Las Vegas Sun

April 16, 2014

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Nevada Supreme Court hears arguments in Las Vegas

Nevada Supreme Court justices were in Las Vegas today to hear arguments on three appealed cases that originated in Clark County.

There is no timetable for the court to issue a decision on the cases.

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The Clark County Public Defender's Office is trying to overturn a conviction of sexual assault alleging that the prosecution exempted two perspective jurors because of their race.

A jury convicted Oscar Rico-Arreola on one charge of raping a 9-year-old boy who lived in the same house. He is serving 20 years to life in prison.

The prosecution dismissed only two potential jurors -- both black women -- without asking them any questions.

Deputy Public Defender Bita Khamsi argued that doing so violated her client's right to a fair trial.

Deputy District Attorney Noreen Nyikos said the women were removed because they worked as social workers, which in her experience are biased against the prosecution.

Justices grilled both attorneys about the lack of a record of their arguments. Those arguments were made during a bench conference, which was not recorded.

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A woman in a child custody battle sued a polygraph examiner after she learned he had also administered a test on her ex-husband.

Tiffany Barney claims examiner Ronald Slay had a conflict of interest in performing the test on both parties in the custody battle. She alleges negligence and various intentional torts in the lawsuit.

A district court judge dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that Slay is entitled to immunity as a court-appointed polygraph examiner.

Barney appealed the dismissal of the suit, also contending that Slay's examination of her was negligent and that he shared the results with a third party in violation of state law.

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Madison Equities appealed a summary judgment that sided with the leaser of a convenience store in a shopping center that the company owns.

Madison's attorneys claim Topaz Market owner Jerry Hamika failed to extend his lease in compliance with the contract.

Hamika's attorney, John Wright, argued his client notified the property managers in writing of his intent to exercise his second five-year option in January 2006. The lease expired in December of that year.

Andrew Pastwick, Madison's lawyer, said the contract clearly stated a 60-day window to renew and Hamika's request was too early. The property managers did not receive Hamika's notice within that window and in March 2007 informed him that his option was null and void.

Hamika had exercised the first five-year option in 2001 six months early with the previous landlord.

Madison purchased the property in May 2005 on Tropicana Avenue and Topaz Street.

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