“We have hit the ground running and are making an immediate impact,” said Chief Judge Gibbons. “All three appellate judges understand the need for speedy, fair and accurate decisions and we are working very hard to achieve this goal. We are happy to have already resolved 34 criminal and 11 civil cases.” Three of these were consolidated cases.
The first case to be decided by the Court of Appeals was Johnny William Johnson vs. The State of Nevada. Johnson was convicted in Las Vegas of two counts of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and five other charges. The court affirmed the verdicts of the jury and the sentencing decisions of District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt.
Nevada voters approved the creation of a Court of Appeals in November 2014 by allowing an amendment to Article 6 of the Nevada Constitution.
The Nevada Supreme Court assigns cases to the Court of Appeals in a deflective model. The Supreme Court expects to assign approximately 700 cases each year to the three judges of the Court of Appeals. “This is a historic moment for the legal community and Nevada,” said `Chief Justice James W. Hardesty. “The judiciary promised the Court of Appeals would immediately go to work and this accomplishment confirms our promise. I am very proud of these judges.”
The Court of Appeals consists of Chief Judge Michael P. Gibbons, Judge Jerome T. Tao, and Judge Abbi Silver, who were appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval in December 2014.