Our panel was not in agreement on this race. One panelist said Almase would “make a good choice” but another disagreed and said “she has no [Family Court] bench experience.” Another said Davis is “very experienced” and “a competent attorney” and “the best person” in this race, but added that Almase has “a great temperament.”
Almase has served as a law clerk for the family division of the Eighth Judicial District Court for the last three years. Prior, she was in private practice, served as a prosecutor for the City of Las Vegas and for the Nevada Attorney General’s office, served as a judge pro tempore for the Las Vegas Justice Court and served as judge for the Las Vegas Municipal Court for six years. As a judge, she presided over more than 100 misdemeanor bench trials. As an attorney, she has tried 17 cases.
In one self-reported case in which Almase was the prosecutor, a young immigrant mother was charged and incarcerated on a fugitive warrant for parental abduction related to her infant son. On investigation, however, it became clear the child was not the natural child of the complaining witness. Additionally, it was found that the mother was the victim of an abusive and controlling relationship. As the prosecutor assigned to the case, Almase ultimately dismissed the charge — and initiated charges against the complaining witness.
Almase was instrumental in forming and overseeing a number of alternative sentencing programs. She was the presiding judge for the Mental Health Court, a specialty court designed to provide alternative sentencing options and treatment for offenders with mental health issues. She also oversaw the HOPE Court, a specialty adult drug court focused on defendants who had consistent interaction with the criminal justice system as a result of an addiction and are homeless or at-risk for homelessness. She also helped create STOP Court, a specialty court that deals with chronic traffic offenders by focusing on safe, legal driving while considering the financial burdens associated with significant monetary penalties.
According to the Nevada State Bar website, Almase has never received a disciplinary action. However, she self-reported that she received a reprimand for the circulation of what appeared to be a campaign advertisement with a celebrity endorsement that the celebrity had not authorized. Almase’s campaign manager had known the celebrity personally. After Almase learned that her campaign manager did not receive permission from the celebrity, she terminated representation, issued a public apology on both her personal and campaign social media sites and immediately reported the issue to the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline. She ultimately lost that re-election campaign, but was never sanctioned by the ethics commission. She has had no grievances filed against her and has never been sanctioned by the court for misconduct.
Davis is a private law attorney who has been practicing exclusively in family law for more than 15 years. He also sits as a child support hearing master pro tempore and is the former chair of the LGBT section of the Nevada State Bar. He did not complete our questionnaire.
Davis is recognized as an expert in domestic partnership law, particularly in the area of family law rights for same-sex couples. In a landmark case, Davis represented one party in a custody action for a child the couple had agreed to adopt together. Because the parties had no access to marriage at the time, and because Catholic Charities had a policy that prohibited adoption by same-sex couples, only one of the partners had legally adopted the child that they had agreed to adopt together. With the dissolution of the relationship, the party that had not legally adopted the child (Davis’s client), petitioned the court to permit adoption and allow for joint physical and legal custody. The District Court, and ultimately the Nevada Supreme Court, found in favor of Davis’s client and extended the doctrine of equitable adoption to cases in which neither party was the biological parent of the child.
Prior to attending law school, Davis served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years and received multiple military decorations. He has never been sanctioned by the court for misconduct and has no history of ethics violations.