Las Vegas, December 4, 2014 – The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection today named 9 finalists to fill three positions on the new Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Mark Gibbons announced.

The nominees were selected following interviews by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection December 1- 4, 2014 in Las Vegas. The names of the finalists have been sent to Governor Brian Sandoval, who will appoint three new judges from the list. The Commission’s nine nominees for the three open positions, in alphabetical order, are:

Court of Appeals – Department 1

• David A. Hardy, 50, District Court Judge, Second Judicial District
• Kirby J. Smith, 57, Attorney, Lionel Sawyer & Collins
• Jerome T. Tao, 46, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District

Court of Appeals – Department 2

• Thomas D. Beatty, III, 72, Attorney, Law Offices of Thomas D. Beatty
• Michael Patrick Gibbons, 58, District Court Judge, Ninth Judicial District
• Susan Holland Johnson, 55, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District

Court of Appeals – Department 3

• Allan Ray Earl, 73, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
• Abbi Silver, 50, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
• Joan Chisholm Wright, 62, Attorney, Allison Mackenzie Pavlakis Wright & Fagan

A total of 36 attorneys submitted applications for the vacancy. Applicants had to be Nevada attorneys with 15 years of legal experience, two of those in Nevada.

Selection Process Was Open To The Public

As has been the rule since 2007, the Commission’s interviews were open to the public. A public comment period was provided to the public at the start and end of each day of interviews and before the deliberations and voting on the selection of the nominees.

In selecting the finalists, the Commission considered the applicants’ interviews along with information in comprehensive applications about education, law practice, business involvement, community involvement, and professional and personal conduct. The Commission also considered letters of reference and public statements during the interview process.

Applications of the attorneys were posted on the Supreme Court website at The applications of the finalists will remain on the website until the Governor makes his appointments. Some personal information in the applications and letters of comment are confidential and will not be posted.

Commission On Judicial Selection

The Commission on Judicial Selection is composed of 7 permanent members – the Supreme Court Chief Justice, three non-attorneys appointed by the Governor and three attorneys appointed by the State Bar of Nevada. Neither the Governor nor the Bar may appoint more than two permanent members from the same political party, and cannot appoint two members from the same county.

The Commission members are:

• Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Gibbons, Chair.
• Valerie Cooney, Carson City, past executive director of Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevada (State Bar appointee)
• Jeffrey Gilbert, Henderson, veteran gaming executive (Governor appointee)
• Jesse Gutierrez, Sparks, former executive director of Nevada Hispanic Services (Governor appointee)
• Gregory Kamer, Las Vegas, with Kamer Zucker Abbott (State Bar appointee)
• Jasmine Mehta, Carson City, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (State Bar appointee)
• Leslie M. Williams, Schurz, Administrative Assistant for Washoe County Senior Services (Governor appointee)

Chief Justice Mark Gibbons recused himself from participating in interviews and selection of candidates in Department 2. Associate Chief Justice Kristina Pickering led the interview and selection process for the Department 2 candidates.


State Court Administrator Robin Sweet
Administrative Office of the Courts

Michael S. Sommermeyer
Office of Public Information
702-486-3232 office

Print Friendly, PDF & Email