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Nevada appeals court draws 36 applicants

CARSON CITY — A state panel voted unanimously Wednesday to approve $782,500 to fund the new state appeals court that is expected to begin operations early next year. Approval came as 36 applicants filed for one of the three new court positions by a 5 p.m. deadline.

The vote by the Board of Examiners, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, sends the funding request to the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee for review in early December.

Approval is expected since lawmakers set aside funds for the operation of the court pending voter approval. Question 1, establishing the court, passed with nearly 54 percent of the vote in the Nov. 4 general election.

The funding will carry the new court and its three judges through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2015.

“I think its going to be good for the legal system in the state of Nevada,” Sandoval said following the vote. “We do have the busiest Supreme Court in the nation. Hopefully with the implementation of the appellate court it will expedite those more difficult cases before the Nevada Supreme Court.”

There are 10 applicants for Department 1: Clark County District Judge Jerome Tao, Las Vegas attorney Janet Pancoast, retired Clark County Family Court Judge Robert Gaston, Las Vegas attorney Robert A. Nersesian, Washoe County District Court Chief Judge David Hardy, Las Vegas attorney Chris W. Davis, Las Vegas attorney Michael D. Davidson, Reno attorney Julien G. Sourwine, Reno attorney Janet L. Chubb and Las Vegas attorney Kirby J. Smith.

Department 2 has 10 applicants: Clark County District Judge Susan Holland Johnson, Las Vegas attorney Thomas Beatty, state attorney with the Hearings and Appeals Division Michelle L. Morgando, Ely attorney Richard Wayne Sears, Clark County Family Court Judge William B. Gonzalez, Las Vegas attorney Anat R. Levy, Las Vegas attorney and former state bar President Alan J. Lefebvre, Nevada Supreme Court attorney Kerry Z. Malone, Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons and Court Hearing Master for Clark County District Court Thomas G. Kurtz.

Department 3 has 16 applicants: Clark County District Judge Abbi Silver, Las Vegas attorney Aurora Maria Maskall, Carson City attorney Joan Chisholm Wright, Las Vegas attorney C. Stanley Hunterton, Clark County Deputy District Attorney Paul D. Johnson, Las Vegas attorney Aaron D. Lovaas, Las Vegas attorney Karl Armstrong, Reno attorney Barry Louis Breslow, Washoe County Chief Deputy District Attorney Joseph R. Plater, Reno attorney Douglas R. Rands, outgoing Clark County District Judge Allan R. Earl, Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero of Winnemucca, Reno attorney James Shields Beasley, Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi, Las Vegas attorney Annie J. Kung and Las Vegas attorney Jeffrey R. Albregts.

Interviews for applicants are scheduled for Dec. 1-4.

The names of the finalists will be submitted to Sandoval, who will make the appointments so that the new judges will take office on Jan. 5.

The new court, which will dispose of more routine cases from the state’s district courts that are now reviewed by the Supreme Court, will be effective starting Jan. 1, although it may take awhile to begin operations.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801.

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