Our entire legal panel agreed that Atkin is the best choice in this race. One said it is a “no brainer.” Another said that in the legal community, “the word is that he has done well so far.”
Peterson did not respond to our questionnaire but did respond to an email from a member of our law school research team with some self-reported cases. Peterson graduated law school in 2000 and worked in Michigan prior to being admitted to the Nevada Bar in 2007. She is currently a junior partner at Flangas Dalacas Law Group, a general practice firm, where she has represented clients in multiple areas of the law including landlord-tenant, probate, business, personal injury, and family law. In 2016, she also took on the role of court-appointed arbitrator. Her most significant self-reported case, Council v. Gillespie, was appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court and ultimately shaped Nevada law by successfully getting a court order to limit speech. In this case, a print shop discovered that its client, a campaign consultant, was using a different print shop. In retaliation, the print shop printed and mailed mailers claiming that the campaign consultant lost elections. Her clients were ultimately able to recover monetary damages for the harm caused by the fliers. Peterson has no ethics violations on record.
Atkin was appointed to the bench in 2019 and is the incumbent judge. Prior to becoming a judge, Atkin was a civil litigator for more than 32 years with a focus on insurance, commercial litigation and general tort law. In his one year of service on the bench, Atkin has presided over 212 matters, including one jury trial and four bench trials, and has only taken two court days off. He takes a separation of powers approach to the bench and believes it is his role is to interpret the law fairly and to promote and enhance equal access to justice for everyone, rather than create law. In a Meet the Candidates panel at UNLV’s law school, Atkin emphasized the importance of being open-minded to each person’s individual circumstances and aware of inequalities to prevent bias in the legal system.
While explaining why some of his decisions have taken more than 30 days, Atkin stated that when the law was relatively new, he chose to research and prepare his own decisions to explain the rationale and basis for his decision. He also said that some decisions were close calls that were difficult for him to decide. He acknowledged that this is an area that he is learning to manage as he strives to make the best decisions based on the facts of the case and applicable law.
Atkin was an appointed trustee for the Nevada Law Foundation, which provides funding for the legally disadvantaged, to victims of domestic violence, and for the protection of children in need of protection by the juvenile court, and a board member for Project Marilyn, which ensures young women have access to feminine hygiene products
Atkin is rated A-V, the highest rating, by Martindale Hubbell. Atkin has one ruling that is pending appeal. Atkin has not received any disciplinary actions nor had any grievances filed against him.