The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection sent Governor Brian Sandoval the names of three attorneys to fill the open judicial seat in Reno’s Second Judicial District Court, Dept. 7, created by the death of Judge Patrick Flanagan.

The Commission selected the nominees following interviews Dec. 11 at the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City. Five attorneys submitted applications for the open judicial seat. Only attorneys with 10 years of legal experience, two of those in Nevada, were eligible to apply.

The Commission’s three nominees for Dept. 7, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Craig Denney, 49, Reno, Administrative Law Judge, Social Security Administration  
  • Carla B. Higginbotham, 44, Reno, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office, District of Nevada 
  •  Egan K. Walker, 55, Reno, Family District Court Judge, Dept. 2, Second Judicial District Court

The Governor’s selection for judge will run for election in 2018 to serve the remaining two years of the judicial term.

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.

Governor Sandoval appointed Jennifer Guinn, employee, Gloria M. Petroni Ltd., Reno.

The State Bar of Nevada appointed Michael Large, Deputy District Attorney, Washoe County District Attorney.