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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court

 

A baby cries as Judge Carolyn Ellsworth begins the graduation ceremony for the March class of drug court graduates. The judge smiles and tells those gathered, “It’s great to have the babies here. It’s great that they’re here and come into the world drug-free.” After completing an intensive treatment program, the class of 13 drug court participants graduate to a productive new life. “I’m like your mom, only meaner,” jokes Judge Ellsworth, who presides over the drug court program with the mission to get those with substance abuse issues to stop revolving through the justice system.

Specialty courts use a therapeutic approach that targets and treats the root-causes of the addiction that fuels the crimes committed to feed the addiction. Not a graduation goes by that a graduate does say that the program saved their life. They praise the program but they know the road ahead will be filled with challenges. Judge Ellsworth tells her graduates, “I’m going to miss you. I really am.” She encourages them to keep her informed of their progress and asks them stop by. “I wish I could guarantee you that your lives after drug will be perfect after drug court,” said Judge Ellsworth. “But that would be a complete lie; life isn’t like that.” She reminds the grads that they’ve been given the tools to deal with adversity in a productive way. She encouraged them to stay on the path to a fulfilling life.

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DC 7 Photo

The Hon. Linda Marie Bell, Hon. Stewart L. Bell (Ret.) and Constance Akridge, Esq. are the recipients of the Clark County Law Foundation 2019 Liberty Bell Award. The recipients will be honored on Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m., at the Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium, 401 S. 4th St.

The annual award recognizes individuals in the community who uphold the rule of law, contribute to good government within the community, stimulate a sense of civic responsibility, and encourage respect for the law in the courts.

Judge Linda Bell serves as the chief judge for the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. Since taking the bench in January of 2009, Judge Bell handled both civil and criminal cases. She spent two and a half years managing all of the criminal division specialty courts and continues to preside over the veterans’ treatment court. Judge Bell has been a driving force in the proliferation of specialty courts, which have had a significant positive impact in the community.

Judge Bell also ran the grand jury for six years; served on the court’s legislative committee every legislative session since 2009, where she worked on successful efforts to pass legislation related to the grand jury, the OPEN program, funding for specialty courts and outpatient civil commitment.

In addition to serving on numerous legal associations, boards and educational committees for various organizations, she has taught both criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV. She served as the president of the Howard D. McKibben Chapter of the Nevada Inn of Court from May 2012 to May 2014. Judge Bell volunteered for the Trial by Peers youth legal educational program, and was named their Judge of the Year in 2011.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Judge Linda Bell follows in the footsteps of her father Judge Stewart Bell (Ret.), who will also be awarded a Liberty Bell. He was elected to the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County, Department 7 in November 2002 and was sworn in as a district court judge in January 2003. Before becoming a judge, he served as Clark County District Attorney from 1995 to 2002. As a practicing attorney and jurist he has presided over hundreds of jury trials and is well regarded by counsel for his sharp analytical skills, knowledge of the law, and fair-mindedness.

Constance Akridge, Esq., a partner with Holland and Hart was also selected for a 2019 Liberty Bell.

The Clark County Law Foundation mission is to empower Nevada, especially our youth, through service to the community and education about the legal system and its history.

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Judge Doug Smith

Judge Doug Smith

In a letter addressed to Governor Steve Sisolak, Judge Doug Smith announced his retirement from District Court department eight, effective April 12. In the letter he wrote, “I plan to retire to spend time with my family.”

Judge Smith, who is 67, has presided over both civil and criminal cases in the Nevada Eighth Judicial  District Court for just over 10 years. He began his long public service career in 1982, as a Public Defender in Clark County. He remained in that role for three years, until  he took a post as a prosecutor with the Clark County District Attorney’s office. He stayed with the DA’s office for seven years, until his election as a Justice of the Peace in 1995. His entire career has been in public service, with the exception of a short  period of time in private practice.

“Las Vegas has been good to me,” said Judge Smith while reflecting on his career. “I’m going to miss the work , the judges, the lawyers, the whole thing.” Judge Smith believes he had a responsibility to serve the community. “My theory is get things done. Hopefully it’s correct. I haven’t made everybody happy. When you make a decision as a judge, half the court leaves mad at you.”

Judge Smith is looking forward to spending quality time with his wife, Las Vegas native Kelly Brown, his three sons and a new grandchild on the way.

“I appreciate Judge Smith’s 37 years of service to our community and his dedication to the court,” said  District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection, a judicial body created pursuant to the Nevada State Constitution and governed by the Nevada Revised Statutes, will facilitate the process to fill the judicial vacancy. The commission reviews applications from attorneys, interviews and then nominates three potential candidates for a final selection by the governor.

 

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RJCHoizCompress

Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave.

A delegation from Mexico including investigators, prosecutors and forensic experts will visit the Eighth Judicial District Court in the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave. on March 14 from 9 a.m. until noon to observe an oral, adversarial system of justice in action. The delegation comes from state attorney general offices throughout Mexico including: Querétaro, Nuevo León, Durango and Jalisco. They are here for the week in coordination with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG).

Mexico has been transitioning to an oral, adversarial system of justice for a few years. They are here to learn best practices as they make the transition.

District Court frequently serves as host to delegations from around the world looking to learn best practices and get ideas for new technology. “We welcome the delegation of justice professionals from Mexico to our court,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “It is a real tribute to our legal professionals who are asked time and again to showcase their professional expertise and advancements with delegations from around the globe.”

 

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Nearly 50 very excited fourth graders from Grant M. Bowler Elementary School descended on the court for a case against renowned wizard Harry Potter before District Court Judge Adriana Escobar and Judge Kerry Earley. On Nov. 16, two classes played the roles of judge, jury, attorneys and witnesses in a trial against the young wizard. Harry Potter was charged with misappropriation of magic.The judges and their staff guided the students through the mock trial and did a question and answer session afterwards.

One class found Mr. Potter not guilty while another resulted in a hung-jury. The mock trials are a cooperative effort between the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, nonprofit agency Project REAL and the school. The students who have been through the program so far, left the courthouse bragging about what they just learned. The program is intended to teach kids about the justice system and potential careers.

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AlFtizgerald

Former Clark County District Court Marshal Al Fitzgerald passed away July 1, 2018.  He was born June 2, 1937 in Boston MA and resided in Las Vegas for the past 37 years.  He served in the U.S. Army, worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority as an Inspector for 23 years, and then as a Bailiff/Marshal for the Clark County District Courts for 30 years.  He served in the courtrooms of Judges Charles Thompson, Joseph Pavlikowski and Kathy Hardcastle before retiring in April of 2012. Al is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kerin, his nine children, 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his great-grandson, Emmitt, in June of 2018. Services will be held Saturday July 14, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne, Las Vegas NV 89129.  In lieu of flowers his family requests donations to Cure4theKids or the Fallen Officers Foundation.

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caseflow4_2_18-e1529530806515.jpg

Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued two administrative orders that outline changes to both the civil and criminal dockets in the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court.

NV Eighth Judicial District Court Administrative Order 10-04 AO 18-04

NV Eighth Judicial District Court Administrative Order 10-05 AO 18-05

The following courtroom/chamber moves will also take place from June 29 through

July 1:

Department 11 (Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez) will move from courtroom 10 to 3E.

Department 19 (Judge William Kephart) will move from  courtroom 3E to 16B.

Department 4 (Judge Kerry Earley) will move from courtroom 16B to 12D.

Department 16 (Judge Timothy C. Williams) will move from courtroom 12 D to 3H.

Department 15 (Judge Joe Hardy) will move from courtroom 3H to 11D.

Department 2 (Judge Richard Scotti) will move from courtroom 11D to 3B.

Department 29 (Judge David M. Jones) will move from  courtroom 3B to 15A.

Department 7 (Judge Linda Marie Bell) will move from courtroom 15A to 10.

Effective July 1, Judge Linda Marie Bell will assume the responsibilities of chief judge for the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. “I know that moving is disruptive; I appreciate everyone’s patience with the process,” said Judge Bell. “The moves will allow the business court judges to remain on the same floor, which has been very beneficial to the business court litigants and judges. This will also ensure that all judges handling criminal cases have Sally-port access.”  Those who have questions or concerns regarding the moves are encourage to contact Judge Bell’s office.

CourtroomList6_20_18

This is a complete list of courtrooms with the new assignments: CourtroomAssignments6_20_18

 

 

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