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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: NV Eighth Judicial District Court

Students at Mt. View Elementary School on East Kell Lane got an early Thanksgiving treat when District Court judges, staff and other volunteers dished up turkey, the fixings and pie at an early Thanksgiving dinner for students and their families. The District court bench pitched in to help sponsor the event, along with local businesses.  Judge Kephart has made it an annual event to host an early Thanksgiving dinner for  for a school with families who could use a boost.

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The monthly celebration to mark graduations from intensive specialty court treatment programs had 51 participants cross the finish line to start their lifelong process to be substance-abuse free. The graduations spread a positive ripple-effect through the people in their families and the community. Their families now have a loved one who is contributing instead of disrupting their lives. The community as whole will also benefit from this group of people committed to a better life. At an estimated jail cost of $135 per-day per-inmate, 51 successful graduates will save more than $2.5 million a year in incarceration costs alone. The social benefits are immeasurable from those who want to contribute to the community instead of disrupt. The graduating class includes participants from veterans’ court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court and felony DUI court.

Six veterans were part of the large August graduating class. They were wrapped in beautiful quilts specially made by the Quilts of Valor non-profit organization to give them comfort and remind them that their service is appreciated.

Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement, court program coordinators and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”

The Eighth Judicial District Specialty Courts were recently awarded a grant of $1million from the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Agency (SAPTA) to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for individuals in the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). The SAPTA Grant provides funding for sober living facilities and residential bed infrastructure in Clark County to reduce the average number of days jailed drug court candidates spend waiting for residential placement. Drug court participants have significantly higher rates of success in programs that offer a continuum of care for substance abuse treatment with residential treatment and sober living. That success reduces the burdens on the jail, the justice system and the community as a whole. In FY 2018, 111 participants were provided residential treatment and 189 were provided supportive sober living, with 162 participants obtaining employment.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003, by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts from her sewing room. Blue Star moms are those who have a son or daughter in active service. Her son Nathanael’s deployment to Iraq served as the initial inspiration for the foundation. That has since presented thousands of quilts nationwide to those who have served our country.

The local chapter of Quilts of Valor meets the second Friday of the month at 8670 W. Cheyenne Ave. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 105. Volunteers are always welcome; no quilting experience is necessary. For more information call 702-357-0377.

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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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DC 7 Photo

Judge Linda Marie Bell was selected to be the new chief judge of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. She will succeed Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in the post effective July 1. The District Court judges vote on who will serve as the chief judge for a two-year term. The chief judge maintains responsibility for managing the administration of the court. “I look forward to working with everyone in this new capacity,” said Judge Bell. “A key area of focus for me will be long-term planning to ensure the court is well positioned to meet the demands of the future and achieve significant goals.”

Judge Bell grew up in Nevada. She graduated from Bonanza High School and the University of Nevada, Reno with honors. In 1993, she received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. She worked in Las Vegas law firms, practicing primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and family law. For twelve years prior to taking the bench, Judge Bell worked as a public defender.

Judge Bell was elected to District Court Department 7 in 2008. Since taking the bench in January of 2009, she has handled both civil and criminal cases and managed the criminal division specialty courts for more than two years. She also ran the grand jury for six years. Judge Bell served on the court’s legislative committee every legislative session since 2009. Judge Bell currently serves as the secretary for the ABA National Conference of State Trial Court Judges. She previously served as president of the  Nevada District Judges’ Association and the Howard D McKibben Chapter of the American Inn of Court. Since 2011, she has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV. She is active the in community, including participation in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas program.

“Judge Bell has an outstanding track record of leadership through her work with the specialty courts and other programs for the judiciary and the community,” said current Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “She brings a wealth of experience and a high level of commitment that will be assets in the role of chief judge.”

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. Under Judge Gonzalez’s leadership, management for homicide cases was also centralized to improve efficiency in the timely disposition of such cases.

 

 

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Bita Yeager has been named to fill the hearing master position for the Eighth Judicial District specialty courts. She was selected through a three-tiered recruitment process, established in an administrative directive for selecting District Court hearing masters and commissioners, that includes public input.

“Bita Yeager brings a diverse wealth of experience to the position of hearing master for the specialty courts,” said Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “Her qualifications are well-suited to the rigorous nature of the specialty courts and I anticipate that she will be a strong asset to the program that has great success turning lives around.”

Bita Yeager just finished her term as Justice of the Peace after becoming the first Asian-American to be appointed to the Las Vegas Justice Court. She specialized in indigent criminal defense for more than18 years with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office where, for a number of years, she handled the specialty courts dealing with the mentally ill. She has taught classes regarding the mentally ill in the justice system to both attorneys and Metro Officers (as part of their Crisis Intervention Team training).

In an effort to prevent recidivism, as a team chief at the Public Defender’s office, Bita spearheaded the creation of the North Las Vegas Community Court, a diversionary court providing counseling and employment training to young non-violent offenders. She also established a partnership between the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, and UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to create a pro bono record-sealing project, called “Clean Slate.” She created a partnership with the Immigration Clinic at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, to help the attorneys in her office better advise non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of their cases. In 2014, as a result of her efforts, Bita was awarded the Pro Bono Project Award of Excellence from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and the President’s Award from the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Bita earned her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and her Juris Doctorate from the  J. Reuben Clark School of Law.

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. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”

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