Divorce Judge Candidates 2020

Department Z – Candidates

Romeo Perez, Esq.

I have owned my own law office for over 22 years. I have dedicated much of my practice to Family Law; Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Guardianship, Grandparents Rights, Juvenile Justice, Abuse/Neglect (CPS) and Termination of Parental Rights. I have dealt with families during some of the most difficult times of their lives from intake to trial.  I have been interviewed and endorsed by Central Labor, Hispanics in Politics, IBEW 357, The Nevada Political Action for Animals, Nevada Veterans Association, Nevada First Agenda Association, Positions on Issues PAC, Clark County Prosecutors Association, Southern Nevada Building Trades Unions, SEIU 1107, and VegasDesi.

I will make a good judge because when Family Matters, Experience Counts! It is important to have a judge who not only understands family law but also understands where families are coming from and the problems that families face. I am the most qualified because of the diversity of my experience, my years of practice in front of the court, as a business owner and a member of the community. I have the temperament to be a judge in family court, a place where people want to be heard and feel that in their time of vulnerability, a place to connect. As my family law practice grew, so did my clients’ problems. Many times, my clients would have trouble with a traffic ticket, a DUI, or even a car accident. I have been able to help my clients through those events as well.

 

Michele Mercer, Esq.  

I’m passionate about serving people – especially children and families. The Family Court is the most personal of all of our courts. Decisions being made by a Family Court Judge matter and that’s why I’m doing this. My decisions will determine where a child will grow up and who will be the most influential in their lives. How we raise our children affects all of us. Therefore, it’s essential to have a judge who cares about the people and the community. And I care very much.

I have presided over more than 4000 family court hearings as a Pro Tem Hearing Master. I’ve been practicing law in Nevada for 22 years, primarily in family law. I’ve been married for 23 years to a recently retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer. My experience as a wife and mother has helped me to sharpen my skills as a good listener, communicator, arbiter and mediator. Plus, I have a keen sense of family dynamics and I am cognizant that how we interact with our immediate family impacts our relationships outside of our homes.

My extensive experience, both personally and professionally, along with my personality, my education, work ethic and skills all combine to make me the an excellent Family Court Judge.

 

Department X – Candidates

Jim Davis, Esq.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys must be elected to fill these positions.  The Family Court is a specialty court, and the decisions made on day one could impact a family for a lifetime; I have the experience necessary to be your Family Court Judge in Department X. 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 for the Honorable Sandra Pomrenze. Ishi Kunin, Esq, one of the best Family Law attorneys in Clark County, then recruited me. While at her office, 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.

In nine years as a sole practitioner, I have had over 1000 clients, assisting them with their family matters. I also have judicial experience, serving as a Pro Tem Hearing Master in Child Support Enforcement for the past five years.  I have the administrative, practical, and judicial experience to serve the citizens of Clark County as a Family Court Judge. Also,  I  have  conducted  over  100  seminars/open  forums  on  topics  regarding  Domestic Partnership  Law,  the  Defense  of  Marriage  Act  (DOMA),  Marriage  Equality,  Family Creation, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Moreover, I have been asked and  have  spoken  at events sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, Wells-Fargo, MGM, We Are Family, UNLV  Boyd  School  of  Law,  and  Nevada  State  Bar’s  Family  Section.  I am an accomplished speaker, having appeared on KNPR’s “State of Nevada” and continue to conduct interviews with local and national media outlets regarding Family Law matters. You can learn more about me  at votejimdavis.com.

 

Heidi Almase, Esq.

Heidi is a former Las Vegas Municipal Court judge.  Heidi presided over a regular criminal docket as well as HOPE Court, an adult drug court focusing on defendants who had consistent interaction with the criminal justice system as a result of an addiction and are homeless or at-risk for homelessness.  In 2009, Heidi created the Serious Traffic Offender Program (STOP Court), which sought to address chronic traffic offenders within the City of Las Vegas by focusing on safe and legal driving but dealing compassionately with the financial burdens associated with significant monetary penalties.  In 2015, Heidi created the City’s first mental health diversion program.  This program, the first of its kind, focused on defendants suffering from a mental illness who come in contact with the criminal justice system.  The program sought to provide stabilization, medication and oversight for some of the City’s most vulnerable citizens in concert with various community stakeholders.  Following its first year of operation, Heidi and her team won a national award for creative care from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In her capacity as a Municipal Court Judge, Heidi was the recipient of the for 2016 Community Partner Award, Las Vegas Foundation for Recovery, for her work in the addiction recovery field while overseeing HOPE Court and received the 2016 Continuity of Care, Connect 4 Mental Health, for her work presiding over the Las Vegas Mental Health Court. For the past two years, Heidi has worked at Family Court in Department T.  Heidi has worked on an average of 300 cases per month dealing with every type of case, from adoptions to divorce proceedings.  Heidi’s prior experience with civil, criminal and family law along with her significant appellate experience, daily assists with the management of domestic cases.

Department W – Candidates

Stacy Rocheleau, Esq.

I’ve lived in the Las Vegas valley for 40 years.  I grew up in Henderson and attended public schools here, graduating from Basic High School in 1987.  I went on to college at Whittier College and then Law School at USD.  I have been married for 27 years. I have 3 teenage daughters and a rescue dog.  Raising a family here gives me a unique perspective which is important when deciding family law cases.

Professionally, I have been an attorney for 19 years, and have extensive experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, adoption, guardianship, relocation, as well as many others.  I also have judicial experience, as I was appointed as a Discovery Pro Tem Judge in 2017 and have served as a Truancy Diversion Judge for 3 years. I have several honors and awards, including being voted the best Divorce lawyer for the last 3 years in a row by the Las Vegas Review Journal’s reader’s poll, and I have the highest rating on Avvo a 10.0.

I am fair-minded and impartial. With my almost 2 decades of experience.   I am patient and empathetic to the rights of the litigants. This is especially important in family court, where emotions and anxiety run high. It’s important for everyone to feel like they have been heard when in family court. I can provide that opportunity as a judge.

Finally, I would like to give thanks for my many endorsements; Clark County Firefighters, Clark County Prosecutors Association,  Clark County Marshals, Central Nevada Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union SEIU,  Nevada Republican Club, Teamsters, Southern Nevada Building Trades, Ironworkers 433, Sheet Metal Workers local 88, Nevada Political Action for Animals and the National Veterans Council.

 

Department T – Candidates

Jason Stoffel

I have had a variety of jobs working for various police departments and social service agencies in the 1990’s while still attending college until I entered law school in 2000.  I began my law career in 2004 working for a local family law firm and continuing to work in the family law field through 2009.  In 2010, I opened up my own firm (Roberts Stoffel Family Law Group) with my wife and business partner, Amanda Roberts.  I work well with people.  I am the immediate Past President of the Clark County Bar Association. I have been on many committees with the Clark County Bar Association and the State Bar of Nevada. I was a Truancy Diversion Judge for six years serving many children and families in Clark County. Truancy is a gateway crime, and I met with families to figure out why children are skipping school, doing drugs, having sex, committing petty crimes, and so forth. I also served since 2017 as a Pro Tem Judge for the City of Las Vegas, working in small claims. I had resolved landlord-tenant issues, creditor’s rights, prisoner rights, and other various small claims.

I would be a good judge as I have the knowledge and experience necessary.  I have been a Family Law Attorney for over 16 years.  I have never been sanctioned by a Judge or the State Bar of Nevada unlike my opponent. I have actual judicial experience serving the City of Las Vegas as a Pro Tem Judge working in Small Claims since 2017.  This is relevant since putting on a black robe, reviewing the law and the facts and rendering a decision is exactly what a judge does.  I am the most experienced candidate in the Department T race. I have argued 1,000’s of cases and have well over 100 days of Trial experience. I am the only candidate that has attended the Family Law Convention for my continuing legal education credits every year since I was licensed to practice law. I have been recognized for my Pro Bono work with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada receiving many awards, including Pro Bono attorney of the year and my firm for Small Firm of the year. I am the best choice for Judge in Department T.

 

Department P  – Candidates

Sara Dayani, Esq.

Divorce Judge Candidate Sara DayaniFor over a decade, Sara Dayani has worked within the Clark County Family Court system. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law and she is well versed in family law, the court process, and the rules of evidence.  Over the years Sara has worked on thousands of cases in family court will a myriad of legal issues. In 2009, Sara was one of four members of the legal community that helped create the UNLV Mediation Clinic. Within this program, law students help mediate family court cases. That program has continued to thrive since its inception and Sara is proud of her contribution to the Southern Nevada community. Sara served as a Truancy Diversion Court Judge for two terms. She was selected to serve as a member of the Truancy Summit Committee, devoted to combating truancy and increasing high school graduation rates. Sara completed extensive research regarding truancy. This research directly led towards a federal grant of $600,000 to combat truancy in Southern Nevada. The research also created legislative changes. Since 2018 she has served as a panel member for the Nevada Family Law Conference. Within that role she participates in a round table discussion with members of the legal community.

To date, Sara has received several notable endorsements: (1) The Clark County Firefighters IAFF Local 1908, (2) Southern Nevada Central Labor Council (CLC, AFL-CIO), (3) Culinary Union Local 226, (4) Bartenders and Beverage Dispenser Union Local 165, (5) Clark County Deputy Marshal’s Association, (6) Women’s Democratic Club of Clark County Nevada, (7) Veteran’s for Responsible Government-Political Action Committee, (8) IBEW Local Union 357 PAC, (9) Vegas Desi, (10) Independent Black Voters, (11) Teamsters Local 631, (12) Southern Nevada Building Trades Union and (13) SMART Local 88.

Sara has completed all of her education in Southern Nevada. She is a wife and mother to two wonderful children. In addition to her passions for the legal community, she also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Nasri Academy for Gifted Children. A family court judge can impact your life in such a direct way. No one knows this better than someone who lives with these decisions. It is important that members of our community become informed and engage in the voter process.   Sara Dayani has the experience, temperament and knowledge to be a great family court judge. To find out more about why you should vote for Sara Dayani, please visit her website at Saradayani.com.

 

Department M – Candidates

Lynn Hughes, Esq.

I am a candidate for Family Court Judge, Department M, which is currently a Guardianship Court.  I have the most combined guardianship, family law and judicial experience of the candidates for Department M. I have been an attorney in Las Vegas for 23 years, working in family law, guardianship and probate cases.  I have focused my practice in these areas and gained decades of experience there.  I have handled cases from inception through trial and appeal.   For the  past  18  years,  I  have  been  a  pro-tem  hearing  master  for  the  county  and  family  courts  in guardianship,  dependency,  civil  commitment,  traffic,  and  small  claims  courts.    I have sat as a judge for hearings and trials, and I know how to run a Courtroom.  I was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court as a member of the Permanent Guardianship Committee for the State of Nevada, to serve and improve the guardianship courts in Nevada.  The guardianship court protects those individuals, both minor children and elderly individuals, who need assistance in their lives.  I ask you to remember to CHOOSE LYNN HUGHES for Family Court M.

 

 

Amy Mastin, Esq.

I have spent the entirety of my 23 year career serving the families of Clark County. Nearly seven years ago, I was appointed by the District Court Judges to be a Family Court Hearing Master. For six years, I presided over Clark County’s civil Domestic Violence Court. I currently hear Child Support Establishment and Enforcement cases. Prior to my appointment, I was in private practice for 10 years, focused exclusively on Family Law cases. During that time, my name was one of a handful provided to foster parents ready to finalize the adoption of their foster children. Before private practice, I learned about trial advocacy working for the District Attorney’s Office in their juvenile division, prosecuting civil child abuse and neglect cases.

My legal training and vast judicial experience make me the best candidate for Department M. As I stated above, I was appointed to be a Family Court Hearing Master in 2013. I was originally selected by the District Court Judges to hear domestic violence cases. My Court heard upwards of 8,000 cases per year, in a County with one of the highest domestic homicide rates in the country. I have also heard minor guardianship cases, discovery disputes and now have a child support caseload.

 

Department J – Candidates

Dee Butler, Esq.

After graduating from Howard University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and working as a Special Events Coordinator for the President of the University of Missouri System, Dee attended the Boyd School of Law at UNLV and immediately fell in love with Las Vegas, Nevada. Dee likes to say that Las Vegas is the city that raised her. Dee started her career in private practice and primarily focused on family law and insurance defense at Schuetze & McGaha law firm.  Then, she represented our most vulnerable, our children, in the juvenile justice division of family court.  Dee has been a public defender for the past ten years of her practice, dedicating her career to public service. She is passionate about her career and serves to protect the rights of all people and make sure their voices are heard. While Dee could boast about other career achievements over the past decade, her proudest accomplishment is being a mother of three beautiful children, Dawn Skye (9), Desiree (6), and Dominic (18 months). Dee believes that there is nothing more important than family. In her free time she enjoys traveling, yoga, and “staycations” on the Las Vegas Strip.

Dee Butler will be honored to serve as a family court judge to continue to serve the community that has given so much to her. As the Team Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit in the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Dee supervises a team of eight attorneys.  She handles the most difficult and emotional cases, exclusively domestic violence matters.  Many of her clients have companion family court cases and she continues to represent them pro bono when time permits.  Importantly, Dee was divorced here and remembers what it feels like to stand in that space.  With approximately 60% of Clark County residents representing themselves in family court, she will be patient and understanding.  She is in court every day before a wide range of judges, representing people who cannot afford counsel.  She has represented over 3000 clients and has more court hours than her opponent.  Dee is the best candidate in this race because she has the most varied experience having done both bench and jury trials, family, civil and criminal defense work.  Based on her personal and professional experience, she will be a compassionate, fair, and diligent judge who is patient and efficient making thoughtful, law-based decisions.

 

Department I – Candidates

Sunny Bailey, Esq.

My name is Sunny Bailey and I am running for Family Court Judge, Dept i. I was raised in Washington State. My mom was a hairdresser and my father is a retired heavy equipment mechanic. I attended the University of Washington on scholarship while working as a food server. After working as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, my family moved to Clark County in 2004 to obtain autism treatment for my extremely violent daughter with autism. Thanks to the program we found, and the wonderful support of this community, I was able to practice law. I practiced as a Deputy Public Defender, civil attorney, Pro Tem Judge for the City of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Township Justice Court, and Hearing Officer for the Taxicab Authority. I was also appointed to serve as the State of Nevada Acting Labor Commissioner. I currently serve as a Family Court Juvenile Delinquency Hearing Master where I created and preside over the Detention Alternative for Autistic Youth (DAAY) Court. It is the only court in the nation dedicated to diverting youth with autism out of the criminal justice system. I am running for judge because I would like to continue to serve and assist the families of ClarkCounty. Please vote Sunny Bailey for Dept i

 

 

Michelle Tobler, Esq.

I am a life-long Las Vegas resident. I went to Rex Bell Elementary, Cashman Junior HS, and Clark High School, graduating in 1986 as a Valedictorian. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from BYU in Psychology, with a minor in Portuguese (this may have been a little bit easier for me than some because my mother is from Brazil and spoke Portuguese with us growing up). I also earned multiple undergraduate credits attending UNLV.

During my undergraduate years and for a couple of years after, I worked as a legal secretary. That experience made me want to attend law school. I graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1995 in the top 23% of my class, with multiple honors and awards. After passing the California and Nevada Bar exams, I returned home to work. An attorney, for whom I used to babysit his children when I was a teenager, gave me my first job as an attorney at his law firm.   I have been practicing law in Las Vegas for about 24 years in many different areas of civil litigation in both smaller and larger law firms. I have had my own law firm for 12 years.

I’m running for Family Court Judge in Department I so I can serve my hometown community. I have strong ties to our community, and I understand the unique needs of Clark County residents. My qualifications, experience and temperament make me an excellent choice for Family Court Judge. I’ve been serving as an Arbitrator in the District Court’s arbitration program for 10 years. Also, for the past 4 years, I’ve been serving as an Appeals Hearing Officer for the Department of Family Services, hearing appeals of abuse and neglect cases. In these roles, I hear testimony, consider evidence, then make a decision on the cases before me, just as I will do when elected. I always treat the parties that appear before me with respect and courtesy.

 

Department E  – Candidates

Hon. Charles Hoskin

 Charles J. Hoskin was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated from Bonanza High School in 1981. He graduated from University of Utah with a B.A. in Economics in 1988. He received his J.D. from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College in 1991. While attending Northwestern, he served as the Ninth Circuit Review Editor for the Law Review. In March of 2009 Judge Hoskin was appointed to the District Court in Department E.  He was then elected to that position in 2010 and reelected in 2014.  Judge Hoskin served as Presiding Judge over the Eighth Judicial District Court’s Family Division from January 2014 until December 2017. Judge Hoskin presents at numerous seminars on a variety of legal and judicial topics.  Judge Hoskin has served on several sub-committees under the Supreme Court’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Kids analyzing the needs of youth in the abuse and neglect system.  He also served on the Safety Focused Visitation Task Force helping find safe ways for children in abusive relationships to maintain visitation with their parents.  He currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Nevada Children’s Commission which seeks to maintain and improve the abuse and neglect system and the Supreme Court’s Child Support Commission.

I have served the citizens of this State as a District Court Judge in the Family Division for 11 years.  Prior to taking the bench, I practiced, primarily in family law, for 18 years, handling thousands of cases and clients.  I am qualified to continue to serve in this position. While serving as the Presiding Judge of the Family Division, I directed and participated in the implementation of numerous improvements to permit the court to better serve the public.  Those changes included redesigning the Abuse and Neglect case type to institute a one-family-one-judge approach which results in better understanding of the family dynamics.  I also initiated a review into the guardianship procedures in the court to provide better information concerning disadvantaged individuals.  I also began the process which permits the court to now consider Temporary Protective Orders in real time, saving victims’ substantial time in obtaining their orders. I want to be re-elected because I maintain a desire to serve Clark County and make the court process better for those who must utilize it.  Experience in a judicial position is vital.  My experience helps me better serve as your Judge. More information is available at JudgeHoskin.com