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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Education

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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Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) seniors looked and acted the parts of lawyers, engineers and other professionals when they did their capstone project before District Court Judge Joanna Kishner on Apr. 20.

Students from the legal studies program served as the attorneys in the case, while students from the business management and administration, architectural drafting and design, and engineering programs served as expert witnesses and defendants. A-Tech’s community partners and school staff  served as jurors.

The mock case centered around what was intended to be a fun-filled train trip with a marriage proposal. But things turned bad for the couple John and Jennifer. Jennifer sued the train company for inadequate security, inadequate staff training, and inadequate evacuation procedures. Architects and designers were dragged into the suit which resulted in a challenging capstone project for the A-TECH seniors with majors in law, business management and administration, architectural drafting and design.

Check out the YouTube video

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A jury of his peers found Harry Potter not-guilty of the charge of misuse of magic. It may sound silly, but the premise of Harry Potter in trial gave a class of fourth grade students a great foundation to learn how justice works.

The junior legal eagles from The Meadows School experienced how criminal trials proceed when they served as judge,  jury, lawyers and witnesses for the misappropriation of magic case today with Judge Douglas Herndon at the Eighth Judicial District Court.

The accused was renowned master of magic Harry Potter, who was lawyered-up with top-notch student defense attorneys. Prior to the mock trial, the students witnessed the tail-end of Judge Herndon’s actual criminal calendar. The judge admonished a young defendant who had multiple felonies. He warned that the defendant’s children would be graduating college and have forgotten about him in jail, if he didn’t change his ways. The fourth graders were listening. When asked about it, one student commented to the judge that he thought he was harsh on the defendant. The judge took the opportunity to further the lesson by explaining the variables that a judge must consider.

Judge Herndon has been doing mock trials with students for years and said, “Mock trials are a fun and effective way to educate kids about the justice system.” He also makes it a point to explain how education and staying away from drugs and other bad choices are important to avoid running into trouble with the law.

He will host eighth grade classes on Apr. 12th and Apr. 14th at 10:30 a.m. for mock trials with a plot that Lee Harvey Oswald was not killed and instead goes on trial for the murder of President John F. Kennedy.


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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.



DSC_0269B.B. Wolf took the stand and told a harrowing tale of a boiling pot at the bottom of chimney; a trap set by the Little Pig for Wolf who was just trying to help a friend out. That story set the stage for the Las Vegas Day School third grade mock trial B.B. Wolf v Three Little Pigs in the courtroom of real District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti. The kids got a real feel of how justice works by serving as plaintiff, defendant, attorneys, judge, jurors, witnesses, marshal and even media.

After hearing the evidence from both sides, the jurors deliberated and found the little pig guilty of attempted murder. Not only did they learn how the justice system works, they learned if you have to go to court, be sure to get a good lawyer.

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At the first of three Ministry of Magic vs. Harry Potter mock trials with Meadows School fourth graders the courtroom was buzzing. Excited students gleefully buzzed around while many of their parents looked on shooting photos and video. Before the trial, the mini legal eagles grilled District Court Judge Douglas Herndon on every legal question they could think up. Judge Herndon patiently answered all of them. The students got to see the judge do his morning calendar. After, he asked the students what two elements most criminals have in common. The students quickly responded “drugs” but were stumped for the second element. “Lack of education,” said Judge Herndon. The students went through the case serving as prosecution, defense, witnesses, jurors and judge. The jury deliberated in a real jury room with pizza, just like a real jury. Judge Herndon explained that criminal trials have 12 jurors who must be unanimous in their decision in order to gain a conviction. He explained that civil trials have eight jurors and six must agree to reach a verdict. Two more classes will visit District Court for their turn to learn the law in a real courthouse on May 1 and May 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Eighth Judicial District Court, in the Regional Justice Center.

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Judge Timothy Williams took lawyers to school to give Canyon Spring High School students an education on a real short trial. The judge used a civil short trial as a teaching tool for students in the high school law magnet program. “A short trial provides the perfect educational experience for students, because it takes all the elements of a complex trial and distills it down to one day,” said Judge Williams. “The opportunity to show students the legal process and give them first-hand experience is a wonderful teaching tool for the District Court and the Clark County School District.”

Short trials are used to resolve civil cases in one day. In a short trial, each party is limited to three hours to present their case and the jury is composed of four or six members rather than eight. Short trials have proven to be a cost effective way to resolve many civil cases that may be less complicated or lower in dollar value than others.

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