Eighth Judicial District Court
Term of Office 2011 - present
Judge Carolyn Ellsworth was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval on October 17, 2011, from among the three finalists selected by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection to fill a vacancy in Department 5 of the Eighth Judicial District Court. Prior to her appointment, Judge Ellsworth had practiced law in Clark County, Nevada, since 1980. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in 1979 and joined the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in 1980, serving first as an appellate law clerk and then a Deputy District Attorney and Chief Deputy District Attorney. During her 11 years in the District Attorney’s Office, she headed the Office's Consumer Fraud Unit and later the Major Fraud Unit. She also prosecuted hundreds of felony cases, including capital murder prosecutions, served as one of the two deputies designated to respond to suspected arsons, and wrote the office’s protocol for the handling of child sexual assault cases.
In 1990, Judge Ellsworth left her position with the District Attorney’s Office to assume the position of Assistant General Counsel to Mirage Resorts Incorporated, and Vice president and General Counsel to Mirage Resorts Risk Management. In those roles, she served as the chief in-house litigation counsel for the Mirage Resorts and its many operating subsidiary companies.
After a decade in corporate practice, in 2000, Judge Ellsworth entered general private practice where she emphasized representation of employees in wrongful termination cases, including age, race and gender discrimination matters. Being a private pilot herself, she also developed a practice in aviation litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants.
In 2007, Judge Ellsworth joined the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office, Securities Division, as its Chief of Enforcement. In 2009, she was appointed by Secretary of State Ross Miller as the Administrator of the Securities Division. Her professional and community involvement have included serving as President of the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys, Vice President of Nevada Women’s Lobby, President of W.E.C.A.N, Inc. (Working to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect) as well as memberships in the National District Attorneys’ Association, the Defense Research Institute, the National Employment Lawyers Association and the North American Securities Administrators Association.
No weapons are allowed. There is no eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in any courtroom.
Proper courtroom attire is required. No shorts or tank tops are allowed in the courtroom, shoes are required. T-shirts, which show offensive slogans or pictures, are not allowed. Hats should be removed before entering the courtroom.
While in the courtroom, sit quietly when court is in session. Do not talk or whisper. The court proceedings are being recorded by a court recorder and noise can interfere with the preparation of this important record.
All beepers, cellular telephones, and electronic devices must be turned off before entering the courtroom. Avoid reading newspapers, or books in the courtrooms, particularly if your use of such material may be a distraction to others.
Attorneys are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards at all times, and to strictly adhere to the opportunities, requirements, limitations, and deadlines set by the judge. All counsel are to be punctual for all conferences, hearings and trials. They are to be civil to one another as well as to all parties, witnesses, and court personnel - whether in front of a jury or the court.
Motion calendar schedule
- Effective 2/16/16 Department V no longer handles civil matters.
- Department V hears Criminal Court matters on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m.
- Drug Court is held weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Department V requires that physical, paper, courtesy copies be delivered to its inbox upon filing with the clerk. E-mail and faxed courtesy copies are not accepted.
- If courtesy copies are not received timely, the hearing date will be vacated and reset by the Department in ordinary course.
Court Reporter or a Court Recorder for its official record
- Department V uses a Court Recorder.
Telephonic appearance request
- Department V requires telephonic appearances be made via Court Call. Counsel must arrange appearance via Court Call at least (3) days prior to their scheduled appearance.
- Department V will grant unopposed motions in advance of the hearing if an opposition is not timely filed, unless to do so would be an error of law.
- Moving counsel is encouraged to monitor the docket and, should the deadline for an opposition to a properly filed and served motion pass, submit a proposed Order granting the motion.
Motions in Limine
- Department V disfavors Omnibus Motions in Limine and requests that each contested issue be the subject of a separately filed motion.
- Department V also strictly construes the provisions of 2.47(b). Counsel must actually confer and if concensus cannot be reached, the affidavit must state the reasons therefor.
Submission of Orders
- Department V requires proposed orders to be submitted to chambers within (10) days of notification of the ruling, pursuant to EDCR 7.21. Counsel designated to prepare the order is not required to provide a draft to opposing counsel(s) (though you may do so as a courtesy to opposing counsel) and non-drafting counsel is not required to sign the order prior to submission. Disputes are resolved in chambers.
- As a general matter, Department V desires to have comprehensive Orders. To that end, tentative rulings will typically be provided to counsel in advance of hearings, time and workload allowing.
- Orders Shortening Time — A request for an Order Shortening Time (“OST”) must be hand delivered to the Department drop box. Advance notice to the JEA or law clerk is welcomed. Any and all requests for OSTs must have a courtesy copy of the Motion/Application attached. Requests for an OST must contain proposed dates and a detailed explanation for the request. Please be sure to identify a contact person to be called for pickup.
- In District Court Department V, if counsel cannot agree on the form and content of an order, the counsel ordered to prepare it should comply with EDCR 7.21. If counsel, as a courtesy to opposing counsel, or if directed by the court at the time of hearing, provides a draft of the order to opposing counsel for review, and said counsel refuses to agree on the language of the order, then counsel obtaining the order should, within the time provided by EDCR 7.21, nonetheless submit the order to the Court, together with a cover letter explaining that opposing counsel has refused to agree to the proposed language and, if known, the reasons therefor.
Stipulations to Extend Response Deadlines
- Department V strictly complies with EDCR 2.22(c), which requires that any stipulations to extend the deadline for responding to a motion or opposition to a motion are ineffective unless in writing, filed with the clerk before the day fixed for filing, and contains an agreement and order for signature by the Court.
- District Court Department V follows, EDCR 8.07 which addresses original, and electronic signatures.
- Note: EDCR 8.07(d) requires that signatures on stipulations to be filed be physically signed.
- For criminal cases, the Court uses the standard method whereby 12 jurors will be cleared for cause and then peremptory challenges will be exercised alternately with the ensuing vacancy being filled by the next juror in order and then cleared for cause. If both sides waive a challenge sequentially, thereby signifying contentment with the panel as constituted, further challenges are waived. Alternates are chosen separately in the same manner.