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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: January 2016

“You should all take a pro bono case or four;” that’s the advice attorney Carrie Primas gave her colleagues at the January Family Bench-Bar meeting after being honored as Pro Bono Advisory Council volunteer of the month.

Carrie raised an issue of concern that got people talking at the meeting before being called to be honored. Judge Frank Sullivan praised the Hanratty Law Group attorney for taking on seven pro bono cases since 2013. Carrie explained her motivation for doing pro bono with the statement: “There are so many individuals in the community who do not have the resources or knowledge to know where to start in their legal battle. They are just as entitled to justice as somebody who can afford the best attorneys; and doing pro bono work allows me to ensure that at least some of these individuals are properly guided through their case.”

Carrie’s representation has had a significant positive impact by getting children facing abuse into safe circumstances. Congratulation Carrie! Attorneys who want to volunteer should visit the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Website

Check out this article on five great reasons to do pro bono.

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A guardianship Bench-Bar meeting will be held Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m. at the Public Guardian’s Office, 515 Shadow Lane. Topics covered will include processes and procedures; code review and proposed changes; notices; news you can use, including guardianship committee updates; and a question and answer session.

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Attorneys who attend the upcoming Family Bench Bar on January 28, will get info that should help navigate practicing in the Family Division. The meeting, to be held at noon in Family Courtroom 9 at 601 N. Pecos Road, will open with announcements and updates, followed by discussion topics including:

• Settlement Master Committee
• Bench v. Bar Chili Cook-off
• Paralegal Pro Bono Hours
• Domestic Violence Issues
1. Criminal Implications of Domestic Violence
2. Brief Overview of the TPO Process

The Pro Bono Advisory Council Volunteer of the Month Carrie Primas, Esq. will be recognized followed by an open forum. The bench bar meetings are a great way to stay up on changes, convey concerns and network and should help attorney to be more effective in court. The next Family Bench Bar will be March 31.

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District Court will celebrate another specialty court graduation just as the program prepares to ramp up with a new infusion of funding. The newly minted specialty court grads will receive certificates and accolades on Friday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m., in the Regional Justice Center jury services room at 200 Lewis Ave. The graduating class includes 64 participants from veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court and felony DUI court; programs that have proven to be a successful way to get people off substance abuse and on track to productive lives.

The Nevada Legislature through the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Nevada Supreme Court has increased and consolidated funding for specialty courts with an additional $3 million for fiscal 2016 statewide. Southern Nevada, which includes limited jurisdiction courts, received $1.8 million of that funding. All courts plan to increase levels of participation in all programs.

The Eighth Judicial District Court will increase specialty drug court participation from 300 to 500. Felony DUI court is expected to increase from 450 to 550 participants. Mental Health Court will go from 100 to 200 participants. Veteran’s court is expected to increase from current levels to 45 participants. The OPEN program will grow to meet the need.

To meet the demands of this growing and challenging caseload, the court will diversify the specialty courts judicial assignments. Effective Feb. 16, Judge Adriana Escobar will continue to preside in courtroom 3F over felony DWI (serious offender program) and veteran’s court and assume Judge Carolyn Ellsworth’s civil calendar. Judge Ellsworth will handle drug court and keep her current criminal calendar in courtroom 16D. Chief Judge David Barker will handle mental health court and OPEN (Courtroom TBD).

“The specialty courts are an effective way to dispense justice and achieve rehabilitation,“ said Chief Judge Barker. “This new funding is much needed and will go further to ensure that those committing crimes and revolving through the justice system as a result of substance abuse, recover and go on to live productive lives.

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Judge Ellsworth will handle drug court and keep her current criminal calendar in courtroom 16D.

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Remember the good old days when you were a young law students looking to practice your craft in a mock trial? Remember the anticipation and excitement? A new crop of fresh-faced young students is experiencing those same feelings and they need the benefit of your wisdom, experience and legal acumen as a volunteer mock trial judge for upcoming competitions. It’s a win-win for you to volunteer. You get a new perspective, sharpen your skills, meet new people, plus feel good about giving back. Check out the below links to learn more and sign up.

Rebel-Trojan Mock Trial Tournament on Saturday/Sunday Jan. 23-24; UNLV Boyd School of Law

Client Counseling Competition Friday/Saturday Feb. 5-6; UNLV Boyd School of Law

Nevada State Bar sponsored “We the People” Competition; Saturday Feb. 6; West Tech

Nevada State Bar sponsored High School Mock Trial Southern Regionals are Feb. 13 at the Regional Justice Center

Nevada State Bar sponsored High School Mock Trial Nevada State Finals are March 4-5 at the Regional Justice Center

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The United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona turns 50 this year. The Ninth Circuit has come up with a great way to mark that exceptional decision: a contest with a cash prize. The Ninth Circuit has announced a civics contest with two categories: 1) Individual students can express their thoughts and ideas in an essay of 500 to 750 words, and 2) Individual students or teams of up to three students may submit a two to three minute video presentation on the theme. Students may participate in one or both competitions. The contest began January 1, and ends on April 15, 2016. Cash prizes are provided in both contests:  $2,000 for first place; $1,000 second place and $500 for third place. Check out this link to get more details It would be great to have Nevada students enter the contest and take home a prize or two.




The District Court will help civil attorneys get the new year off to a hot start at the Civil Bench Bar Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at noon (courtroom TBD). The meeting will include updates on the latest news and decisions from the Nevada Supreme Court. Participants are challenged to a chili cook-off for the January meeting with the winner taking home bragging rights. Judge Nancy Allf made the winning chili last year and her chili was delicious. You can’t beat the information you get at the bench bar meetings, but you can try your hand at beating Judge Allf in the chili challenge.

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