Justice Scale

litigation experience

The Right Experience.  The Right Choice.

32 Judges are on the District Court.

Only a handful have taken a case to trial.

Only a handful have criminal experience.

None have defended in a capital murder case.

None are Nevada Supreme Court Rule 250 qualified.

It is time for a judge with criminal litigation experience.
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My

story

Christy moved to Las Vegas from Ohio in 1980.  Her first career was as a Medical Technician working in medical laboratories.  Working full time, with a husband and two toddlers, Christy graduated from UNLV with a BA in History.  In 1993 there was no law school in Nevada.  Christy attended California Western School of Law in San Diego commuting home to her family on the weekends.  She completed law school in just two years.

 

Returning to Las Vegas, she worked in the civil arena for several years before accepting a job at the Clark County Public Defender's Office.  Christy rose rapidly within the office to handle the toughest cases-indigent defendants charged with murder.  If elected, Christy would be the only District Court Judge with a Nevada Supreme Court Rule 250 qualification. 

 

Committed to positive change within the local legal community she has devoted a large part of her practice to helping the mentally ill.   In 2013, she filed suit against the Nevada Department of Health and Human Resources, the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services and Lake’s Crossings as a result of the delayed transport of incompetent defendants from the Clark County Detention Center to Lake’s Crossings.  The lawsuit resulted in a Consent Decree wherein the State of Nevada admitted that they must transport incompetent defendants within seven days for treatment to competency and they would open a new forensic treatment facility in Southern Nevada.  Stein Hospital opened in November 2015 adding to the state’s capacity to help the population needing forensic mental health treatment and represented significant progress in ensuring adequate service is available.

 

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 NEVADA STATE COURTS

Justice, District and Appellate Courts

Capital defense qualified pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 250

Over 20 capital and non-capital homicide jury trials to verdict

Over 35 homicide cases resolved without trial

Over 25 felony trials to verdict

Over 5 arguments before the Nevada Supreme Court

Over 100 preliminary hearings and evidentiary hearings

Over 1000 law/motion and sentencing arguments

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FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT

District of Nevada

Successfully prosecuted Section 1983 civil rights claim against the State of Nevada challenging delays in treatment of mentally-ill pre-trial detainees in conjunction with McLetchie Shell, LLC

Founder/creator

 
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FOUNDER/CREATOR

Misdemeanor Mental Health Diversion Program

Developed program to divert mentally-ill defendants charged with misdemeanors to Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health.  Launched in 2013, the program has successfully diverted over 300 inmates from local jails, thereby avoiding referrals to state-run forensic hospitals and resulting in charge dismissals in a majority of cases.

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CO-CREATOR

Clark County Competency Court

Together with Assistant District Attorney Chris Lalli and District Court Judge Jackie Glass, created Clark County’s competency court.  Competency court involved the designation of a singular court and development of a singular protocol for adjudicating competency issues in criminal cases.  Competency court now functions as the sole arbiter of competency-related matters, thereby increasing the efficient and consistent disposition of cases in which competency issues arise.

FOUNDING MEMBER

Lake's Crossing Task Force (LCTF)

Led task force charged with identifying solutions to various problems associated with the treatment of mentally-ill, incompetent defendants in Clark County.  Issues considered by the LCTF included the backlog of in-custody defendants awaiting treatment; triaging defendants awaiting treatment; alternative treatment/placement options; legal and medical barriers to treatment; and treatment of profoundly disabled detainees. 

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 BURNSIDE V. NEVADA DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET. AL., 2:13-cv-01102-MMD-GWF (D. NEV. 2015)

Successfully sued the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, and Lake’s Crossing Treatment Center in response to unreasonable delays in the transport of incompetent pretrial detainees from the Clark County Detention Center to Lake’s Crossing for treatment.  Resulted in a consent decree in which the State of Nevada agreed to speedy transport of incompetent defendants and construction of a forensic treatment facility in Southern Nevada. 

            As part of the Burnside consent decree, Stein Hospital opened in November, 2015 in Las Vegas.  It has dramatically enhanced the State’s capacity to treat incompetent pre-trial detainees.  Since its 2015 opening, Stein Hospital has treated more than 600 mentally-ill defendants.

SIMS, ET. AL. V. DISTRICT COURT, 125 NEV. 126 (2009)

Successfully challenged procedures unilaterally adopted by Competency Court after inception.  Resulted in a ruling protecting the constitutional rights of mentally ill defendants by allowing prior mental health history to be provided to competency evaluators, allowing defense attorneys the right to communicate with competency evaluators, and requiring the court to provide full reports to counsel.

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The Misdemeanor Diversion program was created to help divert inmates with misdemeanor and certain gross misdemeanor charges from Lake’s Crossing Center, the state’s maximum-security psychiatric facility.  Instead of sending those inmates to the overburdened Spark’s facility, eligible inmates are transported to Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas.

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Mentally ill Clark County inmates wait for psychiatric evaluations

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MentalHealth

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Assisted Outpatient Treatment could help mentally ill criminal defendants.

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PARTICIPANT

Mental Health Court Creation

Participated in the development of Clark County’s Mental Health Court program.  Mental Health Court offers a diversionary alternative to criminal sentences for mentally-ill offenders which helps ensure continued treatment of program participants and reduces recidivism.

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©2020 Christy Craig for Judge