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Lane says education, experience make him best choice

With 14 years’ experience as a District Court judge, an extensive background in judicial studies and a sense of empathy and common sense when it comes to applying the law as it’s written, Judge Robert Lane says he believes he is the best candidate to run for a third term as Fifth Judicial District judge.

Lane was first elected to the position in 2000.

As a Navy veteran, active member of the community and his church, the judge says he had enjoyed living and working here in Nye County.

Before he was elected to the bench, Lane served as a deputy district attorney for Nye County.

Since his first term in office, Lane has started the local Drug Court program, been awarded a distinguished achievement in judicial education award from the state for hundreds of hours of continuing education in judicial studies and has presided over thousands of cases, none of which he says have been subject to any major reversals by the Supreme Court.

“I think I’m one of the best judges in Nevada,” Lane said. “I’ve done thousands of cases, I have over 600 hours of advanced education, I received a distinguished achievement in judicial education award from the state, and I’ve taken master’s degree classes in capital murder cases, scientific evidence and expert testimony classes. So I’m really knowledgeable and trained in the law and I do a good job.”

In more than a decade as a judge, Lane says he’s proud he’s never had to re-do a case before him.

“I’ve been reversed on little things, but I’ve never had to re-do a trial. I’ve never had a mistrial, I’ve never had a major civil case reversed, and that’s a really good record,” he said.

Lane said he has built a good rapport with his staff, which has allowed him to quickly and efficiently get orders and legal decisions out — something he said he believes local attorneys and others before the court appreciate.

“I’m really organized and prepared and I’ve got good time management,” he said. “When it’s time to make a decision when we hear a case, usually within a day or two, I have the order out. We keep things moving along and we’re not behind. I think the attorneys and parties appreciate that efficiency and order and that decisions come out fast.”

In any of his cases, the judge says he wants to make sure people, whether represented by counsel or representing themselves, are treated fairly.

“When laymen come in pro per, representing themselves, I don’t let them get railroaded. I’m nice to everyone; I have a good sense of humor and empathy for people. The public defenders have told me that because I’m a former prosecutor I’m too tough at sentencing, but I think I’m fair and hard when I need to be for people who need hard sentences and so forth,” he said.

Although common sense and empathy may make the judge sometimes want to rule one way or the other, he said he always follows the letter of the law. Whether that makes someone upset with him or not, he said that is the job he has been elected to do.

If he were to be elected to the bench again, Lane said he would like to continue working with Department One Judge Kimberly Wanker, to improve the technology used by the courts, to make court proceedings all over the district run smoother.

“One of the things Judge Wanker and I have been working on together and talking about is of course as technology changes and increases we need to change with it. We’ve had to greatly increase the number of phone conferences we do with people, and that’s turning into Skype and satellite, so I could see that going more places in the future,” he said.

The judge also said if he were to be re-elected, and given the chance to take over the Drug Court once more, he would look into possibly adding additional specialty courts if it were deemed necessary.

“They have veterans’ court in Las Vegas, and it’s a great idea, but I’m not sure if we have enough people now. But if I get the specialty courts back from Judge Wanker that’s something that I’d look into. Right now I’m handling Department of Child and Family Services (DCSF) and juvenile cases while she’s handling Drug Court to try and keep the case loads even. So working with CASA and DCFS and the juvenile system is kind of where my area of concentration is right now,” he said.

Lane added he has enjoyed his time working with and serving the people of Nye, Mineral and Esmeralda counties and would like to continue helping them from his position as District Court judge.

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