Election 2012: Justice of the Peace, Department 1

Occupation: Justice of the Peace Mail: P.O. Box 111Carson City, NV 89702Email: VoteTomArmstrong@gmail.comExplain your background and how this qualifies you for the position you are seeking. In April 2011, I was honored to be selected from 13 well-qualified applicants and appointed by Carson City supervisors to be Justice of the Peace in Department One of the Justice Court. Prior to my appointment, I served as Justice Pro Tem for Carson City in 2009. In this role I handled both criminal and civil calendars, including preliminary hearings, temporary restraining orders, small claims, traffic and general criminal matters. Concurrent to serving as Justice Pro Tem, I also practiced law as a sole practitioner in Carson City. My legal practice focused on the areas of criminal defense and general civil litigation, primarily practicing law in Carson City. I was also appointed by the court as a conflict counsel where I provided representation to indigent defendants of Carson City. Prior to my solo practice, I was an associate in the Litigation Department of Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner, Renshaw & Ferrario, where my primary practice areas were civil litigation and criminal defense. From 2001 to 2007 I served as Senior Deputy District Attorney in the Carson City District Attorney’s Office. During my tenure as a DA I successfully prosecuted hundreds of misdemeanor and felony matters ranging from traffic offenses to drug trafficking, sex offenses and murder. I am deeply committed to this community and heavily invested in its future. My wife, Katie Miles Armstrong, is a native of Carson City and we have two small children. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada and the Carson City Circles Initiative, as well as the Steering Committee for Partnership Carson City. I am a long-time Nevadan of 38 years, raised in Carlin. I received degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Utah College of Law. Why should voters choose you over the other candidates? I have had the privilege to serve as Carson City’s Justice of the Peace for more than a year and have been sincerely honored to do so. My excellent record on the bench speaks for itself. I ask for your vote with full understanding of the demands of the office, and full confidence that I will continue to serve our community with fairness, integrity and honor. Carson City deserves the best, and I pledge to give our community just that. If elected, I will institute a misdemeanor drug court program designed to positively intervene in lives of Carson City’s young drug offenders. The goal of the program is to address serious addiction problems now, in order to provide an opportunity to turn their lives around and prevent a future lifestyle that dearly costs our entire community.I embrace and admire the Court’s role as the people’s court, where the public and non-attorneys can resolve disputes fairly and efficiently. The character of the Justice Court must remain open and accessible to the public. Throughout my career, I have had extensive contact with parties that choose to be unrepresented, both defendants and witnesses alike, always mindful that the proceedings should treat them as fairly and equitably as those who have retained the most experienced attorneys. Alternatively, the court is a place where complicated legal issues and arguments can arise at any time, sometimes aggressively argued by experienced attorneys, and I am equipped to handle complex legal issues when they surface.

Occupation: Owner/operator of the Rafter PM RanchMail: P.O. Box 3317Carson City, NV 89702Email: buchnbel@msn.comWebsite: mb4jp.com/Explain your background and how this qualifies you for the position you are seeking. I am a native of Carson City and graduated from Carson schools. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After college, I worked at The National Judicial College in the Court Studies Division. In 1976, I moved to Chicago, where I developed and directed an association of CPAs that assisted legal services and other organizations by providing independent, impartial analyses of the financial and accounting aspects of major public policy issues, much like what is needed regarding the City Center project proposed for downtown Carson City. In my 12 years heading the association, hundreds of accountants worked with thousands of charitable organizations throughout the Midwest.In 1994, I returned to Carson City and was appointed to head the judicial education program at the Nevada Supreme Court. I led that program for 17 years, conducting approximately 250 educational programs addressing a wide variety of legal and administrative topics, for hundreds of Nevada judges and thousands of court staff. This experience crafting education — researching the law, working with faculty and with Nevada judges and court staff, from Supreme Court justices to counter clerks — provided me a rich and deep understanding of the role of the judge. At my retirement, the associations of both the Nevada district court judges and of the justices of the peace and municipal court judges honored my work.What is very clear to me is that the law is not solely within the purview of lawyers. In the last 75 years, few Carson City Justices of the Peace have been attorneys. Instead, these judges were chosen for their ability to listen to those who come before the court, to follow the law, to require accountability, and, above all, to be fair. My entire career has prepared me to assume these responsibilities.Why should voters choose you over the other candidates? My experiences, both with the judiciary for 19 years and with the realities of operating a small business for the last 16 years, well qualify me for consideration from Carson voters. Also, as a Carson City native, I have seen our community grow and change. I understand the pressing need for our courts to change as well. Most importantly, my entire career has been to build respect for the courts and for the rule of law. Law is not just for lawyers. It is a key way our community resolves its differences. The courts must be accessible to all. As the Justice of the Peace in Department One, I will work to increase the knowledge of and critical value of our courts.Since his 2011 appointment, my opponent has touted his legal experience and programs he wants to develop. Yet, other than practicing law, he has indicated little other community experience. He has yet to develop either the misdemeanor drug court to which he has referred throughout the last year or the program to assist veterans that he espouses because, he says, he is prohibited from raising funds for these proposed programs. As Nevada courts approach the 20th anniversary of initiation of “specialty” courts (especially drug and mental health courts), Nevada judges have raised funds for these courts, through the Supreme Court’s specialty court funding program, through grant writing by court staff, through seeking funding from local governments. So, my opponent wants to, but cannot, have it both ways.


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