Attorney at Law Magazine Las Vegas Vol. 3 No. 2 : Page 10
1\KPJPHS7YVÄSL Judge Stefany A. Miley An Inter view with We sat down with Judge Stefany A. Miley, who presides over Department 23 of the 8th Judicial District Court. She first pursued a judicial position to help shape and change the judicial system and to contribute to society. Since that decision, she has won two contested races for the bench. 10 | www.AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com
An Interview with Judge Stefany A. Miley
We sat down with Judge Stefany A. Miley, who presides over Department 23 of the 8th Judicial District Court. She first pursued a judicial position to help shape and change the judicial system and to contribute to society. Since that decision, she has won two contested races for the bench.
Q: How did you decide to become an attorney? Following high school graduation, I developed a love of the law while working for the Texas State Senate. While a student at Texas A&M, I became further involved in politics and the law through my work on several national political campaigns. Also, while still in college, I worked for Walt Disney World and May Corporation in their management training programs, learning business skills from their corporate executives.
Q: How did you transition from your career as an attorney to your career as a judge? What prompted the change? When I first moved to Nevada after law school, I clerked with Judge Nancy Oesterle. It was during that clerkship that I learned the practical application of the laws and courtroom procedures. While working with Judge Oesterle, I decided I eventually wanted to pursue a career in the judiciary. However, prior to fulfilling my dream of being a judge, I knew I needed to expand my legal experience. In order to gain the broadest range of experience, I worked for several different types of law firms. Immediately prior to taking the bench, my husband and I owned a law firm specializing in personal injury, family law, criminal law and other assorted civil litigation.
Q: What do you love about your job? Every day on the bench is new, different and very interesting. I hear a variety of cases that are appealed from Justice Court/Municipal Court, breach of contracts, negligence, foreclosures, and so on. Each case is different, has several issues to resolve and in each case, the circumstances are different. That alone, makes for an interesting read of the case. I look forward to coming to work every day. I truly enjoy my job and I am very thankful to the people of Clark County that elected me to the bench twice already.
Q: Describe your style in the courtroom. Always prepared, punctual to court, respectful, very fair, courteous, patient, good listener, and accommodating to litigants and attorneys. In my courtroom, we make a conscious effort every day to ensure all individuals are treated fairly under the law. It is extremely important to have order in the courtroom and the marshal plays a big role in this. Respect for each individual in the courtroom is extremely important.
Q: Do you have any advice for attorneys trying a case before your bench? To provide the court with courtesy copies in due time so that the law clerk and the court can properly prepare for the motions set on a particular day. Letting the department’s staff know ahead of time if a request is being made to cancel a court date or to re-set a court date. Also, if at all possible to let the department’s staff know if the attorney will be late to court.
Q: Do you believe the media helps or deters justice? The courts have many civil and criminal cases that for one reason or another are heavily covered by the media. I believe that all the legal and judge shows on television have increased the public’s interest in the courtrooms’ procedures. I believe that at times when a case gets a lot of media coverage, it creates difficulties in selecting a jury, or ensuring that a jury that has not heard about the case yet will not try to access any information from the newspapers or television, or from any other media outlet. If the juror(s) have outside knowledge about the case, it can be difficult to not be biased when deliberating for a verdict.
Q: Would you ever return to private practice? After I retire, I would like to serve as a senior judge and also I would like to be a mediator for the courts.
Q: What do you do in your spare time? When not at work, I spend time with my husband and three kids, I read books, exercise, watch movies, and travel.
Q: How are you involved with the local community? I believe that voluntary and professional community service is important. I have been involved in several organizations over the last several years. Prior to taking the bench I helped to draft the Safe Haven for Babies legislation. I also volunteer serving meals at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and also handout lunches to the homeless through the Lunches of Love program at Shadow Hills Church. Further, I am involved with the fundraising events for my children’s schools and sports. I have also been involved with the Junior League of Las Vegas.
Q: Tell us a funny story either from your days as a practitioner or from your days on the bench. In my court, there are litigants from all walks of life. Usually, people come dressed for court in their best attire; however, one litigant once showed up in court dressed as Spiderman. He was very polite and courteous and opened the courtroom door by greeting everyone in his outfit. People coming in the courtroom were very amused and I have to say that it put everyone at ease that morning.
Q: What would someone be surprised to learn about you? I am an avid world traveler. I like to expose my children to different cultures and teach them about geography, history and how different societies interact with each other. The children greatly enjoy themselves by learning how to properly communicate and behave in various countries and cultures.