Name: Jim Wilson
Address: 1000 East William Street, Suite 104, Carson City, NV 89701
Phone number and campaign Web site: 882-9211 jimwilsonforjudge.org
Education: 1973 graduate of Carson High School; 1977 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration (accounting) University of Nevada, Reno; 1981 Juris Doctorate, McGeorge School of Law
Political experience: Elected district attorney 1983 – 1986; vice-president Carson Jr. High 1969 – 1970.
Please write a short biography of yourself (This answer may be up to 200 words; you might include such things as birthplace, career, community involvement, family, etc.):
I grew up in Carson City. I am an Eagle Scout. After graduating from Carson High in 1973 I fought fires during the summer and attended UNR the rest of the year. After earning an accounting degree I worked as a smokejumper and then a Carson City deputy sheriff where I served on patrol, motorcycle duty, and SWAT. After earning a law degree I served as a deputy district attorney and then as the elected district attorney. As district attorney I reduced the budget saving the county tens of thousands of dollars, and by improving efficiency increased the number of criminal convictions. I have run my own business, my law office, for the past 20+ years; supporting my family, paying salaries, self-employment tax, etc. I take pride in striving for excellence in the representation of my clients, and the other aspects of my life.
My wife of 27 years, Joanna, and I have five children. I coached children in Bobby Sox, city basketball, and AYSO soccer and have served as president of our elementary school parent teacher organization. I served as a reserve police officer for five years and have participated in a number of service projects through my church.
Why do you believe voters should select you rather than your opponent as district court judge?
1) My on-the-street police experience, prosecutor and criminal defense experience provided invaluable insight into the effects of crime on victims and society, and broader criminal/social issues like addiction and mental health. I have represented husbands and wives in divorces, mothers and fathers in child custody, guardians and wards, plaintiffs and defendants in all types of cases. My experience provides a framework for fair, wise, reasoned decisions.
2) As district attorney I cut the budget and through increased efficiency increased the number of convictions.
3) As a small business owner I have worked hard for long hours to accomplish the mission.
What changes would you make if you were elected?
1) Improve efficiency through technology; for example, electronic filing, videoconferencing, and electronic file storage. 2) Provide assistance to citizens who cannot afford lawyers; for example providing standardized forms for divorce, probate, and guardianship matters. 3) Support specialty courts and the use of masters; for example, a family court for divorces, and child custody and support. 4) More court days in Storey County. 5) Look into feasibility of holding court outside normal hours to accommodate citizen’s schedules. 6) Provide prompt, well-reasoned decisions even if it requires working after 5:00. 7) Stop attorney abuses; for example, sanctioning attorneys for rule violations.
Should judges be given more discretion than allowed by current law in imposing sentences?
Justice can only be done on an individual basis because each case has unique facts and circumstances. Judges need broad discretion so they can serve justice by applying the law fairly based upon the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
What criteria would you use for deciding whether to impose or affirm sentences outside of standard ranges?
Each case must be decided upon its unique facts and circumstances. Fair sentencing involves consideration of many factors including: the consequences of the crime on the victim, the victim’s family, and society at large; the number of victims; the danger the offender presents to society; the nature of the offense; prior achievements, good conduct or criminal history; and acceptance or denial of responsibility.
Would the reality of prison overcrowding play a role in how you sentence criminals?
The primary consideration must be the safety and welfare of our citizens. Financial responsibility requires consideration of the cost and benefits of incarceration versus the cost and benefits of alternatives, like drug court, mental health court, boot camp, house arrest, and probation with conditions like obtaining a GED, maintaining employment, and community service.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your legal career?
If you mean success by the world’s standards, I obtained a million dollar injury settlement; I helped a young non-English speaking mother charged with murder, who I believed was innocent, obtain a dismissal of the charges; I helped a man who became quadriplegic by a fall obtain a settlement that allowed him to remain in his home with his wife for the remainder of his life. If you mean greatest satisfaction, it is simply that I have helped people; I have been of service to others. True joy comes from serving others.
In your personal life?
A successful 27 year marriage and five wonderful children.
What is your general judicial philosophy?
I support The Code of Judicial Conduct which states: “Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law. … [J]udges … must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system.”
What things would you emphasize if elected to the bench?
Honesty, fairness, independence, service, competence, respect, and courtesy.
What else would you like to say to voters about your qualifications and ideas?
I will respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust. I will remember I am a servant of the people – that my job is service. I will treat everyone fairly, respectfully, and courteously. I am used to working hard and for long hours. I will work hard and long to: render prompt, fair, well-reasoned decisions; improve access to the judicial system by those who cannot afford a lawyer; and cut waste and improve the efficiency of the office.