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District Judge Linda Bell announces bid for Nevada Supreme Court

Updated January 20, 2022 - 12:45 pm

Chief District Judge Linda Bell announced Thursday that she is running for a seat on the Nevada Supreme Court.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to serve at the statewide level and continue some of the policy things I’ve done as chief,” Bell said.

Chief Justice James Hardesty announced in November that he will retire once his term expires at the end of 2022, opening the spot on the high court.

Bell, 54, has served as a judge in Clark County District Court since 2009, after winning an election the prior year. The judges who make up the court appointed her chief judge in July 2018.

She oversees the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court, whose first participants graduated from the program in October. Bell also supervises the judges running the Veterans Treatment Court, Felony DUI Court and Drug Court programs.

As a judge, Bell has overseen civil and criminal cases. She said that while working in private practice and as a Clark County and federal public defender, she handled cases involving medical malpractice, family law and criminal law.

“I think it’s really important for us to have experienced people on the Supreme Court,” Bell said.

Bell grew up in Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with an undergraduate degree in psychology. She received her law degree in 1993 from the University of San Diego, and during law school, she worked for the Clark County district attorney’s office and the San Diego public defender’s office.

She has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV since 2011. She previously has served as a board member for agencies including the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys and Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bell has overseen orders for the District Court to limit in-person court hearings and jury trials, while the virus has caused a backlog in murder trials. Last week, an administrative order halted jury trials that would last longer than a week.

Bell said she’s proud of her work creating a system for electronic orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allows people to submit court records online.

“Some of those things that just make life a little bit easier for everyone I think have been really big accomplishments for our courts,” she said.

Bell said she is not aware of anyone else running for the Supreme Court seat.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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