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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Judge David Barker

After 10 years on the District Court bench and 32 exceptional years in public service, Judge David Barker retired on Jan. 6. Judge Barker has been a steadfast figure in the court. He served  the past two years as chief judge and on the court executive committee since 2011.

During his term as Chief Judge, Judge Barker was known for his commitment to serving the public, for being an excellent steward of public funds, and making the most of technology to improve efficiency. He conceived and worked to develop the Courtfinder “app” that puts court dockets in the palm of users’ hands. Additionally, the court made the list of the Top-10 Court Technology Solutions, as named by the National Association for Court Management.

Judge Barker’s leadership and ability to promote collaboration can been seen in Project 48, which reduced criminal bind-overs from 10-15 days to 48 hours. The project had a direct impact on reducing the average number of days in jail and generated significant financial savings. Project 48 demonstrated an impressive cooperative effort that included the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices, Justice Court, District Court, and the Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers. Project 48 was selected by the National Association of Counties for their 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management.

Judge Barker began his public service career in 1984, when he was sworn in as a Clark County Deputy District Attorney and promoted in 1989 to Chief Deputy District Attorney supervising the Major Fraud Division. In that role, he worked in numerous divisions including, criminal track team chief, screening, and Grand Jury/financial crimes. In 1991, he left the District Attorney’s Office for private practice with the law firm of Bell and Davidson. He returned to the District Attorney’s Office in 1992.

In March 2007, Judge Barker was appointed to Department 18 of the Eighth Judicial District Court by Governor Jim Gibbons and ran unopposed in both 2008 and 2014. He has served impeccably as jurist in Department 18 and his regard for the Constitution and the justice system has been exemplary. He is highly respected, regarded as fair, balanced, ethical and committed. During his time on the bench, he valued respectful courtroom decorum, efficiency and courtesy.

Judge Barker has donated countless hours to the Bar and community as a member of the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board and as a coach with Nevada State Bar sponsored High School Mock Trial program. His efforts have served to open doors for many young people interested in law careers. Judge Barker’s unwavering commitment to his family, career and his country are an example for all. Through his honor, virtue, and compassion, he has been an exemplary inspiration to the justice community. His consistent presence and steadfast leadership will be greatly missed.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

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Those who responded to the call for jury duty were greeted and thanked for their response by Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas, Chief Judge David Barker and Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. Those in attendance were offered fresh coffee and cookies compliments of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court judges.  They also got a sneak-peek at two new jury service videos that are being release today. We’ve heard every jury excuse in the book/top three most creative jury excuses (with Justice Mark Gibbons and Judge David Barker) and add jury service to your bucket list videos can be view on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCinfEGC2Ix41UfnsT3P1b1A\

Jury services is widely recognized as essential pillar of our justice system and those who serve their civic duty are highly regarded and appreciated by the court. District Court has upgraded and streamlined Jury Services to improve efficiency and save time for all involved in the jury selection process, most notably attorneys and reporting jurors. A series of upgrades initiated by past Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti began several years ago and is ongoing. Some of the most recent improvements include the ability for summoned jurors to access jury qualification questionnaires in a variety of ways: kiosks, improved wi-fi for personal electronic devices, and court-provided tablets. The Jury Services webpage (http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ejdc/juror-information/index.html#Frequently Asked Questions) has been upgraded to help jurors navigate through the reporting process by, among other things, offering jury qualification questionnaires online to improve pre-qualification rates. Potential jurors can complete their qualification questionnaires and upload/attach documentation right onto their record. Potential jurors can also update their addresses and find information on what to expect, FAQs, directions to courthouse/parking, and the orientation video. Potential jurors/jurors are also able to select their preferred method of contact including: email, text, phone, or mail. Reminder calls can be made to jurors 10 days in advance and the night prior to reporting.

Other upgrades include two touch–screen kiosks for expedited check-in. Kiosks offer the capability to complete qualification questionnaires in the Jury Services room and the ability to print attendance letters and checks. Court plans include the addition of 10 kiosks with bar code scanning capability. Jurors are no longer paid with a voucher system. Instead, checks are now issued immediately upon completion of service and are available through various ways; checks can be picked-up by the jurors upon notification by departments, or the departments can collect the checks and hand them out in the courtroom. Jurors can also request a link to an exit survey to be e-mailed to them for online completion through the eJuror web-page. The surveys are intended to gather better feedback and input on opportunities for improvement.

 

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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Guide and File system made the list of the top-10 court technology solutions as named by the National Association for Court Management (NACM). The honor was announced for Guide and File at this year’s Top 10 Court Technology Solutions Award, during the organization’s annual conference in Pittsburg, PA. The awards are given each year to courts that make the best use of web technology to improve court services and access to public records.

Guide and File offers an online portal at the Self-Help Centers that guides self-represented litigants through the filing process with a tailored menu of questions and through automated court forms generated based on their responses. Completed forms get filed into the court case management systems. Guide and File simplifies what can be a challenging process.

“I commend the work of our court staff and the legal service organizations that helped to develop and fine-tune the Guide and File system,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker.” Getting national recognition for this system is affirmation that our focus on technology is paying dividends in enhanced service to those who access the court.”

The system incorporates electronic, interactive interviews for a variety of case types – including several types of divorce, fee waiver, name change, protection order, and petition to disburse money. The online interviews were developed by court staff in conjunction with local legal services organizations (Civil Law Self Help Center and the Family Law Self Help Center). The technology platform is Tyler’s Odyssey® Guide and File product, which makes it easy to author interviews and to customize interviews created by other jurisdictions that conform to the rules of our court. This system can be accessed by self-represented litigants via the Self-Help Center websites and kiosks.

“I’m really excited about the future of this technology. We’re only touching the tip of the iceberg on the opportunities to provide this level of interaction and access to the court, “said District Court Chief Executive Officer Steve Grierson.

The National Association for Court Management, housed in Williamsburg, Va., at the National Center for State Courts, is a membership organization formed in 1985 to help court managers improve their proficiency while working with colleagues to improve the administration of justice. With more than 1,700 members in the United States and several other countries, NACM is the largest organization of court management professionals in the world. Entries are considered by a six-judge panel composed of court officials with a varying range of experience. In groups of three, the judges independently evaluate each website on a scale of 1 to 10. Criteria include such measures as access to public records, ease of navigation, use of multimedia, and interactive capabilities. Scores are then combined, and the top ten scorers become the award winners.

 

 

 

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Laquedra Parks has a big smile and a determined personality. Her determination is what helped her make it through the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy. She graduated on June 23 and will begin serving as a court marshal on June 27. Laquedra left her desk job as a receptionist for the District Court to go through 23 weeks of tough police academy training. A graduation video showed the trainees getting tased, fighting, running and other grueling training to prepare them for the job. There was a lot of talk about integrity during the graduation. The academy commander Lt. Walt Dennison summed it up well; he said, “If someone does not have integrity, they do not belong in the field of law enforcement.”

Graduation was a proud moment for Laquedra. Her already big smile was a little brighter as District Court Chief Judge David Barker pinned the official badge on her uniform.

The courts are some of the most frequented facilities in Southern Nevada. Thousands pass through the courthouse doors each day and the marshals who protect the gates and courtrooms are responsible for the safety of all those who enter. It takes high caliber individuals to meet this challenge and complete the training to be a court marshal.

District Court has a Police Academy Recruitment Program. Military veterans are encouraged to apply and may be eligible to receive help to cover the costs for the Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification. The court is working with the Nevada Partners, Las Vegas Urban League, the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation and the College of Southern Nevada to sponsor military veterans for the Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification. The Police Academy Recruitment Program gives veterans who have successfully completed their service a good career path. It is also to help the court fill the many marshal vacancies with the high-caliber individuals needed to fill those important jobs. Weeks of Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification training will ready the veterans for a potential career keeping citizens who visit the court safe. Joseph Ortega and Gustavo Molina are successful graduates of the program and now serve to protect the courthouse. Veterans who are interested in the program can email RamosS@clarkcountycourts.us.

 

 

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