High court begins process to replace judge | NevadaAppeal.com

High court begins process to replace judge

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection has begun the process of replacing Carson District Judge Mike Griffin.

Griffin, 62, announced in March he will retire at the end of this year. He is currently Nevada’s longest serving active district judge with 28 years on the bench.

The commission announced Wednesday it will begin accepting applications Aug. 14 for lawyers who wish to apply for the vacancy in one of two district judgeships serving Carson City and Storey County.

A spokesman for the commission said the deadline to apply is Sept. 8. Interviews for the post will be Oct. 23-24 in Carson City.

After that, the commission will select three top finalists to nominate. Gov. Kenny Guinn will make the selection from that list.

Under Nevada law, the appointee must run in the next general election to keep the seat. Since there are two years left in Griffin’s six-year term, that will coincide with the normal election cycle for district judges in the state.

Griffin first won election in 1979 in a contested race. But since then, he has been unopposed in four campaigns to keep the post.

“I guess people think I’m doing a pretty good job,” he said when he announced his retirement.

He said he will enjoy reclaiming certain freedoms the average person enjoys once he leaves office.

“The problem with this job is you’ve got to watch what you say – everywhere,” he said. “It’s just common sense that a judge can’t talk about what you think because it will come back on you.”

He said he foresees six or more people seeking to replace him but that he isn’t taking sides.

“I’ve got no dog in that hunt,” he said.

Outgoing Carson City District Attorney Noel Waters has said he intends to apply. Others have said they are thinking about applying, but only Waters has made an announcement.

Griffin is a native of Carson City as were both his parents. After graduating from law school, he spent four years in the U.S. Army, completing his service as a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Office.

In addition to three years at Fort Ord, he spent 13 months in Korea.

He and his wife, Jill, have a daughter, Gina Solari, and two sons, John and Matt, who are both lawyers.

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