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Five Attorneys Apply to Fill Empty Washoe County Judicial Seat

9/6/2019 5:07:27 PM

Chief Justice Mark Gibbons announced this afternoon the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection has received five applications from individuals who wish to fill the judicial opening in Washoe County’s Second Judicial District Court, Family Division.


This judicial selection will fill the seat made available by the retirement of the Honorable Judge Frances M. Doherty in Dept. 12 of the Family Division in Reno’s District Court. The applicants in alphabetical order are:

  • Husna Fatima Alikhan, 51, Attorney, Alikhan Las Office, LLC, Las Vegas
  • Aimee Elizabeth Banales, 49, Master, Second Judicial District Court, Family Division, Reno
  • Peter Joseph Sferrazza, 73, Justice of the Peace, Reno Justice Court, Reno
  • Sandra A. Unsworth, 59, Attorney, Law Office of Sandra A. Unsworth, Verdi
  • Lance White, 48, Attorney, Widdis & White, PLLC, Reno

Nevada attorneys with 10 years of legal experience, which includes two years of Nevada experience, were encouraged to apply for the opening. Interviews to fill the vacant position are scheduled for Oct. 14 and 15 (as necessary) in Carson City, and are open to the public. After the interviews, the Commission will nominate three finalists to Governor Steve Sisolak.

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.

Currently there is a vacancy on the permanent Commission for a rural member, which has not been filled at this time.

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 for this selection to eight.