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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Las Vegas courts

The revamped Medical Dental Malpractice Status Check Calendar, more commonly known as Med-Mal Sweeps, held on Aug. 7 went swiftly and smoothly with 155 cases calendared.  The only cases called were the new cases which were never previously set for trial, and cases reassigned from the four newly designated homicide departments.  We set for trial all of the new med-mal cases for which complaints were filed on or before June 5 and had a JCCR filed. In total, 58 trial dates were either re-set or set for the first time.

“It’s nice that we were able to further streamline the med-mal process using new guidelines set out by Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez,” said Judge Jerry Wiese, who presided over the sweeps. “We are providing attorneys with the assistance they need by helping them to avoid having too many trials set on top of each other. At the same time, we are providing the District Court judges the ability to manage their own calendars.”

The court is enforcing NRS 41.A.061.1 and attempting to set all Chapter 41A Professional Negligence trials (not already scheduled) within three years of the date that the Complaint was filed.

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In a move to ensure District Court is making the best use of technology and ensure that court technology is as user friendly and practical as possible, a Technology Improvement Committee has been formed. The goals are to identify problems, and to develop and implement potential solutions/modifications/upgrades.  An email address has been established to receive input from users at ESolutionImprovements@clarkcountycourts.us.  Those who have ideas for improvements or questions about existing systems are encouraged to convey their thoughts to the technology committee through the email. The first committee meeting was held on Aug. 18. The next meeting will be held Oct. 26.

“I encourage those who have ideas, issues, question or concerns, to email their thoughts, so that they can be addressed by the committee. The court wants to optimize results from innovation and eliminate any shortfalls or challenges encountered by users,” said District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.

The committee is made up of a cross-section of participants including: Mike Carman, Frank Cofer, Mike Doan, Kathy England, Rhonda Forsberg, Steve Grierson, Chris Lalli, Natasha Landrum, Kris O’Conner, George Ogilvie, Daren Richards, Mark Schwartzamd Brandi Wendel.

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Judge Jennifer Elliot has been presiding over the dependency mothers’ drug court since 2008. It is a program that has helped to get many mothers away from the clutches of addiction and into the arms of their children. This week, three more moms graduated from the program.  That’s a handful of kids who won’t have to be in foster care; who won’t have to wonder where mom is; and who will have someone who loves them and deeply cares for them.

In front of others going through the program, Judge Elliot asked each of the graduates how they felt upon graduation. She said, “Nobody knows what the journey is going to look like when they start out, and I want others to hear how to be successful at it.” The moms graduating lit up when given the opportunity to share how they felt. One mom said, “I’m very, very happy where I am and how far I’ve come.  It’s amazing being able to be with my son, sober; to watch him grow and remember that.” Judge Elliot told each of the graduates that she was very proud of them. She also offered a word of advice to a father with one of the graduating moms, who has his own struggles. She said, “Setback doesn’t mean failure, it just means you just have to keep on keeping on.”

Judge Elliot is turning over the administration of the dependency mothers’ drug court to Judge Frank Sullivan who handles abuse and neglect cases. She told those in court that Judge Sullivan would ensure that the program would continue to be successful. Judge Sullivan responded, “No one can replace Judge Elliot.” Program participants gave Judge Elliot a giant farewell card. The judge who launched the specialty court aimed at helping moms with addiction won’t be managing the day-to-day of the program, but the legacy of what she accomplished since 2008 will carry on for generations.

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Have you worked with Mary Bacon? Maybe you have worked with someone who worked with Mary Bacon. Mary is an attorney with Spencer Fane, LLP. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council through United Way and was a member of Leadership Las Vegas’ Class of 2016. Mary is also the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada June pro bono volunteer of the month. At the July 19 Civil Judges Meeting, Mary Bacon was recognized by the judges of the Eighth Judicial District Court for her volunteer work providing pro bono legal services to low income individuals in need.

Those who have worked with Mary probably know she is a special person. Since she began volunteering with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in 2014, she has accepted eight new pro bono cases in a range of areas, including child abuse and neglect, civil/consumer, domestic violence and divorce. As a regular volunteer with the Landlord/Tenant Ask-A-Lawyer program, she provides free consultations to pro se litigants in need of legal advice.

If you’re an attorney and you haven’t worked with Mary, you can get within six degrees of separation by volunteering to be a pro bono attorney yourself. Mary and the other lawyers who volunteer their time have shared that they find pro bono work to be very rewarding.

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada informed the judges: “Mary represented a domestic violence victim who suffers from a seizure disorder and who needed assistance with a divorce and support matter. The husband was represented by counsel, and Mary’s client felt bullied throughout the negotiation process when she was unrepresented. Mary accepted this case one week before the scheduled trial. The client suffered verbal abuse throughout her marriage and the parties split due to the ex-husband’s infidelity. Mary worked on the client’s case non-stop for one week, and after several failed settlement offers, Mary showed up ready to try the case. Right before the trial was supposed to start, the parties engaged in a judicially orchestrated settlement. The client received almost three times the amount she had previously considered settling for when unrepresented. After the settlement, the client hugged Mary, and told her that she is now able to start a new life with the settlement she received, and no longer felt dependent upon an abusive ex-husband.”

The Legal Aid Center reports that Mary said, “This case touched my heart because I have been fortunate enough to be mentored by strong women who are always happy to assist me and point me it the right direction, and I was so happy to be able to help another woman in such a meaningful way on International Women’s Day.”

Attorneys who would like to make a difference in the life of someone in need by doing pro bono work, can visit http://www.lacsnprobono.org to get started.

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Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) volunteers who commit to a school-year of weekly truancy diversion court sessions on a Clark County School District (CCSD) campus will be recognized on Friday, June 9 at 1 p.m. to be held at the Ballroom at Main Street Station 200 N. Main Street. Each of the volunteers will be given an award and the opportunity to share their experiences of helping students attain and education.

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 CCSD. “The volunteer Truancy Diversion Judges are playing an important role in addressing the significant issue of truancy in Clark County. They listen to the kids, hear their issues, encourage and motivate them. The volunteers help students to overcome challenges and work to succeed,” said Judge Elliott. “The attorneys and other professionals who volunteer as judges find it very rewarding to help these students get on track to graduate. I invite attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers to be part of the solution to the significant problem of truancy in our schools.”

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.

“The Truancy Diversion volunteers are making a difference by conveying the importance of school and motivating the students to graduate,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “The challenges the TDP volunteers are addressing with the students now, improve the students’ odds for success down the line.”

Judges, attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers volunteer approximately three hours each week to and hold truancy court sessions at schools, where they meet individually with students and their parents. They 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.

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 call 702-455-1755. The Family Court youth programs are a great example of how the Eighth Judicial District Court is using alternative, efficient methods to address crime and ensure justice. District Court continuously works to develop innovative ideas, improve efficiency, address issues and improve access to justice.

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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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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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