p.m. on the posted closing date. Resumes must be submitted to the attention of EJDC Human Resources Manager Edward May via fax at (702) 671-4560, or email at MayE@clarkcountycourts.us, or mailed/hand-delivered to the Regional Justice Center—District Court Administration, 200 Lewis Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89155-1791.  Candidate’s name must be clearly written on the resume.

The annual salary range is $102,710.40-$159,182.40. The job posting can be viewed on the court website at

http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/media/releases/COURT%20HEARING%20MASTER%20JOB%20ANNOUNCEMENTADR.pdf

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District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued an administrative order on Feb. 2 that established a Jury Services Committee to examine the jury process from summons through discharge. Judge Valerie Adair and Judge Timothy Williams will chair the committee. They, along with the committee, will look to ensure the court is compliant with all statutory and rule amendments that came out of the 2002 Nevada Supreme Court Jury Improvement Committee. The newly established District Court Jury Services Committee will also explore the viability of further operational and technological improvements that could enhance the process.

Several years ago, past Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti initiated a push to improve jury services in the Nevada Eighth Judicial District. Improvements were made including the ability for summoned jurors to access jury qualification questionnaires in a variety of ways: kiosks, improved Wi-Fi for personal electronic devices, and court-provided tablets. The Jury Services webpage (http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ejdc/juror-information/index.html#Frequently Asked Questions) was upgraded to help jurors navigate through the reporting process by, among other things, offering jury qualification questionnaires online to improve pre-qualification rates. The capability for potential jurors to complete their qualification questionnaires and upload/attach documentation right onto their record was implemented, along with the ability to update their addresses and find information on what to expect. Frequently asked questions, directions to courthouse/parking, and an orientation video were also made available online. The capability for potential jurors to select their preferred method of contact including: email, text, phone, or mail, was also added to the jury page on the court website. An electronic system to perform reminder calls to jurors10 days in advance and the night prior to reporting was implemented.

Other upgrades include touch–screen kiosks for expedited check-in. Kiosks offer the capability to complete qualification questionnaires in the Jury Services room and the ability to print attendance letters and checks. Jurors are no longer paid with a voucher system. Instead, checks are now issued immediately upon completion of service and are available through various ways; checks can be picked-up by the jurors upon notification by departments, or the departments can collect the checks and hand them out in the courtroom. Jurors can also request a link to an exit survey to be e-mailed to them for online completion through the eJuror web-page. The surveys are intended to gather better feedback and input on opportunities for improvement.

The American justice system hinges on the jury system. The Constitution guarantees: “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.

Link to admin order http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/clerk/rules/AO%2017-02.pdf

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The state We the People competition commences at West Career and Technical Academy 11945 W. Charleston Blvd. on February 4, with opening ceremonies at 8:45 a.m. and closing ceremonies around 2:30 p.m. Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Elissa Cadish will moderate the event with a keynote speech from former United States Senator Richard Bryan at the closing ceremony. District Court Judge Gloria Sturman will be in the all-star lineup of justice professionals and officials who will judge the competition.

The State Bar of Nevada hosts 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.

The competition will test the students’ skills with simulated congressional hearings on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Students will appear before mock congressional committees consisting of volunteer judges from the community. As members of a committee, judges will hear oral presentations from groups of students on selected constitutional issues and treated as experts who have been asked to testify before the congressional committee on their particular topic. They will respond to their group’s question with a four minute, prepared presentation, during which they may use notes. They are then required to respond for ten minutes to follow-up questions by the judges. The judges will listen to each group’s presentation, question the group on its topic, and score each group. The class’ total score will consist of the combined scores received.

Judge Cadish has been judging the We the People competition for more than 25 years, after getting involved as a law clerk with Judge Philip Pro. “Once volunteer judges get a taste of it, they’re hooked,” said Judge Cadish who chairs the State Bar’s Law Related Education. “I love it; it’s a great program. We see the future leaders and know there is hope for our future. Once they understand the Constitution and its principles, they are ready to be active and informed citizens; that’s the goal.”

Southern and Northern Nevada schools compete. Any high school that has a teacher who is willing, can participate. Regional competitions are held to qualify for the Feb. 4 competition. The winner of the state competition qualifies to go to national finals in Washington DC, which are held in an actual congressional hearing room.

Judge Sturman has been involved with the program for a number of years dating back to when she was in private practice. When she was president of the State Bar, she judged the national competition. She compared it to a “team sport that offers lessons to be learned from being on a team.”  Judge Sturman said, “The students are electrified by what they learn. They realized the Constitution is a living document that directly affects their lives and that’s exciting to see.”

The judges will score each student group on the basis of six criteria: understanding, constitutional application, reasoning, supporting evidence, responsiveness, and participation. Although students are not told how their hearings are scored, they are given some feedback immediately following their presentation.

A number of schools will participate including: Las Vegas Academy of Arts, Incline High School, Edward C Reed High School, Reno High School, Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School, Silverado College Preparatory & Career/Technical High School, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, West Career and Technical Academy, Advanced Technologies Academy, Canyon Springs High School and College of Southern Nevada East High School.

There will be all all-star lineup of justice professionals and officials judging 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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There have been changes in Guardianship, Probate, Trust and Elder Law. A Feb. 6 noon Joint Guardianship / Probate /Trust / Elder Law Bench/Bar at the Regional Justice Center in Courtroom 10D, will offer attorneys info to stay abreast of the new changes. Recent moves at the court have included two groups of judges who hear common cases: business, probate and guardianship, to be in closer proximity to each other. This new arrangement should facilitate workflow and improve efficiency for all those involved with these case types.

 There will be an update of case transfers and introduction of staff and overview of department procedures. News you can use will be presented including: announcements and appointed counsel/pro bono update from the Legal aid Center of Southern Nevada. Updates will be provided on probate, elder law and guardianship. The meeting will wrap up with a question and answer session. The next Bench Bar probate section meeting is Feb. 22.