The two candidates running for the District Court judgeship in Department 4 were recently asked what is the one thing they would fix about the court system if they could.
Candidate Nadia Krall said the Clark County District Courts needs to speed up its case flow.
“It should be more streamlined,” Krall said. “A lot of times there are not enough trials going forward in the civil arena and the criminal arena. If we could move cases forward so people could have their day in court, that is the most important issue for me as a judge.”
Her opponent, Phil Aurbach, agreed that case flow needs to be streamlined, but he said the courts need broader access so that everyday people can feel comfortable in an environment dominated by lawyers.
“I think access to justice is an important component of our judicial system. We are really lacking in that area,” Aurbach said. “There are a lot of people that don’t have money to afford attorneys. They don’t have good access to the courtrooms. They come into court and they are really held to, by law, a standard of justice as if an attorney were supposed to know all of the rules, all of the regulation, all of the case law when they are presenting their case.”
Aurbach and Krall are bidding to replace retiring Judge Kerry Earley. Aurbach has been a lawyer in Southern Nevada for 42 years. He started his legal career in the Clark County District Attorney’s office in the late 1970s. In 1988 he formed his own law firm. That law firm went from employing five attorneys to more than 40. He’s worked as an arbitrator and spent 17 years as a settlement judge for the Nevada Supreme Court.
“District Court judges handle the most important and most complex cases in Nevada,” Aurbach said. “I’ve practiced law in the District Court almost twice as long as any other candidate for judge.”
Krall is running on a campaign of “experience where it counts.” She is a Las Vegas native who graduated from law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She’s operated her own law firm for the last 12 years.
“In addition to doing personal injury, I have done defense work as well in both civil, criminal and family (court),” Krall said. “I have worked on both sides of the aisle. So anyone who comes before the courtroom when I’m serving the community – they are going to get a full and fair hearing and an open mind.”
The candidates were asked during a Review-Journal debate to describe their judicial philosophy.
“My judicial philosophy is to follow the precedent that the higher courts have set,” Krall said. “In the District Court it is not the judge’s job to create the law. The Legislature creates the law and the Nevada Supreme Court might issue rulings that clarify it.
“It is your job as a District Court judge to put your own personal opinions and your own personal feelings aside and to follow the precedent and the law that has come before you,” Krall said.
Aurbach said his judicial philosophy is to “follow the law.”
“That’s what they (a judge) has to do,” Aurbach said. “If you go by the original meaning of the Constitution, you are looking at something in 1776. So I believe my judicial philosophy is that the constitution is a living and breathing document that the Supreme Court changes all the time. My job as a judge in the Eighth Judicial District Court is to follow the law.”
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