Former assistant wins lawsuit against Halverson

Ousted District Judge Elizabeth Halverson was found liable for defamation and other charges in a civil lawsuit filed by her former assistant.

District Judge David Wall ordered a summary judgment in favor of Halverson’s former legal assistant, Ileen Spoor, on Thursday. Monetary damages will be awarded at a later date.

Spoor sued Halverson in 2007 for defamation and placing someone in false light, alleging that the judge lied about her to the media by saying Spoor illegally fixed tickets and took Spoor’s Rolodex and files.

Wall also dismissed a counterclaim Halverson filed against Spoor. Halverson alleged Spoor had conspired to remove her from the bench and made other claims.

Halverson took the bench in early 2007. Soon after she began serving, she was accused of harassing staff and mishandling trials, among other allegations.

The Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission removed her from the bench in November 2008 and permanently barred her from serving as a judge again. Two months earlier Halverson was viciously beaten with a frying pan by her husband of 10 years, Edward Halverson, in a domestic violence incident. More than 100 medical staples were needed to close the wounds in her head.

He is incarcerated in a Nevada prison serving a 3- to 10-year sentence for battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm. Throughout the civil proceedings, Elizabeth Halverson failed to show up to court appearances, including three scheduled depositions and two status checks, said Spoor attorney Assly Sayyar.

Two law firms that Halverson retained to represent her in the civil suit both were allowed to withdraw as counsel because she wasn’t paying them, according to court records.

By January, she was representing herself. Sayyar said her repeated attempts to contact Halverson via phone, mail or e-mail regarding the case were unsuccessful.

An attempt by the Review-Journal to reach Halverson today at a phone number filed with the court was not answered and the voice mail box was full.

Spoor’s attorneys will next file an application for judgment which will ask for specific monetary damages. Sayyar said the amount of money to be sought is still being calculated.

A jury trial in the civil case had been scheduled for early October, according to court records.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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