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Family Court Department P challengers critical of incumbent’s courtroom courtesy


Two Las Vegas attorneys want to take the place of Family Court Judge Sandra Pomrenze in Department P.

Pomrenze said voters should re-elect her this year because she already knows how to do the job.

“I have a track record of protecting the best interests of the children whose parents come before me,” Pomrenze said.

Pomrenze faces challenges from Nathan Gibbs and David R. Ford.

“I believe that it’s very important for a judge to afford the parties an opportunity to speak in court and to be treated with courtesy and respect when they go there and to properly apply the law,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said his strengths in those areas would improve Department P.

Gibbs ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the newly created seat in Department S.

Ford said he chose to run for Family Court “to correct what’s going on over there in Department P.”

“I guess if people like Judge Judy, she’s OK,” he said. “I personally think a judge should not act like that — to be abusive to either attorneys or people representing themselves.”

Ford also said Pomrenze “comes to conclusions without proper evidence.”

The judge responded by saying, “I categorically deny that I’m abusive.”

Ford made failed bids for Municipal Court and Justice Court seats in Reno, where he practiced from 1984 until 1996.

Pomrenze, who did not practice family law before becoming a judge, barely received the approval of lawyers who rated her in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s 2011 Judicial Performance Evaluation.

That year, 54 percent of respondents recommended her for retention, but that score dropped to 47 percent in 2013.

Pomrenze said she lost the “popularity contest” portion of the survey, but she fared better on specific questions related to the quality of adjudicating. And her rating summary scores showed that 71 percent considered her “adequate” or “more than adequate” on the survey’s substantive questions.

Pomrenze graduated from John Marshall Law School in Illinois in 1977. She has been licensed to practice law in Nevada since 1986.

Gibbs received his law degree in 1996 from Brigham Young University and was licensed in Nevada the same year. He said the primary focus of his practice has been on family law. Gibbs said his 18 years of experience have given him an understanding of what Family Court consumers need.

Ford graduated from California Western School of Law in 1979 and has been licensed in Nevada since 1983. He said family law cases have accounted for half of his practice since 1997.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Find her on Twitter: @CarriGeer.

 

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