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Nevada Court of Appeals campaign launched Wednesday

RENO, Nev. -- Supporters of Question One are working to get voters to say Yes in November. On Wednesday, their Statewide Steering Committee launched a campaign in Reno on the importance of creating a Court of Appeals in Nevada.

Right now, the Nevada Supreme Court hears every appeal from every case in our state. Officials said that is why Nevadas Supreme Court is one of the busiest in the country.

Justice James Hardesty believes Question One is critical to the future of justice in the Silver State. "I just hope that the voters will vote yes on One."

Hardesty hopes Nevada voters will support a Court of Appeals this November. He said there is currently a backlog of 2200 cases, with several appeals taking months, even years to be heard. "And this impacts the people that are in those cases, but it also impacts the judicial system."

So, Hardesty said a Court of Appeals would reduce the Supreme Courts backlog and wait-time for appeals. He also said additional state funding would be minor. "Thats the justice that Nevada has a right to expect, but its not the justice that we're able to deliver currently because the case load and this process will allow that to happen."

Hardesty said a Court of Appeals would hear cases in certain civil and criminal cases. "And the state Supreme Court is able to focus on more precedential cases with increased published opinions that improve the jurisprudence of the state."

Other supporters believe the new system would help economic development in Nevada. "The better the system you have to take care of these cases and get them adjudicated and get them decided, thats the quicker that that business owner can stop focusing on legal things and lawyer fees and start focusing on hiring people and running a business," said Tray Abney of the Chamber for Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada.

In previous years, a Nevada Court of Appeals has failed on the ballot. Opponents said the amendment removes voting rights. But if it passes this year, it would consist of a three judge panel, appointed by the Governor to two-year terms.