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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Las Vegas Family Court

Goldilocks has landed in court several times on charges surrounding what appears to be her penchant for breaking into bears homes and stealing porridge. This time, a jury of her peers wasn’t charmed by her innocent smile or persuaded by her creative excuses. They found her guilty of trespassing and theft in a mock trial in Judge Linda Marquis’ courtroom at the Family Division of District Court. It was part of the Take Your Kids to Work Day events open to students who wanted to participate. Three junior judges sentenced the fairy-tale sweetheart to a one-month grounding with no electronic devices. Judge Marquis, the Public defenders Office, the District Attorney’s Office and attorneys took part in the mock trial to teach children about the justice system.

 

 

 

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Three children from the Miller family had a look of pure bliss when District Court Family Division Judge Cynthia Giuliani waved a magic wand, finalized their adoptions and made their new family whole. The trio got to sit on the bench with the judge. There were tears and cheers from the new parents and family as the adoptions were made official. The newly minted mom and dad gushed as reality sunk in on their hectic new life of love and raising three kids.

When she presides over cases, Judge Giuliani sees a lot of children in need of stable and loving homes. Many of those kids have suffered abuse and neglect. As part of her effort to raise awareness for the need for adoptive families, each year around Halloween, Judge Giuliani transforms to a fairy godmother for a special day of adoptions. She also invites the families to dress up and celebrate the day.

“Creating this experience for these children and their families is a great way to make court a little less intimidating and memorable in a good way,” said Judge Giuliani. “These special adoptions also get people talking and help to raise awareness for the need for adoptive families.”

The District Court Family Division is involved in other special adoption events, including an annual adoption day marathon which is scheduled this year for Nov.16. For more information about adoption, call the Clark County Department of Family Services at 702-455-0800 or e-mail DFSAdoptions@ClarkCountyNV.gov.

Nine adoptions were finalized by Judge Giuliani on Oct. 31. “With this special adoption event, Judge Giuliani brings attention to the need for caring families who will adopt, foster or even volunteer as court advocates for abused and neglected children. It is a positive way to bring attention to a huge need,” said Family Division Presiding Judge Charles Hoskin. “These adoptions are heartwarming and we’d like to see a lot more of them.”

 

 

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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 http://www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org.

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 http://www.willicklawgroup.com/clark-county-bench-bar-committee

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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Those visiting the Family Division of District Court are often there at the worst time of their life. Divorce, custody of children and guardianships are just a few of the contentious matters that are handled there. So, it’s no surprise that people lose their cool and get emotional during proceedings. Judges do their best to guide litigants through the process in a smooth manner, but it’s a constant challenge that is seen in courts across the nation; so much so, that it has been a

focus in judicial colleges. That’s why the Family bench issued a recent resolution to spell out civility in court with the aim to improve courtroom courtesy.

The following rules of professional cooperation shall be enforced in every courtroom in the

Family Division:

  1. Attorneys and litigants shall, at all times, demonstrate respect for the opposing attorney, litigant and the court
  2. Attorneys and litigants shall be adequately prepared for each court appearance
  3. Attorneys and litigants shall permit the opposing party to present their arguments without interruption (no objections during argument)
  4. Attorneys and litigants shall refrain from excessively repeating facts or arguments
  5. Attorneys and litigants shall refrain from personal attacks on the opposing attorney or litigant
  6. Attorneys and litigants shall address all comments to the Judge and not the opposing attorney or litigant
  7. Attorneys and litigants shall maintain control over their emotions

“The resolution spells out the rules as a reminder to all parties that courtesy and preparation are essential to smooth and efficient court operations.” said the civil Presiding Family Division Judge Charles Hoskin. “It points out that candor, courtesy and cooperation facilitate faster, less costly and mutually accepted resolution of disputes; reduce stress for lawyers, staff and clients; reduce waste of judicial time; and generate respect for the court system, the individual attorney and the profession as a whole.”

Preparation for Family matters has been helped by improvements at the Family Law Self-Help Center located right on the Family Division Campus at 601 N. Pecos Road and the Family law self Help website

familylawselfhelpcenter.org/. Those looking to represent themselves in Family Court  cases, can access a new website that offers how-to tips, forms and info on going solo in court. Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has launched the new site at  http://www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org/ for the Family Law Self-Help Center. The non-profit Legal Aid Center operates the Self-Help Center at Family Court in cooperation with the Eighth Judicial District Court. The new website provides easy access to many of the forms and resources available at the Self-Help Center.

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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 http://www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/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 www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.

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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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