Judge Linda Marie Bell was selected to be the new chief judge of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. She will succeed Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in the post effective July 1. The District Court judges vote on who will serve as the chief judge for a two-year term. The chief judge maintains responsibility for managing the administration of the court. “I look forward to working with everyone in this new capacity,” said Judge Bell. “A key area of focus for me will be long-term planning to ensure the court is well positioned to meet the demands of the future and achieve significant goals.”
Judge Bell grew up in Nevada. She graduated from Bonanza High School and the University of Nevada, Reno with honors. In 1993, she received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. She worked in Las Vegas law firms, practicing primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and family law. For twelve years prior to taking the bench, Judge Bell worked as a public defender.
Judge Bell was elected to District Court Department 7 in 2008. Since taking the bench in January of 2009, she has handled both civil and criminal cases and managed the criminal division specialty courts for more than two years. She also ran the grand jury for six years. Judge Bell served on the court’s legislative committee every legislative session since 2009. Judge Bell currently serves as the secretary for the ABA National Conference of State Trial Court Judges. She previously served as president of the Nevada District Judges’ Association and the Howard D McKibben Chapter of the American Inn of Court. Since 2011, she has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV. She is active the in community, including participation in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas program.
“Judge Bell has an outstanding track record of leadership through her work with the specialty courts and other programs for the judiciary and the community,” said current Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “She brings a wealth of experience and a high level of commitment that will be assets in the role of chief judge.”
During her term as chief, Judge Gonzalez established a jury services committee and put into action a plan to add active voter registration names to the Court’s Jury Master List. Judge Gonzalez implemented improvements to how minor guardianship and involuntary commitments are handled. She spearheaded logical enhancements to business practices to maximize space and proximity to enhance interface at the court with a business pod and a guardianship/probate pod. Under Judge Gonzalez’s leadership, management for homicide cases was also centralized to improve efficiency in the timely disposition of such cases.