A Nevada Supreme Court Justice will discuss his experience from “the other side of the bench” on Wednesday, May 6, during an academic course for new judges at The National Judicial College. Supreme Court Justice Mark Gibbons will relate his experience as a juror to 80 new judges from around the nation during the NJC’s two-week General Jurisdiction course on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
Sitting judges are almost always disqualified from serving as jurors. However, in August 2014, both prosecution and defense attorneys approved Justice Gibbons as one of 12 jurors in a criminal case. The defendant in that case faced four counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a concealed weapon. Eventually, he was convicted of the concealed weapon charge and two of the assault counts, acquitted of one, and the jury deadlocked on the remaining assault count.
Justice Gibbons will be one of four former jurors who will recount their experiences in the Jury Panel class at the NJC. As a former Nevada district judge, he had presided over more than a 100 jury trials and spoke to every jury at the end of each trial. “Nevertheless,” he said, “I never thought I would have the opportunity to serve as a juror. I want to publicize that I believe it is an honor and a civic obligation to participate in jury duty. No one, including judges, should be exempted from serving on jury duty.”
More on Justice Gibbons’ Experience on the Panel
General Jurisdiction runs April 27 to May 7 and October 19-29, 2015 at the NJC. It is an intensive two-week course for new judges from around the country to help provide a solid foundation for a new judicial career. In addition to Jury Panel, other class topics include courtroom management, judicial discretion, ethics, sentencing, evidence, and dealing with the media. General Jurisdiction is traditionally offered in the spring and again in the fall.