District Judge Kacin announces re-election bid
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District Judge Kacin announces re-election bid

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Incumbent District Judge Al Kacin has announced that he will run for reelection to Department 2 of Elko County’s Fourth Judicial District Court in 2020.

“I have two primary goals for every case assigned to Department 2,” says Kacin. “The first is to deliver timely justice consistent with the rule of law. The second is to ensure parties understand that the court has fully and carefully considered their positions regardless of a case’s outcome.”

Kacin has served as an Elko County judge for 13 years, eight of which have been on the two-judge general jurisdiction court. With the Nevada Legislature approving a third district judge for Elko County, three district court seats will be filled by county-wide election in 2020. Successful candidates will begin six-year terms in 2021.

“During this period of unprecedented community growth and justice system change, I am excited to continue serving my fellow citizens as their most experienced elected judicial officer,” Kacin said.

Kacin will be seeking his second full term on the district court, which has jurisdiction over the most complex and time-intensive civil and criminal matters. He was the elected Elko Township Justice of the Peace and Elko’s appointed municipal court judge from 2007 through his appointment to the district court bench by Gov. Brian Sandoval in December 2011.

“As a trial judge working the busiest rural judgeships in Nevada, I have taken measures to reduce case disposition times and the cost of proceedings without compromising the quality of court decisions,” said Kacin. “For example, I pioneered the use of courtroom videoconferencing systems in rural Nevada. These systems greatly reduce the cost of presenting expert witness testimony by enabling forensic scientists and other distant experts to testify without traveling to Elko County.”

Since taking the district court bench, Kacin has presided over cases ranging from water rights disputes and medical malpractice lawsuits to first-degree murder prosecutions and contentious domestic relations actions. As Elko County’s appointed juvenile judge, Judge Kacin supervises the county’s juvenile probation and detention departments. He also oversees the adult drug, juvenile drug, and family preservation courts.

“In my roles as a juvenile and drug court judge, I have built new teams of experienced professionals who have adopted best practices to optimize the outcomes of children in Elko County’s juvenile justice and child welfare systems, and people and families ravaged by addiction,” Kacin said.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Kacin began working for his father’s small construction company by the age of 12. In 1994, he graduated with honors from the Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, where he represented indigent clients in state and tribal court cases. After a one-year judicial clerkship with the Seventh Judicial District Court in Ely, Nevada, Judge Kacin became an associate attorney with the Elko law firm of his good friend and district court predecessor, the late Judge Andrew Puccinelli.

For two years, Kacin and Puccinelli joined forces to represent both paying and pro bono clients in civil and criminal matters throughout rural Nevada and in the Nevada Supreme Court. In October 1997, Kacin began his public service as an Elko County prosecuting attorney. For nine years, he prosecuted multiple major felony cases with cutting-edge forensic evidence and audio-visual technology.

Between 2004 and 2018, he served on the Board of Bar Examiners of the Nevada State Bar. He was also an original member of the Nevada Supreme Court’s Indigent Defense Commission, and now serves on the Juvenile Justice Reform and Access to Justice Commissions. In these various roles, he has drafted bar examination questions for aspiring lawyers and collaborated with other judges and stakeholders on legislation to improve the administration of adult criminal and juvenile justice. He is also a past president of the Elko County Bar Association, and has taught several continuing education classes for his fellow trial judges.

“I thank the voters of Elko County for giving me the opportunity to be a judge,” says Kacin. “Justice is a precious thing. Nevada judges must foster and protect it by serving their communities with wisdom, integrity, dedication, and innovation. If reelected, I will do my level best to continue doing just that over another six-year term on the Fourth Judicial District Court.”

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