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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: CCSD

 

Fourth grade students from Rundle Elementary School had an eye-opening experience when they sat through Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Doug Herndon’s actual criminal calendar. The students reacted when the judge sentenced an armed robber to six to 20 years. One students remarked that he hadn’t even been alive that long. Judge Herndon and Judge Linda Bell fielded questions from the kids after the criminal calendar and before the students took on roles of judge, jury, attorneys, witnesses and marshals for a Harry Potter mock trial. Two classes were part of the pilot-program done in coordination with Project REAL. The activities are intended to teach students about the justice system, possible career opportunities and the consequences of criminal activities. A highlight for the kids was a taser demonstration conducted by District Court Marshal Tom Lemke.

Judge Herndon envisioned this mock trial program and wrote the script as a way to provide a fun and interesting way for young students to learn about the justice system. “This program is a good way for young students to see the legal profession in action. When they watch actual court proceedings, they see the unfortunate consequences of criminal activity,” said Judge Herndon. “The mock trials give the students a way to relate to and understand the justice system, and to see career roles that they may want to consider in the future.”

Rundle Elementary is the first Clark County School District school to participate in this mock trial program. “We appreciate the teachers and principal bringing their students to watch a criminal court and participate in a mock trial,” said Judge Bell. “These kids are at the perfect age to learn about the justice system. Giving the students a front-row seat in a real courtroom helps them understand the impact people’s bad decisions have on others and on our community. We also hope to inspire these kids to become the next generation of lawyers and law enforcement professionals.”

To support the lessons in Judge Herndon’s script, Project REAL created three days of presentations and supporting worksheets. Project REAL’s staff then presented the lessons to the students of Rundle Elementary with support from their teachers. These activities prepared students for their Harry Potter experience by teaching them basic law-related vocabulary, trial procedure, and the roles and career opportunities available in the justice system.

Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. More information about Project REAL can be found by visiting http://projectrealnv.org or contacting mkamer@projectrealnv.org.

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Huge sparkling diamonds and words of praise were given to Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) volunteers who visit schools and motivate kids to get in the classroom, on track to graduate and on the path to success in life.  The diamonds weren’t real, they were awards, but they conveyed the immense appreciation for the volunteers; many of whom got up and expressed tremendous pride for the program that is changing young lives for the better.

The volunteers, who are judges, attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers, spend approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court at schools, where they meet individually with students and their parents. They get to the heart of why the students are struggling and clear a path to help them get to school and make the grade. The volunteers know they are making a difference through motivation; they know they are getting through to the kids on the importance of their education.

Volunteers review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful. The TDP judges promote and support academic achievement using a team effort and an individual student success plan. Since 2007, the TDP has expanded from six to 80 schools including elementary, middle schools and high schools. The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all Clark County schools have a TDP program.

The TDP was established by Judge Gerald Hardcastle in 2002. Since 2007, the program has been overseen by District Court Judge Jennifer Elliott in collaboration with the Clark County School District. Those without a high school diploma face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the CCSD has been structured to prevent and reduce youth crime, re-engage students in learning, and ultimately, reduce potential costs to our welfare and justice systems. It is a non-punitive, incentive-based approach to at-risk school students with truancy problems. A team (judge, family advocate, school personnel) works with the students and their families.

Licensed attorneys, mental health professionals or law enforcement officers interested in volunteering as a TDP judge can call 702-455-1755.

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A recent book drive at the Regional Justice Center and at Family Court brought in boxes of books to be given to students, teachers and for use at an upcoming book fair. Thanks to all those who lugged in bags and boxes to contribute books. The Clark County School District sent a van to collect the recycled reading material. They expressed appreciation for the books and promised that they will go to good use in the hands of kids who really need them, in teacher gift baskets, or to stock book fair tables.

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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 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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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 https://youtu.be/CDZpjl-r4aw

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Best pro bono work ever! That’s how attorney Kristin Brewer describer serving as a volunteer judge in the Truancy Diversion Program (TDP). At a recent luncheon, Brewer and other volunteers were given awards and honored for making a difference in the lives of young people. The program is in 70 elementary, middle and high schools and recently received a grant that will enable expanding to other schools.

Clark County reported nearly 120,000 truant children for school-year 2013-2014.Those without a high school diploma, face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the CCSD has been structured to prevent and reduce youth crime, re-engage students in learning, and ultimately, reduce potential costs to our welfare and justice systems. It is a non-punitive, incentive-based approach to at-risk school students with truancy problems. A team (judge, family advocate, school personnel) works with the students and their families.

Judges, attorneys and other qualified applicants are needed to volunteer approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court sessions at schools and meet individually with students and their parents; review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful.

The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all 358 Clark County schools have a TDP program. In 2014, the TDP was one of four programs in the nation to receive a $600,000 grant from the Department of Justice designed to keep kids in school and out of court.

If you are a licensed attorney, mental health professional or law enforcement officer and are interested in volunteering as a TDP judge for this Specialty Court program please contact DeDe Parker at: 702-321-2410.

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