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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Family Court


Judge Bryce Duckworth will take on the role to preside over the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division, effective January 1. Judge Duckworth will take over for Judge Charles Hoskin, who has served as the presiding judge of the Family Division for two terms.

“I appreciate the work that Judge Hoskin has done while presiding over the Family Division,” said Judge Duckworth. “In taking on this role of presiding judge, I will continue to work diligently to facilitate the important work of the Family Division to provide families and individuals a means to address difficult circumstances, heal and find closure.”

Judge Bryce Duckworth was elected in 2008. Prior to taking the bench in January 2009, Judge Duckworth practiced law with Dickerson, Dickerson, Lieberman & Consul (later known as Dickerson, Dickerson, Consul & Pocker), practicing primarily in the area of family law. He worked as an associate attorney and later became a shareholder at Dickerson, Dickerson, Consul & Pocker. In 2004, he joined the law firm of Smith, Larsen & Wixom, where he managed their family law department. Judge Duckworth is from Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah. While at the S.J. Quinney School of Law, he was honored as a William H. Leary Scholar. He also served as a member of the Utah Law Review.

“I look forward to working with Judge Duckworth as the presiding Family division Judge. He is very well respected and I anticipate he will bring good ideas and positive energy to the role,” said District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “I  also want to thank Judge Hoskin for his service presiding over the Family Division for two terms.”

Judge Duckworth is a member of the Clark County Bar Association, the State Bar of Nevada, and the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Nevada. On December 7, Judge Duckworth was awarded the Heroes of Justice Award 2017, “for his integrity, honesty, courage and dedication to the administration of justice.” In 2016, he was appointed to serve on the State of Nevada Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics and continues to serve on the committee.

He served as the Chair of the Family Law Executive Council for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Nevada from March 2007 until March 2009. Judge Duckworth also served as a member of the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada and the Certified Court Interpreters Advisory Committee.

Judge Hoskin turns over the post of presiding judge after serving four years. He has served on the bench since 2009. He will return to presiding over a full docket of family related cases.


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The Family Court caseload has a significant volume of propria persona (pro per) cases. That volume presents challenges. Steps have been taken to help those who represent themselves with resources through the Family Law Self-Help Center and website

The push is also on to get attorneys practicing family law to be prepared for their cases, so that those cases are moving along as they should be. At the recent Family Bench Bar meeting, some suggestions were given to help attorneys get up to speed with new rules regarding timeliness. A top tip given was: present filings in fundamental, easily understandable language and limit length. In other words, less is more. Clear and concise writing is better for everyone.

Marital balance sheets were suggested as a useful tool for complex cases with a lot of assets to make mediation/settlement easier. They were also suggested as useful for cases with fewer assets. It was recommended to have opposing counsel coordinate the reference numbers and sync up the assets and numbering of those assets. The marital Balance sheet discussed at the Bench Bar Meeting can be found at

A trial practice Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session is being developed to help attorneys review trial preparation and discovery to facilitate adherence to the rules of the court.

Parenting Coordination training was also on the agenda. A 12-credit CLE is being offered Apr. 21.

There was good news at the meeting including: If Public access fees have been paid for the first three months of 2016, they no longer have to be paid until next year. Your concerns about parking at the Family Court Campus were heard and 60 parking spaces were freed up in the Family Court parking lot by moving county vehicle parking to the rear of the campus.

The Pro Bono Advisory Council volunteer of the month Emily McFarling, Esq. was recognized for her service.

The next family Bench Bar is scheduled for May 12 in Courtroom 9 at Family Court 601 N. Pecos Road. Bench Bar meetings are a great way to learn about changes at the court and to address issues with the bench.

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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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The Eighth Judicial District Court is taking action to implement best practices for guardianship cases as established by the National Association for Court Management. District Court Chief Judge David Barker recently attended an open hearing regarding guardianship at the Clark County Commission. As the chief judge, he is entrusted with the responsibility to handle matters of concern with the court. “Our fundamental responsibility to is to promote citizens trust and confidence in the guardianship process.” said Judge Barker. “I told the County Commission that I wanted to listen and I did. I continue to listen and I have also taken immediate action including establishing a guardianship hotline at 702-671-4614 and an email link for those who have concerns. “ Judge Barker sat in on guardianship cases to get a firsthand look as court officers worked. “Sitting in on guardianship cases provided valuable insight,” said Judge Barker. “As part of the fact-finding, I also spoke with those who handle these cases.”

Other action has been taken including:
• Contacting the Second Judicial District Court Chief Judge David Hardy and Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty to form a high-level Guardianship Commission to review the issues and concerns expressed by the Clark County Commission.
• Contacting nationally recognized experts in guardianship for their expertise, insight and possible involvement with the commission.
• Review of significant correspondence regarding guardianship.
• Meeting with law enforcement and others in the executive branch with an eye toward cooperation that would be consistent with the judicial canons and responsive to community concerns.
• Requesting a guardianship compliance administrator and an investigator as steps to a wider strategy to address a number of important areas including:Formalizing a process for bringing complaints or concerns to the attention of the court. Implementation of a guardianship monitoring program. Promoting court/community collaboration. Developing and institutionalizing training programs for guardians and volunteers who are not professionals. Developing improved standardized procedures, forms and informational resources. Tracking and documenting the number of cases to determine and secure optimum staffing and resources.

The Guardianship Commission will examine policies and procedures currently used and provide recommendations, based on national best practices, on how they can be improved. The court appreciates the County Commission commitment to addressing this important concern and looks forward to their essential support to make the Guardianship Commission recommendations into reality. Adding a guardianship compliance administrator who is experienced in this case type will be a significant step to handling these challenges.

There are volunteer legal organizations in the community that work to assist with guardianship matters. “I ask that you support the community volunteers who are struggling but want to help,” said Judge Barker. “With calm deliberation we will allay the concerns and answer the questions asked regarding guardianship. Protecting those impacted by intellectual disabilities and diseases associated with aging is essential to the well-being of our families and community in Clark County. In cooperation with this commission, the judicial branch is actively addressing the guardianship issues raised and will pursue the best avenues and resources to develop solutions and improve the handling of guardianship cases.”

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The Family Division of District Court recently issued an Administrative Order to protect the privacy and safety of children and adults involved involved in juvenile dependency cases.

Click to access Administrative%20Order%2015-05.pdf

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DSC_0061The Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Division has been serving our community for more than 20 years. During the week of Nov. 17-21, visitors are invited to get a first-hand look at programs aimed at ensuring the best interest of families in our community and to meet service providers who help families during some of their most challenging times. A week filled with informative events is planned at the Family Court. The events include: two service provider days in the Family Court atrium; a ropes challenge at the juvenile detention facility that will demonstrate some of the work being accomplished to rehabilitate youth offenders; an adoption fair that will share the wonderful fulfillment of adoption; a recognition ceremony to honor those who founded the Family Court and to provide perspective on why it is so crucial to our community; and an art contest showcase of what family means to children in Clark County.

“It took a lot of work and commitment from many individuals to establish and build the Family Court to what it is today. A lot has been accomplished over the past 20 years to assist families in some of their most challenging times,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “This 20th anniversary recognition week is an opportunity for the community to see what is available to ensure the interests of families in Clark County. The events will also offer a perspective on the importance of a court focused on addressing family law.”

Family Court 20th anniversary event schedule Nov. 17-21

Monday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Family Court Atrium, 601 N. Pecos Road
On-campus Service Provider Day This is an opportunity to learn about the services available and to meet the people who assist families on the Family Court campus.

Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Family Court Atrium, 601 N. Pecos Road
Off-campus Service Provider Day This is an opportunity to learn about the off-site providers and the services they offer to assist families in partnership with the Family Court.

Wednesday, Nov. 19
8 a.m. in Child Haven Gym, 651 N. Pecos (Family Court Campus) followed by scheduled adoptions
Adoption Marathon with 75 being adopted
Opening Family Celebration at Child Haven gym followed by adoptions in various courtrooms.
10 a.m. to noon at the Juvenile Detention Facility Ropes Course
Ropes Challenge Judicial Relay
Family Court judges will showcase the work done to rehabilitate juveniles and meet the daily challenges of the Family Court.

Thursday, Nov. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Child Haven Gym, 651 N. Pecos (Family Court Campus)
Family Court Awards Recognition Event This event will offer a historical perspective and recognize those who founded Family Court.

Friday, Nov. 21 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Child Haven Gym, 651 N. Pecos (Family Court Campus)
Student art contest winners announced
Contest theme: What does family mean to you?
Student artwork will be displayed for viewing.

The Family Court 20th anniversary events scheduled for Nov. 17-21 will demonstrate how the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is using alternative, more efficient means to ensure justice through a collaborative therapeutic problem solving specialty court process. For more information about the courts, please visit our website at,, Twitter at
M Price@LasVegasCourts, or blog at

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Newly Minted CASA Volunteers

New CASA volunteers were sworn in this week. More volunteers are needed (especially men) to give children in foster care a voice. Past volunteers shared how rewarding the experience can be. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit or Facebook at!/CASALasVegas.

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There are so many young people in our community who need someone to speak up for them, they need an advocate.  It can be tough enough to navigate going to school and making the grade when all is well in life.  Unfortunately, so many kids in our community have no great role models or people who care.  Through no fault of their own, there is no real family to serve as role model, caretaker or anything else. There are thousands of kids in foster care who have been through a lot and have been shuffled around, a lot. You can help. You can volunteer to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA for short).  Family Court is preparing to swear in around 20 graduates of the advocate training program this month; but it is not nearly enough volunteers to cover the more than 2000 foster kids in our community.  More people are needed to advocate for them in school and other areas.  CASA volunteers are really making a difference, really helping young people stay on track and accomplish goals. 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. Upcoming CASA orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit or Facebook at!/CASALasVegas.


Trial by Peers Graduation

Proud parents, family members and friend snapped photos as 30 students from Clark County ranging from ages 12 to 17 years old graduated from the Clark County Law Foundation’s Trial By Peers (TBP) Program Peer Counselor Summer Course. Judge Frank Sullivan was the master of ceremonies .

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Truancy Diversion Program To Kickoff September 16 For New School Year To Keep Students In School And On Track for Success

The Family Court Truancy Diversion Project (TDP) is holding their new school year kickoff on September 16 at 12:15 p.m. at Family Court, 601 N. Pecos in Courtroom 9. The program is offering great opportunity for attorneys and law clerks to make a difference in the community by serving as judges for the Truancy Court Diversion Project (TDP). This early intervention program is aimed at keeping truant students in school and on the path to success.

Truant youth are more likely to drop out of school. In Clark County around 60,000 children are truant during the school year. Nevada’s dropout rate is reported to be the highest in the nation. Everyday in Family Court, judges see first-hand the fallout from truancy and its negative consequences. Teen pregnancy, high unemployment and the likelihood of falling into the criminal justice system are all linked to truancy and school dropout.

The goal of the TDP is to reduce the number of students entering the formal juvenile justice system as a result of skipping school. Truancy is often a symptom of greater need within the family. The truancy program strategy includes identifying and addressing a variety of family issues including substance abuse or lack of basic necessities such as food, clothing, and housing. The program also promotes improvement in academic achievement and attempts to reduce student behavioral problems.

“The Truancy Diversion Program doesn’t just benefit these students but it benefits our community as a whole. Higher graduation rates lead to a stronger more employable community,” said District Court Judge Jennifer Elliott. “Volunteering to serve as a judge in the Truancy Court Diversion Project is worthwhile work. Our young students gain so much from the guidance provided by the volunteers in this program.”

The TDP judges wear robes and preside during the diversion program on school property. Sessions usually begin at about 7:30 a.m. once a week for two to three hours. The judge meets with the student, family and advocates to address issues, monitor progress, make recommendations and reward positive behavior.

Attorneys or law clerks interested in volunteering should contact Debbie Rose at 455-1755 or e-mail For more information about the Truancy Court Diversion Project visit for more information about the courts please visit our website at

The Truancy Diversion Program demonstrates how the Eighth Judicial District Court is working to strengthen the community. District Court continuously works to develop innovative ideas, improve efficiencies, address issues and improve access to justice. For more information about the courts, please visit our website at

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