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Yerington attorney will seek vacating district judge’s seat

MARLENE GARCIA
Nevada Appeal News Service

A Yerington attorney is the second person to announce he will seek the seat that District Judge Archie E. Blake is vacating next month, and a former district attorney also is interested.

John P. Schlegelmilch said this week he will run for the post in the November election, even if he is not appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn to fill the remainder of Blake’s term. Schlegelmilch is in private practice in Lyon County, and also handles clients and cases in Churchill County.

The Third Judicial District covers both counties.

Churchill County District Attorney Arthur Mallory is also seeking the judgeship. He resigned from the Nevada Judicial Selection Commission to apply for the job.

Former Churchill County District Attorney Kevin Pasquale said he might also submit an application for the job. Pasquale served as Churchill’s district attorney for 12 years until he was defeated by Mallory in the 1998 election.

“I’m thinking about it,” Pasquale said. “But I’ve got such a good gig right now.”

He is an attorney in private practice with Bradley, Drendel & Jeanney in Reno.

Schlegelmilch has practiced law in rural Nevada since 1991. He served as chief deputy district attorney in Lyon County, and has handled criminal, civil and family law matters.

He said a judge must listen to all sides of an issue and make a fair decision according to the law.

“The job is much different than being a lawyer. You need to give everyone a fair opportunity to be heard and be able to make tough choices,” he said.

It is also important for a judge to manage an increasingly growing caseload to limit delays in the judicial process, said Schlegelmilch.

In 2003, the candidate received the Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevada award for providing free legal services to those who can’t afford to hire a lawyer. He was given the Nevada Pro Bono Service Award in 1996.

“There’s definitely a need for people who can’t afford legal services,” he said.

Postcards were mailed Friday to every licensed attorney in Nevada about Blake’s pending retirement.

Any Nevada lawyer can submit an application for the judgeship. The applications will be reviewed by the Nevada Judicial Selection Commission, which will also conduct interviews of the applicants on March 27 and March 28. The commission will forward the top three applicants’ names to the governor, who will appoint the new judge.

The appointment will run through January 2007, and the person named to replace Blake will have to run in the November election to retain the seat for the remaining two years of Blake’s term.

“One of the things is, regardless whether I’m appointed or not, I intend to run for the office,” Schlegelmilch said. “I think it’s important that judges are elected. People should have the opportunity to decide who’s best in their community to judge them.”

Applications for the judge’s seat will be taken until Feb. 17. Blake’s resignation will be official Feb. 11.

— Marlene Garcia may be contacted at mgarcia@lahontanvalleynews.com