Minden Judge Michael Gibbons named to new appeals court
District Judge Michael Gibbons got an early Christmas present on Wednesday when Gov. Brian Sandoval named him to Nevada’s first appellate court.
“I am extremely honored and gratified to be named by Gov. Brian Sandoval to the new Nevada Court of Appeals,” Gibbons said. “There were many very qualified applicants and it is extremely fulfilling to be selected to represent all the people of Nevada. I am thankful to have received tremendous support from judges, attorneys and citizens from all around the state who recommended me to the governor. I am really excited to begin this new phase in my judicial career and I will work hard to ensure speedy and equal justice for all parties in a case.”
The new court is on course to begin hearing cases in January as planned by Supreme Court Justice Jim Hardesty who spearheaded its creation.
Gibbons was just re-elected to a new term in the Ninth Judicial District representing Douglas County. He has served on the bench for 20 years, having first been elected to the office in 1994.
His brother, Mark, currently serves as a member of the Nevada Supreme Court.
Gibbons was a proponent of the appellate court, which while it didn’t win in Douglas County, garnered enough votes statewide to be implemented.
Sandoval also selected Jerry Tao and Abbi Silver. A spokesman said that panel received more than 30 applications from interested jurists and lawyers across the state.
Tao is currently a district judge in Clark County who has served since January 2011 when he was appointed by Sandoval. He also has worked as a prosecutor in Clark County as well as a public defender. He was elected to the district court bench in November.
Silver is also a current judge, in Clark County’s eighth Judicial District where she was first elected in 2009. She also has been a prosecutor in Las Vegas and was Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Special Victims Unit. She has also served in municipal court and Las Vegas Justice Court.
The appointments fill the three new appellate posts until the next General Election at which time the posts will become elective offices just like all other Nevada judgeships.
All appeals will still be filed with the Nevada Supreme Court. The way the new court will work is that the high court will then “push down” cases to the appellate court. Hardesty said the idea is to have the appellate court decide the more standard appeals, freeing up the high court to spend more time on the eighty, potentially precedent-setting cases.
A similar process to that used to select the appellate court judges will be used to find Gibbons’ replacement. Applications will be taken by the Commission for Judicial Selection, who will forward the names of three candidates to the governor for appointment.