Nevada Supreme Court Issues Opinion: Judge Halverson is Back

The Nevada Supreme Court, on 27 July 2007, issued its opinion in Halverson v. Hardcastle. The result: Judge Halverson is back.

Judge Halverson petitioned the court for a writ of quo warranto to challenge the authority of the chief judge, Chief Judge Hardcastle, to take away her criminal caseload, form a committee to evaluate her conduct, and to bar Judge Halverson from entering the courthouse. That is correct, the chief judge had issued an order prohibiting Judge Halverson from entering the courthouse. The Nevada Supreme Court eventually rules that the chief judge exceeded her authority when she banned Judge Halverson from the courthouse, but was within her authority to establish the committee and remove Judge Halverson from the criminal docket.

Judge Halverson brought her own bodyguards, to block the court’s personnel – five bailiffs, a videographers, and a clerk – from entering her chambers. During this attempted entry, Judge Halverson called 911.

For a number of years, Judge Halverson had been a clerk with the Eight Judicial District in Las Vegas, Nevada. For a number of years she had been the clerk for the chief judge. Four days after Chief Judge Hardcastle ascended to her current post, she fired then-clerk Halverson. As she was no longer a clerk Judge Halverson, ran for judge, and won. Actually, she won the second time. The first time she ran against Judge Gerald Hardcastle, now-ex-husband of Chief Judge Hardcastle, and father of their difficult child.

As a result of her loss during her first run, she brought a complaint alleging Chief Judge Hardcastle had impermissible campaigned for her husband. The Standing Committee of Judicial Ethics and Elections Practices agree, and issued an opinion admonishing Chief Judge Hardcastle to not campaign on behalf of her husband.

After Judge Halverson took the bench the real problems started. These are among the complaints against Judge Halverson:

  • Bailiff complains judge makes him massage her feet and back
  • Judge would put staff members under oath and ask them questions
  • Judge put her husband under oath to ask if the house was clean
  • Judge’s mother asked if the bailiff was her “servant”
  • Judge fell asleep during her first criminal trial
  • Judge spoke to criminal juries, outside the presence of accused and counsel for both parties
  • berated lawyers for not contributing to her election fund (she dismisses this on the basis that no lawyers contributed so she could not be discriminating against any individuals)
  • Judge would call staffer “the evil one,” “bitch,” “the elf,” and “the Antichrist”
  • Judge fired her assistant Ileen Spooner, which resulted in a defamation suit against the judge

(Note: these are only allegations, but come from formal complaints and sworn affidavits – as the author does not wish to become a named defendant)

Judge Halverson’s problems do not end at the courthouse. Apparently, she married her current husband while he was on parole, and she was a law clerk. There is also a pending judgment against her for $42,000. Faziola v. La Macchia, aka Halverson, No. A497569 (Dist. Ct. Clark County Nev.). And, the county has been after her to clean her residence, which contained a large amount of trash in the backyard, overgrown weeds and shrubs, a near-collapsed shed, mosquito-ridden slime in the swimming pool, and the porch and two tents pitched on the driveway were choked with empty oxygen bottles.

It is staggering to consider the judicial resources waisted on this matter. And, as for elevating the legal profession, and the esteem of judges, this could not be worse. Wait, with Judge Halverson at the helm of her scooter and back in the courthouse, it could get much, much, worse.


10 Responses

  1. I am amused by the fact that Judge Halverson just does not get it–no way was her behavior even in the ball park of acceptable for a judge and no way will her attempt to spin the situation by having her two last employees speak out today, speculating on what the NCJD did or did not consider, get her job back.

  2. Did you watch the Halverson TV interview last night (July 31)?

    What of Halverson’s claim that she attended USC LS at age 19?

    There was no-one under 21 in my entire LS, and I have never heard of a 19 year old law student. have you?

  3. Same here for law school class. How did she look on television? What a mess the Nevada bar is. No offense intended if you are a member. Did you read the link about the judges Hardcastle and the NYT expose on the problems of their daughter? What a strange case.


  4. HOW DID HALVERSON LOOK ON TV: Pretty good, actually. It was the content that did not ring true, at least to my ear.


    Halverson is looking pretty in pink. Her breathing sounds like she is on a respirator, a little like Christopher Reeves.

    Halverson describes judging as something that is a special thing given to you by the voters and how hurtful it is that 17 years after the ADA she could be treated like this because she does not fit the mold (gesturing to her torso and motorized chair) of what people who are judges think a judge should look like. (Halverson starts to cry.)

    For the most part people are gracious, they support her 99% of the time.

    Dirty laundry: “politics is ugly”.

    I think they have suspended me with no end date. What are you basing the suspension on?

    What is the threat to the public? They won’t say.

    Falling asleep in court: Hypoglycemic attack, I am diabetic, had a 2 and a half minute hypoglycemic attack, could hear what was going on but could not speak. I presented medical evidence to prove that.

    Commission ignored that.

    Treating staff like servants. Never used “anti-Christ”. Idiot, do not recall calling my staff that. I did call my husband that once.

    Foot Rubs: Cannot have someone touch my feet, even husband due to medical condition. Once the bailiff when getting my shoes started rubbing my feet and I said “what are you doing this is inappropriate” and he said “But I want to help you judge.” I told him to stop and he stopped. It lasted 30 seconds.

    Courthouse doors are not handicap friendly. She needs extra hepl from staff.

    I still have a great head and a great heart and I can do a good job. I have no reason to lie about this.

    Required Staff to wait to hold robe: No. I called them up if I was running late. Elevator doors. Waiting for me when late with my robe so I would not be late for litigants. Jonny Jordan was never requested to be there at 6:45 a.m. I told Jordan that I would get to court with my husband at 5:30 and I will be here when you get here. Johnny said I want to meet you. I told “no Johnny, that’s inappropriate.” The County can’t afford to pay you to get hear early.

    Chip on Your Shoulder? I am a happy person. I came in on my scooter, happy to be there. Was I nervous, yes. I was a perfectionist. People did not know what my abilities were. Was Intent on being prepared, working hard, giving service. Was up all night New Years Eve to be prepared first day. Does that intensity scare people? Maybe it does. Did that up set them? I do not know. But I tried to do the best job I could.

    Sometimes husbands don’t do everything a wife wants.

    Am I one of those poor girls from the other side of the tracks, yes. But I carry the banner for people like me who have it hard.

    Husband made mistakes in past, I knew about some of that. Jesus Christ gave him another chance. So 10 years ago when Ed told me he did some things, I gave him another chance.

    Multiple ajendas: Personal agendas. Against people with disabilities. Personal agendas. Agendas against personal appointments.

    I went to USC (Law School) when I was 19 and I have taken the advanced courses in criminal law.

    LINK TO INTERVIEW VIDEO: – Special Coverage&d1=1410667&LaunchPageAdTag=News&activePane=info&playerVersion=1&hostPageUrl=http%3A//

  5. […] 4th, 2007 The legal world in the US just seems so much more exciting than over here…See: Nevada Supreme Court Issues Opinion: Judge Halverson is Back « Dreadnaught. but on balance I’m fairly sure I’d rather be here where the most scandalous […]


    The transcripts of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline closed door hearing resulting in Judge Elizabeth Halverson’s interim suspension have been unsealed by the Nevada Supreme Court and are available through the below links.

    Some highlights:

    • Former Halverson bailiff Johnny Jordan testified that Judge Halverson ordered him to “shoot” her husband “Ed”, promising that she “would dispose of the body”.

    • A Clark County (Las Vegas) prosecutor testified that when she learned, after the fact, that the judge had a lengthy question and answer session, alone with a jury deliberating a child molestation case she “Wanted to throw up.” In the same trial the prosecutor observed Halverson sleeping on the bench while a witness was testifying.

    • It was revealed that when dinning secretly and improperly with deliberating jurors Judge Halverson favored barbequed ribs and Italian food. (And no doubt lots of it.)


    Transcript of Proceedings (Volume 1)

    Click to access HalversonDiscipline.Transcript_Vol_1.pdf

    Transcript of Proceedings (Part 1 of Volume 2)

    Click to access HalversonDiscipline.Transcript_Vol_2.Part_1.pdf

    Transcript of Proceedings (Part 2 of Volume 2)

    Click to access HalversonDiscipline.Transcript_Vol_2.Part_2.pdf

  7. Stephen,
    Another great comment. This may call for an update post, because of your tracking of the story.



    Vegas Judge Halverson asked bailiff to “shoot” ex-felon husband “Evil Ed” then offered to dispose of the body.

    Bailiff Tells of Judge’s Shooting Remarks
    Posted 1 hour, 44 minutes ago
    By Debra Cassens Weiss
    The ex-bailiff for controversial Las Vegas Judge Elizabeth Halverson testified that she frequently asked him to shoot her husband, according to recently released transcripts.
    Johnnie Jordan said Halverson often made the remarks in front her husband, an ex-felon she called “evil Ed,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But her spouse wasn’t present on one occasion when she said she would help dispose of the body, Jordan testified (PDF).
    Jordan said he didn’t take the shooting remarks as a joke. “I didn’t know how to take it,” he said.
    Jordan also said Halverson fell asleep every day in court. He claimed the judge, who used a scooter, made him put on her shoes, clean the lint off her robe, keep fresh ice water and heat her lunch in the microwave.
    If he didn’t perform these duties to the judge’s satisfaction, she “hollered and was very aggressive,” Jordan said. He said he has filed racial discrimination and sexual harassment complaints against the judge.
    The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline issued an interim order late last month that suspended Halverson with pay. The commission found the judge poses a threat of harm to the administration of justice, citing her inexperience and poor judgment.
    Halverson has appealed the suspension. Her lawyers claim the hearing “lacked due process and was fundamentally unfair.”

  9. I watched the trial on Tru Tv and some how missed the final decision . Why is there nothing about 2008 trial; This woman had my interest. Shes smart, but shes not judge material. Its not anything with me except her total bad attitude. And thats as what I heard about her as a judge and her atitude in her trial. The lady has a big chip on her shoulder.

  10. […] Jump to Comments 2008 was the year of Judge Elizabeth Halverson.  First Judge Halverson was removed from the bench for misconduct, then she was attacked by her husband,  Her husband pleaded guilty to domestic […]

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