Eight apply to replace Judge Griffin in Carson District Court

Eight lawyers have applied to fill the Carson District Court seat being vacated by the retirement of Judge Mike Griffin.

Griffin, 62, is the longest serving district judge in Nevada with 28 years on the bench. He has resigned effective in January.

Among those on the list are outgoing Carson District Attorney Noel Waters, 58, Todd Russell, 59, and David Sarnowski, 54, executive director of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline - all of Carson City.

In addition, Douglas County Justice of the Peace Steven McMorris, 67, of Genoa, and West Wendover JP Laura Grant, 55, have applied for the job, along with Senior Deputy Attorney General James Neidert, 45, of Reno, and private practitioners Caren Jenkins, 48, and James E. Wilson, 52, of Carson City.

The appointee will serve out the remaining two years of Griffin's term, after which he or she will have to run for election to retain the judgeship.

The Judicial Selection Commission, headed by Chief Justice Bob Rose, will interview the candidates on Oct. 23-24 in Carson City.

Following the interviews, the commission will submit the names of three nominees to Gov. Kenny Guinn, who will name the replacement from the list.

This is the second time Waters has applied for a vacant judgeship. He sought the position when Mike Fondi retired six years ago. Bill Maddox was named as Fondi's replacement.

Rose said residents are invited to submit their comments on the qualifications of the applicants to the Administrative Office of the Courts. He said comments should be in writing and addressed to Ron Titus of the AOC at the Supreme Court Building, 201 S. Carson St. The deadline for comments is Sept. 22.

Rose said the Commission will base its nominations on applicant qualifications, letters of reference, written public comments, and responses to verbal questions posed during interviews.

In addition to the chief justice, the commission includes three non-lawyers appointed by the governor and three lawyers appointed by the State Bar Association. For district judge vacancies, two temporary members are appointed - a non-lawyer by the governor and a lawyer by the State Bar who must be residents of the judicial district where the vacancy occurs.

In this case, the First Judicial District represents Carson City and Storey County.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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