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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez

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It’s the scam that keeps scamming and it has resurfaced for another round of rip-offs in Clark County. A local victim received a phone call from a scammer who claimed to be with Clark County. The victim was told that she missed an appearance for grand jury and she needed to go to a nearby pharmacy to get a pre-paid credit card to post a bond. She was told there was a deputy on his way to her house to arrest her if she didn’t have the money for the bond. This isn’t the first time criminals have used false warrants and bogus claims to get unsuspecting victims to pay-up for missed jury duty. The court is getting the word out on these scams and is asking the community to beware and let others know the telltale signs of the scam.

“The court never solicits money on the telephone or threatens to send a deputy to arrest individuals who have missed jury service,” said District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “Jury service is the cornerstone of the American Justice system. It’s unfortunate that criminals are trying to exploit such an important process to steal from unsuspecting victims. I encourage those who receive these bogus calls to report them to law enforcement,”

Other scams tried in the past, made via telephone, mail or e-mail, have included fake judgments that required money, and an assortment of phony warrant scams. The scammers are hard to catch and prosecute. They mostly ask victims to purchase pre-paid credit cards. Potential victims should independently verify all claims, and thoroughly examine and verify any paperwork or e-mails that asks for money. Many of the victims have been senior citizens. It is optional for those over the age of 70 to serve on a jury. The District Court website offers information on jury service at http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ejdc/juror-information/index.html. Those who have received a summons can reschedule jury service online at https://ejuror.clarkcountycourts.us. A jury phone line is also available at 702-455-4472 (callers should remain on the line for the operator).

 

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OathtightThree new District Court judges will pronounce their judicial oath to uphold justice in our community on June 2 at 2:30 p.m., at an investiture ceremony at the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers, 500 Grand Central Pkwy. In front of family, friends and fellow jurists, District Court Judge Tierra Jones, District Court Judge Mark Bailus, and District Court Judge David M. Jones will receive their judicial robes and swear an oath to uphold the law.

“Each of these new jurists have excelled professionally. I believe that their depth of experience will serve them well as they preside over the complex and challenging cases of the Eighth Judicial District Court,” said Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.

  • Judge Tierra Jones is serving in District Court Dept. 10 in Regional Justice Center courtroom 14B with a civil/criminal docket.
  • Judge Mark Bailus will serve in District Court Dept. 18 in the Phoenix Bldg.11th floor courtroom with a civil docket.
  • Judge David Jones is serving in District Court Dept. 29 in Regional Justice Center courtroom 3B with a civil docket.

Judge Tierra Jones leaves a post as a deputy district attorney for Clark County to take the bench. She also served as a district attorney in Nye County and public defender in Clark County. Judge Jones is from  Hawthorne, Nevada. She attended University of Nevada, Reno and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law.

Judge Mark Bailus takes the bench after working in private practice with a focus on complex civil and criminal litigation and appeals at the law firm of Bailus Cook & Kelesis, Ltd.  Judge Bailus’ professional experience also includes a partnership in the law firm of Cherry Bailus & Kelesis, serving as general counsel for Nevada Beverage Company and as an attorney with the Clark County Special Public Defender’s Office.  Further, he was on the Ombudsperson Panel to represent the deceased family and public at the Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review hearings. Judge Bailus is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Judge David Jones is a Las Vegas native and Valley High School graduate. He attended Arizona State University. After graduation, Judge Jones taught Government, World and U.S. History at Rancho High School. After several years as a teacher, Judge Jones attended University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, graduating with honors. Judge Jones’ professional experience includes a long-term partnership at Rawlings, Olson, Cannon, et al., and a partnership at the law firm of Lewis Brisbois. He was also the managing attorney for the Plaintiff based firm of David Allen & Associates. His work includes presiding over short-trials, mediation and arbitration, and the Truancy Diversion Program.

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The Eighth Judicial District business court will host a Bench Bar Meeting on March 28 at noon at the Regional Justice Center in courtroom 3H. The meeting will cover issues specific to the business court. Each of the five business court judges will offer an introduction. Performance information for 2016 will be provided; and questions, comments and concerns will be addressed. Bench Bar Meeting are a great way for attorneys to stay on top of new information and trends, network and clarify questions that can improve effectiveness in court.

 

 

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District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued an administrative order on Feb. 2 that established a Jury Services Committee to examine the jury process from summons through discharge. Judge Valerie Adair and Judge Timothy Williams will chair the committee. They, along with the committee, will look to ensure the court is compliant with all statutory and rule amendments that came out of the 2002 Nevada Supreme Court Jury Improvement Committee. The newly established District Court Jury Services Committee will also explore the viability of further operational and technological improvements that could enhance the process.

Several years ago, past Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti initiated a push to improve jury services in the Nevada Eighth Judicial District. Improvements were made including 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) was upgraded to help jurors navigate through the reporting process by, among other things, offering jury qualification questionnaires online to improve pre-qualification rates. The capability for potential jurors to complete their qualification questionnaires and upload/attach documentation right onto their record was implemented, along with the ability to update their addresses and find information on what to expect. Frequently asked questions, directions to courthouse/parking, and an orientation video were also made available online. The capability for potential jurors to select their preferred method of contact including: email, text, phone, or mail, was also added to the jury page on the court website. An electronic system to perform reminder calls to jurors10 days in advance and the night prior to reporting was implemented.

Other upgrades include 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. 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.

The American justice system hinges on the jury system. The Constitution guarantees: “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.

Link to admin order http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/clerk/rules/AO%2017-02.pdf

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The first of the newly established Jack and Lulu Lehman scholarships has been awarded to help fund the education of an outstanding juvenile drug court graduate. The recipient was recently accepted to the College of Southern Nevada to study psychology. Each year, grants in the amount of $1,500 will be awarded to 10 qualified students who are graduates of the juvenile drug court program. The scholarships are intended to assist applicants with school tuition and educational fees during college, trade and/or vocational school attendance. Students who maintain a 2.5 GPA will have the opportunity to apply for a renewal of their grant each semester/term.

The Lehman Scholarship Fund has been set up by Steve Lehman and Jessica Lehman Hirsch to the honor their father, Judge Jack Lehman, who established the first drug court in Nevada in 1992. Scholarships will be awarded to graduates of the Eighth Judicial District juvenile drug court program who demonstrate an interest in furthering their education as part of their path to a better life in recovery. The Lehman Scholarship Committee members, including Nevada State Senator Michael Roberson, Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager, Jessica Lehman Hirsch, Steve Lehman, and a member of the California Community Foundation, made the award based on the youth’s demonstrated ability to overcome challenges in her life and willingness to obtain an education to enhance her opportunities in the future.

“Judge Jack Lehman was ahead of his time when he established the first adult drug court in Nevada. His legacy of investing in the hope and promise of recovery for people in this community will live on through these scholarships,” said District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.

For those who would like more information on the Jack and Lulu Lehman Scholarship Fund, visit www.calfund.org or contact Marilu Guzman with the California Community Foundation at (213) 452-6260.

“By establishing the first drug court in our state, Judge Jack Lehman took an important step that has turned so many lives around,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “This scholarship, which helps to educate young people who excel in drug court and want to better their lives, is a commendable way to honor the legacy of Judge Lehman.”

Under the direction of Judge William Voy, hearing master Margaret Pickard presides over the juvenile drug court.

“This scholarship offers reinforcement and a hand to the juvenile drug court participants who are getting their lives on the right track,” said Judge Voy. “It provides much needed educational funding, which greatly improves the odds for success for drug court participants.”

Nevada state Senator Michael Roberson and Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager will be joining Jessica Lehman Hirsch, Steve Lehman, and a staff member of the California Community Foundation, as members of the selection committee.

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 who work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.

 

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dsc_0201Brenoch 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.

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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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