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Nevada Judicial Selection Recommends Six Names to Governor Sandoval

4/14/2017 10:21:27 AM

Two Individuals Expected to Fill Vacancies in Eighth Judicial District Court

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection sent Governor Brian Sandoval six names for consideration to fill two open judicial seats in the Eighth Judicial District Court.


The nominees were selected following interviews by the Commission April 12 – 13, 2017 in Las Vegas. The final selection of each judge will be made by Governor Sandoval.

The selected individuals will serve in Dept. 10, made vacant by the retirement of Judge Jessie Walsh, and in Dept. 18, made vacant by the retirement of Judge David Barker. The new judges will run for election in 2018 to serve the remaining two years of their term.

The Commission’s three nominees for Dept. 10, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Terrance Allen Coffing, 52, Las Vegas, attorney
  • Tierra Danielle Jones, 35, Las Vegas, attorney
  • Esther C. Rodriguez, 51, Las Vegas, attorney

The Commission’s three nominees for Dept. 18, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Soonhee Bailey, 46, Las Vegas, attorney
  • Mark B. Bailus, 64, Las Vegas, attorney
  • Jay P. Raman, 38, Las Vegas, attorney

A total of 16 attorneys submitted applications for the open judicial seats, 8 applications for Dept. 10, and 8 applications for Dept. 18. Only attorneys with 10 years of legal experience, two of those in Nevada, were eligible to apply.

In selecting the finalists, the Commission conducted background investigations and considered the applicants’ answers during the interview. Each applicant provided comprehensive applications about education, law practice, business involvement, community involvement, and professional and personal conduct. The Commission also considered letters of reference and public statements during the interview process.

Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection 

The Commission is composed of seven permanent members – the Supreme Court Chief Justice, three non-attorneys appointed by the Governor, and three attorneys appointed by the State Bar of Nevada. Neither the Governor nor the State Bar may appoint more than two permanent members from the same political party, and cannot appoint two members from the same county.

Commission Members:

  • Justice Michael A. Cherry, Carson City, Supreme Court Chief Justice, Chair (Constitutional appointee)
  • Valerie Cooney, Carson City, past executive director, Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans (State Bar appointee)
  • Jeffrey Gilbert, Henderson, veteran gaming executive (Governor appointee)
  • Jesse Gutierrez, Sparks, former executive director, Nevada Hispanic Services (Governor appointee)
  • Gregory Kamer, Esq., Las Vegas, attorney, Kramer Zuker Abbott (State Bar appointee)
  • Jasmine Mehta, Esq., Reno, Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners (State Bar appointee)
  • Leslie Williams, Schurz, administrative assistant for Washoe County Senior Services (Governor appointee)

For District Court vacancies, two temporary members are appointed from the judicial district where the vacancy occurs – a non-attorney by the Governor and an attorney by the State Bar – bringing the Commission membership to nine.

Temporary Commission Members:

  • Peter Guzman, Las Vegas, president, Latin Chamber of Commerce, Nevada, Inc., (Governor appointee)
  • Trevor L. Atkin, Las Vegas, owner/partner, Atkin Winner & Sherrod (State Bar appointee)