There are two races in District Court, two Family Division races that are significant and that we want to focus on for the purpose of informing the public about the best candidates in Family Division of the Eighth District Court.
Family Court is a very controversial and problematic part of the judicial system in Nevada and it is important that the public get to know the other side of who to vote for and why, in order to not be fooled by the personal interests of campaign managers and the materialistic mentally of the daily newspaper.
Dept B — This is an open seat and it is a shame we are losing a great judge who is retiring. Here we have candidates Linda Marquis (who has very little, if any, family law experience and might not even know where the Family Court complex is) and Joe Scalia, who is very experienced in family law with over 20 years of family law experience.
Ms. Marquis has spent over $100,000 in this “stepping stone” race. She has no business running for this seat since she wants to become a judge to likely seek a different office or perhaps a higher office.
There is no reason she should run in this particular race when her experience is in other areas in civil litigation.
Ms. Marquis believes an election can be bought. That is why she has retained the services of that bully, Dave Thomas. It is no surprise she is getting all of the endorsements in this race, yet lacking substance.
Why is it relevant to anyone regarding candidates for judicial races, especially the police endorsements, to ask who the candidate’s campaign manager is? How is that relevant? She may have the good looks in this race based on the signs on the side of the road, but that does not make her qualified to serve Clark County as a District Court judge. Clark County can do better and fortunately there is a better choice on the ballot.
Joe Scalia runs his own family law firm and has the respect of the family law community for a reason. The man is extremely intelligent and is fluent in Spanish. Family law attorneys should be scared of perhaps appearing in front of Ms. Marquis, who will learn from the bench at the litigant’s and the taxpayer’s expense. She has stated that she knows family law since she has attended legal education seminars. That is like saying one can learn to swim by reading a book.
You learn by doing, and in this race, family law experience is where it should be. How can Ms. Marquis be a family court judge when she has never done a family court trial?
Joe Scalia did a mock divorce hearing example at the Patriot Day Debate event held at the Golden Nugget last month, at which Ms. Marquis failed to show. This would have been the perfect chance for Ms. Marquis to let others know why she believes she is the better choice.
Mr. Scalia’s intelligence and confidence is impressive. Mr. Scalia is the better choice and is passionate about what he does. Joe Scalia should be the next judge in Department B at Family Court.
Dept S — The Las Vegas Tribune has met Judge Ochoa and he has lied to us in our face about whether or not Dave Thomas is his campaign manager. Why would he feel the need to lie when we ask an honest question? In his election filings, it clearly shows he is paying Policy Communications a/k/a Dave Thomas, $2,500 per month.
Here is a guy that misses work to campaign (costing taxpayers money when a senior judge fills in to run his court that day while Judge Ochoa still gets his paycheck), and lost the Police Officers Association Union’s endorsement with the Clark County School District based on his gender discrimination against men (he has publicly stated that men do not get overnight visitation with their infant children the first six months of the child’s life and then only one overnight
the next six months).
Judge Ochoa also has the badge of the CCSD police union on his campaign signs when he does not have the endorsement. How is that fair to the voters? Isn’t that unethical and why is that tolerated? The right thing to do would be either to take the signs down or to cover up the badge. This is just another example of Judge Ochoa using any
means necessary to get re-elected. This shows his true colors and should not sit well with members of the voting public.
Veterans in Politics and the Review-Journal did not endorse him in 2014 while he is a judge, yet both endorsed him in 2010 when he was running for judge. Judge Ochoa was a personal injury, immigration, and workman’s compensation attorney before being elected in 2010. He has had very limited family law experience and it appears that shows. He
has been disqualified from one case involving his opponent based on the “quarrel” he caused at a Family Law conference in Ely, Nevada earlier this year. In September 2014, Judge Moss ordered a new trial in the same case due to all of the errors that Judge Ochoa caused.
Taxpayers now have to pay for a 2-day trial delaying justice in other cases. We can do better than Judge Ochoa on the bench.
Judge Ochoa only has a 64 percent retention rating with the Review-Journal poll. That is a “D.” Can we do better than a “D” Judge? The answer is yes.
We have gotten to know Jason Stoffel very early in this campaign. It is true that 99 percent of his cases since day one are in the area of family law. He has the knowledge and the experience to serve Clark County. He has appeared on the “Face the Tribune” program several times and would be a welcome addition to the bench. He is a Truancy Diversion Judge on Friday mornings helping the youth in Clark County.
According to his website, he is on several committees at the State Bar and the Clark County Bar Association.
Jason Stoffel clearly will be the superior choice to be the next Judge at Family Court in Department S. I like the “S for Stoffel” campaign slogan he uses since it is not only name recognition but it brings attention to the race where voters can do their research online about his qualifications and experience. He is also a volunteer settlement master at Family Court so he also has the respect of existing sitting judges. Those judges know something that the voters should know as
well — Stoffel should be on the bench.
Our final thoughts are that being a Judge is an important position.
Voters need to become educated about our elected officials, especially in non-partisan races that affect the community. It may be modern to vote early, and old-fashioned to “hold out” till Election Day, but please — everyone should do their civic duty and cast their ballot, early or not.