Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 5, 2015, 10:45am



CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline) - James W. Hardesty has been named chief justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.




 




The high court made the announcement last week.




 




Hardesty will begin his new role effective Monday. He takes over for Chief Justice Mark Gibbons, whose term ended.




 




Hardesty is a native Nevadan, born and raised in Reno. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and practiced law in Reno from 1975 through 1998, when he was elected to the district court in Washoe County.




 




He was elected to the Supreme Court in 2004 and served as chief justice in 2009.




 




Last year, Hardesty pushed for an appeals court, which was approved by voters in November.




 




“Justice Hardesty tirelessly traveled the state demonstrating the need for a Court of Appeals and explaining how the court will benefit Nevadans,” Gibbons said last week.




 




Establishing the new court is expected to be one of Hardesty’s first tasks.




 




“The beginning of the Court of Appeals marks a historic moment in the history of Nevada’s judicial system and will be one of the most important projects of the Supreme Court in the new year,” Hardesty said.




 




“The Court of Appeals provides us with the opportunity to reduce the backlog of the Supreme Court and eventually provide quicker resolution of all appeals in Nevada.”




 




He said he plans to assign the three new appellate judges to their first 163 cases this week.




 




He also plans to work with lawmakers on the budget and various legislation during the upcoming session, and will give the State of the Judiciary address.




 




Under the state constitution, only justices in the last two years of their current six-year term of office are eligible to be chief justice.




 




From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.


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