Our panel was not unanimous on this contest. One said of Hunt: “He clearly has the experience to do the job well.” Another said he “will have a good demeanor on the bench.” But one said: “I cannot recommend Mr. Hunt. I question his judgment and his ability to be reasonable and demonstrate common sense.”
On Holthus, the incumbent, one panelist said that she “is doing a good job and deserves to be retained.” But another said “she is one of the most disorganized people I’ve ever met.” That same panelist said she “really should not be on the bench.” Another panelist agreed that she is disorganized, and said she “is difficult to deal with.”
Hunt is a private attorney who has been practicing law in Nevada for more than 37 years. He specializes in the areas of administrative law, transportation and railroads, commercial litigation, real estate and family law. In addition to litigating cases, Hunt has been a Justice Court and Municipal Court pro tempore judge for a combined twelve years, was a hearing court master in the areas of child support and guardianship for three years and was the Probate Court pro tempore commissioner from 2009-2014. (Pro tempore positions are essentially substitute judges, meaning they conduct hearings when the sitting judge is unavailable.) Hunt estimates that 30 percent of his work is in family law, 30 percent is civil litigation and 40 percent is in administrative law. He has no experience in criminal matters, other than hearings conducted as Justice Court pro tempore. The majority of his cases have been on the defense side. His self-reported cases included representation of Union Pacific Railroad in work-related injury cases and a Family Court matter involving out-of-state relocation of a child.
Hunt is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell. He also was rated one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Las Vegas by MyVegas Magazine in December 2015. American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIOFLA) ranked him in "10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Nevada." Hunt has no ethics violations on his record.
Holthus is the incumbent judge for Department 18. Prior to becoming a judge, she spent 30 years as a deputy district attorney and chief deputy district attorney for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. For 16 of those years, she was assigned to the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit. Although the majority of her experience is in criminal law, Holthus stated in her questionnaire that she has “worked very hard to get up to speed in civil cases [by]...read[ing] everything that is brought before [her]... do[ing] the necessary research...seek[ing] out experienced judges to gain a better understanding of the law…[and] doing [her] best to learn as much as [she] can.” She also attended the National Judicial College of General Jurisdiction with judges from throughout the country to prepare for being a judge.
All of Holthus’ appealed rulings have been upheld by the Nevada Supreme Court. Two of these cases, Glass v. Select Portfolio Servicing and Mann St. v. Elsinore Homeowners Ass’n, were civil cases in which the Nevada Supreme Court found that Holthus correctly applied the law. Holthus has ever been sanctioned by a court for bad behavior and has no record of prosecutorial misconduct. Since taking the bench, Holthus has been in court a minimum of three days a week and has had no judicial days covered by another judge.