Friday, December 11, 2015

Hours of Operation 2015

In the past, there has been a lot of discussion about whether the judges in Clark County spend enough time in the courtroom. The late Lisa Willardson was trying to act as a watchdog on this issue and had requested information on how often courtrooms were dark (she even intended to run against a judge she thought was absent too much).  We've had judges get in trouble for altering the schedule in a murder trial to be able to attend a soccer game. We've even had a post or two about judges playing hooky. But we want to know what you're seeing today? Are your hearings going forward as scheduled? Do you see a lot of last minute cancellations? Are there certain judges that should be spending more time on the bench?

As for news, you probably already saw the headline, but Vicki Greco, whose office was raided earlier this year, was indicted yesterday. She faces 138 felony and gross misdemeanor counts. [RJ]

Do Clark County judges spend enough time in the courtroom?

14 comments:

  1. Judge Delaney is horrible. I have had 3 hearings in front of her and she was 45 minutes late each time. I guess this is normal for her.

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    1. I will take Delaney over Cadish any day of the week.

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    2. My experience is that Delaney is consistently 30 minutes late to start her 9:00 a.m. calendar. Cadish is generally 20 minutes late.

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  2. I'm less concerned with the amount of time in the courtroom per se, and more concerned with judges who don't read briefs and don't prepare for hearings. I also hate it when judges surf the internet during oral argument.

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    1. Me too. Too many attorneys elect to follow the path to the bench for the wrong reasons. If reading and thinking are not your thing, please find another no-work job with comfy retirement privileges, like Clark County DA or State AG.

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  3. Anyone have experience with the justices of the peace in the outlying courts in Clark County? I've never appeared but I've heard some intersting tales.

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  4. The passing of Lisa Willardson is horrible. She died way too young.

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    1. WTF? Sorry for your loss but it was two years ago and completely off topic.

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    2. Read the upper paragraph. Stop being an idiot.

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  5. 9:42 hit the issue on the head. All judges, at least from what I have seen, have hearing calendars at least twice per week. (I am a civil practitioner). There are obviously criminal calendars that I do not see, as well as trials. Our state court judges are inundated with motions. I think they should decide more motions in chambers and spend even less time in the courtrooms.

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  6. Judges continue to have "admin" days . Time intentionally scheduled out of court that harkens back to the time when there was a shortage of courtrooms and the robes had share courtrooms. That problem was cured, but the "admin" day stayed. "Admin day" a/k/a day off. It's not about cancelled hearings or wait time at court, it's about how long you wait for something to be calendared in "the ordinary course."

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  7. As a former judicial law clerk, it's not about the time spent in the courtroom, it's the time the judge spends reading briefs and making decisions that important. For civil judges, motions should be heard in chambers unless the parties request a hearing. I mean really, do you need to have an attorney come down to court to argue an unopposed motion to withdraw as counsel. I'm not getting paid already, please don't make me waste my morning and pay $12 to park.

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    1. While I do not disagree with you in theory, I do disagree with you in practice. It is about the amount of time that a Judge spends reading (and understanding) the briefs. However I usually do not know whether the Judge has read, researched and/or understood the issues unless and until I have had oral argument. Many of us have practiced in those courts where oral argument is the exception and not the rule and have received back decisions from judges who clearly did not read the briefs and now their ignorance or laziness has gone unchecked until after there is a decision. At least with oral argument you have the ability to educate the Judge (and make a record on the issue).

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  8. 4:54 has it right. Clark County judges waste an unnecessary amount of time and client money forcing attorneys to appear at unnecessary hearings that could be decided in chambers. While I can't complain about easy money, it is not in the interest of the legal-fee paying client. And the solution is certainly not those rip-off courtcall rackets. Sorry, don't feel like paying $50 for a flipping phone call. There are a lot of other jurisdictions, in this state even, who waste a lot less time forcing appearances on unnecessary hearings. Many contested motions could be decided without oral argument. It might even force attorneys to put some thought into their crappy briefing--I think some good talented attorneys know they can mail it in on the briefing knowing that the judge will still rule in their favor once the judge sees their face. Maybe it is because they know the judge will remember their face from the last fundraiser event.

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