The front-runner in the race for judge in Clark County Family Court’s Department J is incumbent Kenneth E. Pollock, who is seeking a second term.
His two opponents in the nonpartisan race are Rena G. Hughes, a family law attorney, and Romeo R. Perez, primarily a family law attorney.
“I was elected on a platform to bring some changes to elevate the level of practice here,” Pollock said. “While I’ve been able to effect some changes, there’s still more work to be done. I’ve been able to reduce caseload by over 60 percent. I still see the inefficiencies that we can reduce.”
Pollock also said the court needs to stop sending people to parenting classes.
“Unless they agree to do that, there’s no legal authority to do that,” he said.
He also sees a problem with how some lawyers treat litigants, keeping conflicts alive longer than necessary to make more money.
“I’ve been trying to put a stop to that,” said Pollock, adding that’s the reason some lawyers are not happy with him.
Hughes decided to run because she believes the quality of Family Court has suffered.
“We have some unqualified people who don’t have background in family law and have been elected,” she said.
Hughes is one of 32 attorneys in the state who are family law specialists. To receive that recognition, the person must be nominated by peers who also practice family law to take a separate bar exam administered by the State Bar of Nevada. The test focuses strictly on family law knowledge, and the person taking the test needs to earn at least an 85 percent to pass, she said.
“I think that based on my knowledge and experience, I am more capable of rendering fair and law-based decisions,” Hughes said. “I would also promote mediation, especially for those parties who are not represented. I think they need the resources and assistance to resolve their cases without going to trial.”
Perez decided that Department J needed change.
“A judge should have family law experience — issues which I think we are lacking in Department J right now,” he said. “We need practical common sense.”
Perez believes the department has lost focus on the families.
“Department J needs to understand families and family issues,” he said. “Judges can help the healing begin by having a common-sense approach to the family.”
Perez says voters should choose him because Family Court is a broad specialty that covers all the issues that a family can face, such as juvenile justice issues, abuse and neglect, guardianship problems, and temporary protective orders.
Contact Yesenia Amaro at email@example.com or 702-383-0440. Find her on Twitter: @YeseniaAmaro.