03 Oct Jim Davis
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CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
With six new departments and four retirements, there will be at least ten new Family Court Judges in 2021. Experienced Family Law Attorneys must be elected to fill these positions. I was amazed at the lack of Family Law experience that existed as individuals announced their intent to run for office. The Family Court is a specialty court for a reason, and the decisions made on day one could impact a family for a lifetime, if not for generations. Family Court is not a place for on the job training. With my vast experience, I will be ready on day one. I served our country for 20 years in the USAF; I decided it was time to serve again and protect the Family Court's integrity.
After retiring from the Air Force, I graduated from Boyd Law School and have dedicated the last 15 years to Family Law. I served 18 months as a Law Clerk in the Family Court. Ishi Kunin, Esq., one of the best Family Law attorneys in the State, then recruited me, where I honed my skills as a Family Law practitioner. After five years with Ms. Kunin's office, I opened and continue to run my own office. I have helped over 1000 clients with their family matters. I also have judicial experience, serving as a pro tem Hearing Master in Child Support Enforcement Court for the past eight years. I have the administrative, practical, and judicial experience to serve the citizens of Clark County as a Family Court Judge.
What are your views on the courts’ responsibility to uphold precedent on reproductive health care, particularly as it relates to Roe v. Wade and access to abortion as a constitutional right?
I believe that it would violate the Judicial Cannons to comment on specific cases. However, I also believe that all medical decisions belong to the individual in consultation with their family and medical professionals without government interference.
What are your views on “human dignity,” as applied by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor (133 S. Ct. 2675), shares the same constitutional protection provided to liberty and equality rights?
I believe that it would violate the Judicial Cannons to comment on specific cases. That said, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Do you believe that Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483) was correctly decided?
I believe that it would violate the Judicial Cannons to comment on specific cases. However, racial inequities and systemic racism still exists in every facet of life and should not be tolerated.
Would you honor the request of a plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a case before you who is transgender to be referred to in accordance with that person’s gender identity?
Unequivocally, Yes. It is a sign of respect.
Describe your understanding of Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises (390 U.S. 400) and application of this precedent to nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in places of public accommodation.
I believe that it would violate the Judicial Cannons to comment on specific cases. That said, religious freedom does not give one leave to oppress minority groups under the vale of religious beliefs.
Have you been involved in a significant case where a primary issue was sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV/AIDs discrimination? If so, can you provide the case, venue, case number and case citation (if published decision) and your involvement?
Yes - I resolved a situation in which the County denied FMLA benefits to a transman without the Court's intervention in favor of my client seeking to use these benefits.
With more and more Nevadans only one family emergency away from being unable to pay rent and maintain shelter for their loved ones, what steps would you take towards having a more equitable eviction process for Nevadans?
Evictions do not fall under the purview of the Family Court.
How would you ensure that criminal defendants with adverse immigration consequences attached to their cases are protected in the event the case is dismissed or otherwise resolved, so that the criminal justice system does not become a trap for the undocumented?
One's immigration status should not be a factor in Family Law cases unless there are children involved. If children are involved, there much be provisions in the Court's Orders that address the possibility that an individual's immigration status changes.
In recent years, we have seen Immigration and Customs Enforcement detain individuals as they are leaving criminal court hearings. Please describe your views on this practice.
Individuals should not be afraid to appear in Court because of their immigration status. There is definitely a need to reform immigration policy, including enforcement provisions.
What actions will you take to dismantle the school to prison and deportation pipeline? What do you see as the judiciary’s role in advancing restorative discipline practices for Nevada’s students?
I would encourage the use of restorative justice to get to the root problem of a particular issue, holding instigators responsible for their actions while not banishing them out of society, which only creates additional issues.
What do you think is the most important issue or problem in the state’s justice system today, and how would you work to address it?
Access to justice. Around 67% of litigants in Family Court represent themselves and have no idea of the rules or procedures of the Court, let alone knowledge of the law.
In the past few months, I have participated in the "Ask-a-Lawyer" program run by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN). With the pandemic, this program has gone all telephonic, making it easier for lawyers to participate. I would encourage attorneys to participate in this program and suggest that LACSN expand the program to additional days, including evening and weekend time periods. I would actively encourage attorneys to volunteer their services for this program.
Moreover, the Self-Help Centers currently are limited to the Courthouses or available on-line. Unfortunately, this creates a barrier for those relying on public transportation or no internet service. I would encourage the Court to open satellite self-help centers throughout the County. These can be stand-alone sites or by partnering with local businesses and community centers. Although there is a cost associated with such a program, limited access to justice is much greater.
Do you feel that existing diversion initiatives and specialty courts are effective in meeting the needs of the community? What changes would you make to improve their effectiveness?
The current diversion initiatives and specialty courts are effective but can always be expanded. In Family Court, the expansion of the CASA and drug court programs would be valuable in domestic cases.
What value does cash bail bring to Nevada’s judicial system?
Family Court is a civil court and does not typically make bail determination. The exceptions would be for acts of contempt or violations of child support orders. Incarceration should be used only as a last resort in these situations and not a form of punishment. A more suitable solution may be to address the root of the problem with programs that help individuals, such as drug or mental health treatment, family counseling, or community service.
In light of Nevada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana, what is your position on vacating convictions of individuals for marijuana possession?
I have no problem with vacating convictions for marijuana possession for personal use.