Guinn will appoint replacement

The process to replace retiring Judge Archie Blake could take two months or more.

Blake is leaving the bench halfway through his six-year term. That means his replacement will be appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn after interested candidates apply, are reviewed and interviewed.

Blake said post cards will go out to every licensed attorney in Nevada announcing the vacancy of a judgeship. Blake officially leaves the job Feb. 11.

Attorneys who are interested must submit an application and answer more than 50 questions posed by the Nevada Judicial Selection Commission. The commission then interviews everyone who applies.

"It's not something you do on a whim," Blake said about the rigorous process.

Applicants can live anywhere in the state, and must be a member of the bar association for at least 10 years, with two years as a member of the Nevada Bar Association.

After all the candidates are interviewed, the commission selects the top three applicants and sends their names to Gov. Guinn. He has 30 days in which to make an appointment to fill the position.

Until recently, Churchill County District Attorney Arthur Mallory sat on the judicial selection commission. He resigned the position when he learned that Blake was retiring and will apply for the seat.

"Judge Blake has been an outstanding judge and will be truly missed, no matter who fills his spot," Mallory said.

Blake said District Judges David Huff and Robert Estes will prioritize cases that need to be heard until a new judge is appointed.

Judges in the Third District handle cases in both Churchill and Lyon counties.

If the calendar becomes too crowded for the two remaining judges to handle, a senior judge can be assigned to relieve the workload. A senior judge is a retired judge who handles occasional cases.

Whoever is appointed to the bench, that person will serve until Blake's term expires in three years. Voters will then select a judge for the next six-year term.

- Marlene Garcia


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