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Legal Ethics

Controversial Las Vegas Judge’s Suspension Upheld

Posted Nov 2, 2007 5:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the suspension of controversial Las Vegas Judge Elizabeth Halverson, accused of mistreating staff members and sleeping during hearings.

The court rejected Halverson’s procedural objections to her interim suspension and cited ample evidence that supported it, Blogonaut reports.

As a result of the ruling, Halverson won’t be allowed to resume her duties until the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline rules on the ethics complaint against her, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

“In this case, the record reveals that Judge Halverson frequently yelled at her staff, regularly used vulgarities, and on several occasions employed pejorative racial, ethnic or religious terms. Witness testimony also indicates that Judge Halverson publicly humiliated her former bailiff on several occasions,” the court wrote in its opinion.

In one case Halverson referred to her law clerk as a "faux Jew" because she did not regularly go to temple services and once referred to someone as a "Mick," the opinion said.

The court cited evidence that Halverson hired private security guards and referred to testimony, although disputed, that Halverson fell asleep on the bench on a daily basis. It also noted evidence that she frequently ate dinner with jurors and in at least one case answered their questions without lawyers present.

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