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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Judge Susan Johnson

On July 1, the new fiscal year begins. The new year brings a new chief judge and presiding judges at District Court.  Judge Linda Marie Bell was elected to replace outgoing Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.  The chief judge maintains responsibility for managing the administration of the court. Judge Bell will continue to hear specialty court cases during her tenure in the chief judge post. Judge Gonzalez will return to hearing civil, business and mental health court cases.

Judge Michael Villani will take over as the criminal presiding judge from Judge Doug Herndon. Judge Jerry Wiese will take on the post as the presiding civil court judge from Judge Susan Johnson.  Presiding judges manage the business of their respective division.

On her last day as chief, Judge Gonzalez sent out a thank you to court employees. “I wanted to express my gratitude to each of you to your hard work in making our Court more accessible to the community. We have worked as a team to improve our time to disposition and access to all of our community. The work we have done as a group is a testament to each of you. The courtesy and respect shown to those who appear in our court system is something of which I am very proud. Thanks again to all for your contributions to this success,” said Judge Gonzalez. “The court administration team worked tirelessly in support of our strategic goals. Those of you who work behind the scenes in administration and the clerk’s office keep the wheels of the organization moving, without even being seen. Although we do not see you on a daily basis, know that your work is appreciated.”

Judge Gonzalez closed her email with, “It has been my honor to serve as your Chief Judge. I wish Judge Bell and her leadership the best of luck in continuing to make improvements on access to justice and time to disposition.”

During her term as chief, Judge Gonzalez established a jury services committee and put into action a plan to add active voter registration names to the Court’s Jury Master List. Judge Gonzalez implemented improvements to how minor guardianship and involuntary commitments are handled. She spearheaded logical enhancements to business practices to maximize space and proximity to enhance interface at the court with a business pod and a guardianship/probate pod. Management for homicide cases was also centralized under her leadership to improve efficiency in the management and timely disposition of such cases.

“I want to extend sincere appreciation to Judge Gonzalez for her hard work and significant accomplishments as the chief judge,” said Judge Bell. “Not only did she maintain a heavy and complex caseload, she accomplished much for the court during her tenure as chief judge.”

“I also want to thank Judge Herndon and Judge Susan Johnson for their work in the role of presiding judge. Both the Civil and Criminal divisions have made impressive progress under their leadership,” said Judge Bell.

July 1 will also usher in docket changes, and courtroom/chamber moves. A summary of those changes can be found in this related story: Change is coming to District Court https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1tQ

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Retired District Court Judge Allan R. Earl passed away March 20. Judge Earl was a respected jurist who served on the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court bench from 2000 to 2014. He was appointed to the bench by Governor Kenny Guinn.

“Judge Earl was a great asset to this court and a wonderful human being who taught many lawyers how to think,” said Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Earl served for 25 years as a partner in the law firm of Galatz, Earl & Associates in Las Vegas, where he specialized in personal injury trial advocacy.

While practicing as an attorney, he served as the President of the Western Trial Lawyers Association, the President of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, now known as the Nevada Justice Association, and was the Lawyer Governor from Nevada to the Board of Governors of Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now known as the American Association for Justice. He was appointed by the Federal Judiciary in Nevada to serve as the Lawyer’s Representative from Nevada to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Judge Earl wrote articles for nationwide legal journals. He was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court to the original Select Committee to redraft the Discovery Rules under the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.

In 1994, he was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court to the Board of Bar Examiners, a position he held for over 21 years. As an attorney, Judge Earl received the highest possible rating, “AV,” by Martindale-Hubbell. As a lawyer, the Nevada Justice Association awarded Judge Earl the Peoples Distinguished Counselor Award in 1994. After he was appointed to the bench the same organization honored him with a lifetime achievement award.

Judge Earl earned a Bachelor of Science degree, Cum Laude in 1965 from Brigham Young University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 1968. He served as a law clerk to the Nevada Supreme Court from 1968 to 1969 and was admitted to the Nevada State Bar in 1968.

Allan R. Earl was listed in the original publication of “Best Lawyers in America.”

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Judge Kathleen Delaney had a fifth grade class from St. Viator’s sit in on her calendar. After watching the wheels of justice turn in the courtroom, the wheels in the students’ minds were turning. They asked the judge some very thoughtful questions. One student got a big laugh when he asked the judge if she ever got frustrated with what happens in court.

Students from the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law spent part of their spring break in an alternative program where they learn about the practice of law and the courts. They sat in on court, attended a judges meeting and got some Q&A time in with the judges.

District Court is involved in a number of initiatives to educate students about the justice system.

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At the December Civil Bench Bar, judicial law clerks/former law clerks shared some insider tips on how to improve court filings.

Judicial law clerks work closely with judges, provide assistance and research issues before the judge. They help judges wade through and manage the mountains of filings that come into a department and know first-hand what makes a good filing and where filings fall short. A panel of judicial law clerks including: Josephine Groh, Collin Jayne, Travis Chance and Daven Cameron compiled their Top Ten Things Judicial Law Clerks Want You to Know.

Late filings are high on the list of things law clerks advise against. The law clerks acknowledge that deadlines creep up and there is a lot going on; but, lawyers should know that judges brief in advance, sometimes as much as a week before a hearing. Filing the day before a hearing doesn’t allow adequate time to review content and generally doesn’t go over well. One former law clerk called late filings “incredibly burdensome.”

Law clerks advise that Order Shortening Time requests should be used very sparingly. There are guidelines that should be referenced. Presently, they are overused and bog down calendars.  If it is a Despositive Motion and you’re asking for an Order Shortening Time, allow enough time for both sides to brief.

Good introductions are well appreciated by law clerks. A good introduction paragraph saves judicial departments time and are likely to result in better outcomes for those filing. A good introduction paragraph should clearly state what you are asking for and the arguments and essentially serve as a road-map for what the petitioner is seeking.

Good conclusions also get high marks from law clerks. Conclusions should be solid and summarize what type of relief the petitioner seeks in a clear and concise manner.  Don’t leave it up to the judge to guess.

When it comes to courtesy copies, law clerks suggest that is wise to know what the department preferences are and follow that. Each department’s preferences can be found on the court website.

Law clerks advise to stay up on department reassignments. If a case has been reassigned, it should be reflected in your filings. Those who reference the wrong department in filings risk losing credibility.

When a judge requires something  it is best to comply rather than use the argument: you’re the only department that requires this. It’s generally safe to say, this argument doesn’t help your case. Judicial preferences are on the website http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/departments/judicial/civil-criminal-divison/

Know what a department expects for trial exhibits, before trial. Know in advance what is needed and how exhibits should be presented. When in doubt, contact the court clerk in enough time to be ready for trial. Be sure to redact all personal identifying information that should not be made public including: social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. Tabbed exhibit are especially well liked.

Proper punctuation is a good thing. Avoid overusing explanation points, bold text and italics. These overused formats don’t make your case more persuasive and may in fact negatively impact the perception of your work. Avoid personal attacks to opposing counsel. Such attacks are viewed unfavorably.

When writing a complaint, be concise and clear. Check templates to ensure they reflect changes in the law.

Some bonus topics were also covered by the law clerks. They advised that Motions in Limine are overused and frequently used improperly. They get a lot of requests to make the other side “follow the law.” Such requests are inappropriate and considered to waste time. A judge reminded those at the bench-bar that attorneys should follow EDCR 2.47 B . The rule requires that counsel personally confer on the issues, what can be resolved and what cannot, and the reasons therefore. If the rule isn’t followed and detailed in a declaration, some judges will vacate motions in limine.

The law clerks also reminded those at the bench-bar to be cognizant when speaking to law clerks that your communication is appropriate. Law clerks work on behalf of judges. Be careful not to engage in ex parte communication when speaking to a law clerk.

A presentation from the Nevada State Bar Association updated attendees on changes with continuing Legal Education (CLE). The Nevada Bar website has a complete list of changes that attorneys can review to ensure that they are compliant with CLE requirements.

Some important dates from the Nevada State Bar Association on  continuing Legal Education (CLE):

1/15/18 CLE Board will notify attorneys that have yet to comply with the

Credit requirement for 2017 and provisionally assess a $100

Extension fee

2/15/18 Deadline to report credits (extended) and pay fees

On or about

3/1/18 CLE Board issues Notice of Noncompliance and assesses late fee

4/1/18Deadline to submit credits (late) and/or pay fees to avoid suspension

4/2/18 Non-compliant attorneys will be administratively CLE suspended

The January 9 Civil Bench Bar meeting at noon in courtroom 10D will include more valuable information for those practicing civil law and an open forum for questions and discussion. The meeting will also include chili cook-off.

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Eighth Judicial District Court judges have teamed up with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to offer insight on recent Nevada Supreme Court decisions with a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session on Jan. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave., courtroom 3A

The distinguished panel will include Judge Nancy Allf (moderator), Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, Judge Susan Johnson, Judge Gloria Sturman, Judge Timothy Williams
and Judge Michael Villani.

The cost for this one-credit CLE is free, contingent on acceptance of one new pro bono case or participation in two Ask-A-Lawyer sessions. Those who wish to participate can view case summaries and Ask-A-Lawyer opportunities. Register online to attend the CLE seminar. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.   

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Civil Bench-Bar meetings always provide plenty of food for thought for those practicing civil law, but the January 10 noon meeting in courtroom 3A, will have the added bonus of featuring a chili cook-off. It’s a tasty way to get the latest Civil Division info, find out which lawyer or judge cooks-up the meanest chili, and mingle.

At the December Bench-Bar, Judge Susan Johnson, now the Presiding Civil Division Judge, passed the baton for presiding over the Bench-Bar Meetings to Judge Nancy Allf. There were a lot of interesting hot topics at the meeting including: the implications of the the $15,000 threshold for Justice Court cases, new marijuana laws and the idea of raising the arbitration limit. Procedural issues were discussed for de novo cases including some quick tips on how to do things right and avoid wasting time. Nevada State Bar President Bryan K. Scott addressed concerns and fielded questions on a variety of topics. He noted that bar counsel investigators have been hired and the backlog of attorney discipline actions have been reduced. Laughlin Constable Jordan Ross provided information on complex civil enforcement in his jurisdiction.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the upcoming Civil Bench Bar meeting and don’t forget it is in courtroom 3A.

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Discovery Commissioner Bulla has made changes to the discovery procedures for the Report and Recommendations. The parties only have to submit the original Report and Recommendations. Copies are no longer required.

Pursuant to N.E.F.C.R.  9, after Commissioner Bulla signs the Report and Recommendations , the parties will be served with notice pursuant to EDCR 2.34(f) via e-service through Wiznet .  The new Report and Recommendation form with the new notice page is now available at the Clark County Website – http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ejdc/courts-and-judges/discovery/discovery.html

The time to object to the Report and Recommendations will continue to be eight (8) judicial days from the date of e-service and the parties are still required to timely provide Commissioner Bulla’s office with a file stamped courtesy copy of any Objection.  If a file stamped copy of the Objection is not available before the objection time expires, a copy of the details of filing from Wiznet will be accepted.

Run slips submitted with the original Report and Recommendations to the Discovery Commissioner, will remain attached to the document when forwarded to the District Court Judge. Once the Report and Recommendations is signed by the District Court Judge, it will be available for pick up by your runner service from the Department.

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