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November 27, 2014

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Courts:

Gibbons, Pickering file for Nevada Supreme Court re-election

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Steve Marcus

Nevada Supreme Court Justice Mark Gibbons makes a rare appearance on the bench Aug. 7, 2009, at District Court, sitting in for Judge Mark Denton.

Chief Justice Mark Gibbons, the longest-serving member of the Nevada Supreme Court, was the first person Monday to file for re-election. And Justice Katrina Pickering was right behind him, both paying the $300 filing fee to the Secretary of State's office.

Gibbons, 63, who took over today as chief justice of the seven-member court, said he did not expect any major changes in the court's procedure in the next year of his term. He was first elected to the court in 2002.

Pickering, the only member of the court who was not a district judge before her election, is seeking her second six-year term. She won in a four-candidate contest in 2008.

No one has announced any opposition to the two.

Both told reporters they support creating a three-judge appeals court, which would act as a buffer between the district courts and the Nevada Supreme Court. The issue is on the November ballot.

Both said the creation of the appeals court would give them more time to work on major cases. For instance, Gibbons said he will hear arguments Jan. 21 on a case in which a candidate maintains that Reno City Council members who are termed out cannot run for mayor. He noted the filing for nonjudicial candidates opens in March and a decision can impact elections in other cities, so it must be handled quickly.

Pickering noted there were 2,333 cases filed with the Nevada Supreme Court last fiscal year. A report by the court showed there was an estimated backlog of 1,800 cases.

Justices cannot raise campaign funds unless they have an opponent. Gibbons said he had a little less than $40,000 left over from his 2008 campaign to use. Pickering, who spent more than $1 million in her 2008 election, said she did not have any campaign funds left over.

Justices earn $170,000 a year.

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