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Judicial conversation: Clark County Family Court, Dept. P: Candidate touts life experience

A candidate for a seat on the Clark County Family Court bench said her life experience gave her the skills to oversee often highly charged matters.

Mary Perry, licensed to practice law in Nevada since 2001, is running for the Department P seat against attorneys Sara Dayani and Fred Page.

Dayani, licensed in Nevada since 2008, and Page, licensed since 1996, did not accept invitations to a debate hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Instead, Perry sat down with Victor Joecks, a columnist for the newspaper, in a one-on-one conversation.

Perry said she joined the Air Force after high school, rather than going straight to college. She worked as as a cashier, spent time in the fast food industry and as an armed security guard “while trying to raise a daughter,” before attending law school.

She has worked as a law clerk and a truancy judge, she said.

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“But nothing has prepared me more than the actual representation of clients, many of which were pro bono,” Perry said.

She added: “I’ve had life outside of the law, and so I know how to take and apply most people’s everyday living to what the law is, and I don’t believe either one of my opponents do.”

During the conversation, Joecks asked Perry about how she would handle divorce cases with child custody at stake.

“I believe a child should be spending as much time as possible with both parents,” Perry said. “If they don’t have both parents involved, then how are they going to actually learn all the true values of what families are like? We’ve got plenty of our youth sitting in prison right now, probably because they didn’t have one parent or the other there to provide the proper guidance. So we need to try something different.”

The three candidates are seeking to replace Family Court Judge Sandra Pomrenze, who did not file for re-election.

Perry said she found judges’ “fear of enforcing orders” to be one of the biggest problems with the Family Court system.

“I can’t always send them to jail, because this is a civil situation,” Perry said. “But I can make them pay the attorneys fees or other sanctions.”

In primary races where no candidate captures a majority of the June 9 primary votes cast, the top two finishers will advance to November’s general election. If a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the candidate will win the election.

While the debates and conversations can be found on reviewjournal.com, they air Wednesday and Saturday nights on Cox Cable’s YurView Channel 14 as part of a video partnership between the media companies.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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