Tag Archives: Eighth Judicial District Court
January 11, 2017 Local students face-off in mock-trials before Family Court Judges in lead-up to regional competition
Local high school students faced-off in an intense mock trial competition before actual District Court Judges Rebecca Burton, Cynthia Giuliani and Frank Sullivan. The judges volunteered their time and experience to preside over the competition. They gave the young legal eagles some valuable, real-world insight in round-one of mock trial competitions that lead up to a regional challenge.
The District Court Family Division hosted the Fourth Annual Faith Lutheran Mock Trial Competition on Jan. 7. Six teams totaling almost 50 students participated. The 27 students that earned highest scores will make up the Faith Lutheran Mock Trial teams that will move on to the regional competition on Feb. 11 at the Regional Justice Center.
Tags: Clark County Education, Eighth Judicial District Court, Faith Lutheran Mock Trial, Family Court, Judge Cynthia Giuliani, Judge Frank Sullivan, Judge Rebecca Burton, Las Vegas Education, Las Vegas Mock trials
As we begin 2017, we bid a fond farewell to Judge David Barker, who retired at the end of 2016 after 32 years of public service. We remember the sad passing of Judge Susan Scann, while we extend a warm welcome to Judge David Jones, who has since been appointed to Department 29. We also look to replace Judge Jessie Walsh, who retires this month after 13 years on the bench. So, it’s moving season for District Court. As part of the moving process we are relocating two groups of judges who hear common cases: business, probate and guardianship, to be in closer proximity to each other. This new arrangement should facilitate workflow and improve efficiency for all those involved with these case types.
There will be a total of nine court location changes including:
Dept. 7 Judge Linda Marie Bell will move to Courtroom 15A
Dept. 11 Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez will move to Courtroom TBA case-by-case
Dept. 13 Judge Mark R. Denton will move to Courtroom 3D
Dept. 14 Judge Adriana Escobar will move to Courtroom 14C
Dept. 15 Judge Joseph “Joe” Hardy Jr. will move to Courtroom 3H
Dept. 18 Sr. Judge Courtroom will move to Phoenix Bldg. 11th Floor
Dept. 20 Judge Louis Eric Johnson will move to 12A
Dept. 25 Judge Kathleen Delaney will move to Courtroom 3F
Dept. 26 Judge J. Sturman will move to Courtroom 10D
Below is a complete list of all the District Court courtrooms at the Regional Justice Center and the Phoenix building.
Eighth Judicial District Court at the Regional Justice Center
Dept. 1 Judge Kenneth C. Cory Courtroom 16A
Dept. 2 Judge Richard Scotti Courtroom 11D
Dept. 3 Judge Douglas W. Herndon Courtroom 16C
Dept. 4 Judge Kerry Earley Courtroom 16B
Dept. 5 Judge Carolyn Ellsworth Courtroom 16D
Dept. 6 Judge Elissa Cadish Courtroom 15B
Dept. 7 Judge Linda Marie Bell Courtroom 15A
Dept. 8 Judge Douglas E. Smith Courtroom 11B
Dept. 9 Judge Jennifer Togliatti Courtroom 10C
Dept. 10 Vacant Courtroom 14B
Dept. 11 Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez Courtroom TBA case-by-case
Dept. 12 Judge Michelle Leavitt Courtroom 14D
Dept. 13 Judge Mark R. Denton Courtroom 3D
Dept. 14 Judge Adriana Escobar Courtroom 14C
Dept. 15 Judge Joseph “Joe” Hardy Jr. Courtroom 3H
Dept. 16 Judge Timothy Williams Courtroom 12D
Dept. 17 Judge Michael Villani Courtroom 11A
Dept. 18 Vacant Courtroom Phoenix Bldg. 11th Floor
Dept. 19 Judge William “Bill” Kephart Courtroom 3E
Dept. 20 Judge Eric Johnson 12A
Dept. 21 Judge Valerie Adair Courtroom 11C
Dept. 22 Judge Susan Johnson Courtroom 15D
Dept. 23 Judge Stefany Miley Courtroom 12C
Dept. 24 Judge Jim Crockett Courtroom Phoenix Bldg. 11th Floor
Dept. 25 Judge Kathleen Delaney Courtroom 3F
Dept. 26 Judge J. Sturman Courtroom 10D
Dept. 27 Judge Nancy L. Allf Courtroom 3A
Dept. 28 Judge Ronald J. Israel Courtroom 15C
Dept. 29 Judge David Jones Courtroom 3B
Dept. 30 Judge Jerry A. Wiese II Courtroom 14A
Dept. 31 Judge Joanna S. Kishner Courtroom 12B
Dept. 32 Judge Rob Bare Courtroom 3C
Dept. H Judge T. Arthur Ritchie, Jr. Courtroom 3G
Dept. M Judge Bill Potter Courtroom 10B
Dept. S Judge Vincent Ochoa Courtroom 10A
If you need help finding courts, download the free Courtfinder app. Courtfinder, developed by the District Court Information Technology division with Judge David Barker, displays updated dockets in real-timefor the courts located at the Regional Justice Center. The application is easy to use and free to download from the Google Play and iphone app stores.
Bita Yeager has been named to fill the hearing master position for the Eighth Judicial District specialty courts. She was selected through a three-tiered recruitment process, established in an administrative directive for selecting District Court hearing masters and commissioners, that includes public input.
“Bita Yeager brings a diverse wealth of experience to the position of hearing master for the specialty courts,” said Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “Her qualifications are well-suited to the rigorous nature of the specialty courts and I anticipate that she will be a strong asset to the program that has great success turning lives around.”
Bita Yeager just finished her term as Justice of the Peace after becoming the first Asian-American to be appointed to the Las Vegas Justice Court. She specialized in indigent criminal defense for more than18 years with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office where, for a number of years, she handled the specialty courts dealing with the mentally ill. She has taught classes regarding the mentally ill in the justice system to both attorneys and Metro Officers (as part of their Crisis Intervention Team training).
In an effort to prevent recidivism, as a team chief at the Public Defender’s office, Bita spearheaded the creation of the North Las Vegas Community Court, a diversionary court providing counseling and employment training to young non-violent offenders. She also established a partnership between the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, and UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to create a pro bono record-sealing project, called “Clean Slate.” She created a partnership with the Immigration Clinic at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, to help the attorneys in her office better advise non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of their cases. In 2014, as a result of her efforts, Bita was awarded the Pro Bono Project Award of Excellence from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and the President’s Award from the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Bita earned her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and her Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law.
Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”
Brenoch Wirthlin recognized as September pro bono volunteer of the month
Brenoch Wirthlin, who is a Director at the Fennemore Craig law firm, was recognized by the District Court judges as the September pro bono volunteer of the month. Since 2012, Brenoch has accepted seven new pro bono cases through Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. He has assisted low income clients in a variety of matters, including civil/consumer, domestic violence and bankruptcy. Brenoch also participates in a Small Claims and Veterans Ask-A-Lawyer Programs. He is fluent in Spanish and uses his bilingual skills to assist Spanish speaking clients.
Brenoch has been interested in doing pro bono work since he first moved to Las Vegas. “The most meaningful law I ever practiced was pro bono,” said Brenoch when accepting his award.
He shared a story on the very first pro bono client he helped who was in tears in his office because she did not see a way out of her difficult situation. Brenoch was able to assist her to find a resolution.
One of his most memorable pro bono clients was a mother whom he assisted in retaining custody of her children. This client had been through a tough time in her personal life but Brenoch was able to protect her rights and come to a resolution which allowed her to keep custody of her son. This client was so grateful for Brenoch’s assistance that she continued to stay and touch and send thank you notes for years following the case.
Attorneys who are interested in taking a pro bono case should visit www.lacsnprobono.org or call 702-386-1413 to select a case. October is pro bono month with a special case line-pass program in place for attorneys who volunteer.
October 3, 2016 District Court to use $1.4 million grant for residential treatment program to end the cycle of addiction and crime for participants
The Eighth Judicial District Court is using a $1.4 million grant from the State Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) to work to end the cycle of addiction and crime through residential treatment for 80 participants. There is a desperate need for residential substance abuse and mental health treatment in Clark County. Residential treatment with wraparound services offers judges a viable sentencing alternative to jail-time. It is an approach that has proven to have better outcomes than punitive sentencing.
“I applaud Governor Brian Sandoval and the leadership of DPBH Director Richard Whitley for their efforts to make this funding a reality and taking action to address this pressing need,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker. “Residential treatment infrastructure has been a missing element in our specialty courts continuum of care. The residential component improves the odds of long-term success for participants. Not only is residential treatment more effective, but it is less expensive than jail. The results are: millions of dollars in savings for the jail, a reduction in jail overcrowding and more individuals successfully completing treatment and becoming productive members of our community.”
The court will use the $1.4 million to provide residential treatment services to 80 defendants per month from District Court and/or the Las Vegas Justice Court. Initially, the Freedom House Project will be the service provider; other providers will be added as they become available. Approximately 35 participants have already been placed in treatment; another 100 people have been sentenced and are waiting to move to a treatment facility.
The residential placements are broken into three levels of care. The Freedom House Coordinated Care Program will provide housing and a drug-free environment to 40 specialty court participants who are also in outpatient treatment through the Choices Group or other treatment providers. In addition, the funding will cover up to 30 specialty court participants who are sentenced to sober-living with intensive out-patient programming provided in-house. Up to 10 residential placements will go for in-patient substance abuse treatment services with 24/7 care, monitoring, treatment and housing.
The Freedom House ANCHOR Project will also be available to provide a full range of integrated services for ex-offenders needing access to housing, education/training, and employment to reduce the likelihood of residents returning to jail or prison. Programming includes the use of mentors, re-entry counseling, job skills development, and employment opportunities. The ANCHOR Project will use evidence-based tools/techniques for successful community reentry/reintegration and access to a range of best-practice services tailored to individual client’s needs.
September 16, 2016 September Adult Guardianship Bench/Bar Meeting cancelled – next meeting to be held in October
The Adult Guardianship Bench/Bar Meeting that was scheduled for Sept. 26 has been cancelled. Mark your calendar for the next meeting on Oct.24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Public Guardian’s Office, 515 Shadow Lane. If you have an agenda item for the Oct. meeting please e-mail RootA@clarkcountycourts.usno later than Oct. 14. Attendance to the Bench/Bar Meeting is free plus you getting two free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. Bench Bar meetings are a great way to stay up on the latest developments and improve the efficacy of those who practice in the area of guardianship.
September 15, 2016 Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez Selected To Assume District Court Chief Judge Post January 1
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez was selected to be the new chief judge of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. She will succeed Chief Judge David Barker. Judges on the District Court bench voted to choose the new chief who will officially start the role on Jan. 1 next year. The chief judge is responsible for managing the administration of the court while maintaining an active (reduced) caseload hearing and deciding cases.
“I am honored to be selected to fill the role of chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District Court and to carry on the precedence of excellence established by colleagues such as Chief Judge Barker,“ said Judge Gonzalez. “I look forward to beginning this new challenge of keeping the court on course to achieve the vision of timely and fair adjudication, optimum technological advancement, continuous improvement and maximum efficiency.”
Judge Gonzalez who was the 2015 Liberty Bell Award honoree, is currently the presiding judge of the Civil Division, handling business and criminal cases and serving on the executive committee of the court. She was appointed to the District Court in July 2004. Prior to taking the bench, she practiced predominantly in complex civil litigation that included business, mass tort, and construction defect litigation. From 1986 to 1998, she was employed with the law firm of Beckley, Singleton, Jemison & List where she focused on these areas of litigation and served as the firm’s president from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 until taking the bench, she operated her own firm.
Judge Gonzalez is a past president of the American College of Business Court Judges and has served as a Business Court Representative to the ABA Business Law Section. Currently she serves on the Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and serves on both the Education Committee and Judicial Education Requirements Study Committee of the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada. She previously served on the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada, the Supreme Court Jury Improvement Commission, and the State of Nevada Ethics Commission. Judge Gonzalez attained a B.A. in History, with honors, from the University of Florida in May of 1982 and received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1985. She was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 1985.
“Judge Gonzalez has demonstrated repeatedly that she is well-suited to fill the role of chief judge of the District Court. She is well-respected and has excelled as the presiding Civil Division judge; and has contributed much as an executive committee member. I am confident that Judge Gonzalez will lead the District Court in a productive direction,” said current Chief Judge Barker.
Under Chief Judge Barker, the District Court received recognition for several programs including the NACM Top 10 Court Technology Solutions Award and NACM Award for Project 48. During his tenure as chief, Judge Barker worked on the Pre-trial Committee to relieve jail overcrowding, worked to start the Guardianship Commission, served on the Nevada State—Federal Judicial Council and the Judicial Council of Southern Nevada.
Tags: Barbara Buckley, Clark County Courts, District Court Chief Judge, Eighth Judicial District Court, Judge David Barker, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, Las Vegas Court, Las Vegas courts, Nevada Court, NV court