Las Vegas attorneys Dan Gilliam and Erika Ballou are vying for an open seat in Clark County District Court Department 24 in the upcoming November election.
Gilliam and Ballou are running for the seat that will be vacated by Judge Jim Crockett, who is retiring.
Gilliam, who graduated from Ohio State University’s law school, has been a criminal defense attorney with Bighorn Law for two years after spending eight years as an assistant city attorney in Henderson, where he primarily prosecuted DUI and domestic violence cases. He began his legal career in the Las Vegas public defender’s office in 2005.
As he has grown to call the Las Vegas area home, Gilliam said he now not only wants to help keep his home safe, but the entire community. With his experience as both a public defender and prosecutor, Gilliam intends to ensure all those who enter his courtroom are treated fairly.
Access to justice and the speed of the justice system are both important to Gilliam, who, if elected, said he would work with attorneys to keep the court calendar moving smoothly. He added that he wants to address racial inequities among defendants by keeping those with non-violent offences in custody for a shorter period and adjusting bail structures.
“I am most concerned with keeping law-abiding residents safe when I take the bench,” Gilliam said.
He has been endorsed by the SEIU Nevada Local 1107, Las Vegas Peace Officers Association and Nevada Veterans Council, among others.
Ballou, a graduate of Tulane University’s law school who works in the Clark County Public Defender’s office, did not participate in the Review-Journal’s debates, either in the primary or the general.
She made headlines in 2016 when she refused to remove a “Black Lives Matter” lapel pin in court, after District Court Judge Doug Herndon told her to take it off. Herndon said the pin constituted a political statement that was inappropriate for the courtroom, but Ballou said it wasn’t political, and more akin to the small badge lapel pins worn by some deputy district attorneys.