Rule 4. Unfair Election Practices.
The committee shall have the authority to determine whether a candidate for
judicial office has engaged in an unfair election practice. An "unfair election
practice" is any practice or act which would violate Canon 5 of the Nevada Code
of Judicial Conduct.
Matters concerning unfair election practices shall be decided by
panels of five members, such panels consisting of two attorneys, two
non-attorneys, and one district or senior judge serving as a non-voting, ex
officio member of the panel. The panels shall be chosen on a random basis by the
chair. Four voting members shall constitute a quorum, and the vote of three
members of any panel is necessary to take action. Committee members shall be on
call on a twelve-hour basis during the last three weeks of both the primary and
(a) If requested to serve on a panel, a district or senior judge shall
accept the appointment unless the judge is disqualified from serving under the
provisions of Canon 3E of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct.
(b) The chair shall not request a district or senior
judge to serve on a panel and a district or senior judge shall not serve on a
(1) The alleged unfair election practice involves a candidate for any
judicial office within the judicial district in which the judge holds office or
previously held office; or
(2) The judge is a candidate for judicial office and
he or she has an opponent who has officially filed a declaration of candidacy
for the same judicial office.*
2. Powers of the panel.
A committee panel may consider:
(a) Only matters or incidents which have arisen subsequent to the
formation of the committee, and may consider only matters referred to the
committee by a candidate for judicial office; and
(b) Only incidents arising from actions of a candidate for judicial
office or those working for a candidate's election; provided, however, that the
committee panel shall have the authority to determine whether a person is, in
fact, working for the election of a candidate.
3. Procedure for reviewing complaints.
(a) A complaint by a judicial candidate against another judicial
candidate shall be submitted to the executive director of the committee in
writing and must set forth the facts underlying the complaint.
(b) Upon receipt of the complaint, the committee chair or executive
director shall immediately contact the candidate whose conduct is in question,
advise him or her of the complaint, and ascertain whether the allegations are
admitted or denied.
(1) If the offending candidate admits the truth of the allegations,
then the matter shall be referred to a panel of the committee for appropriate
action. The offending candidate shall be invited to attend the meeting of the
panel to explain his or her actions.
(2) If the offending candidate denies the actions, the complaining
candidate shall be advised to be present at the meeting of the panel and to
bring forth proof of the matters alleged in the complaint. The offending
candidate shall also be invited to attend and present a defense to the
(3) During this entire procedure, neither the candidate nor any
member of the committee or panel shall make any public reference to the fact
that the matter is pending before the committee.
4. Resolution of complaint.
Once the panel reaches a decision, the candidates
will be advised of the decision and the intended remedy. All decisions shall be
in writing, and shall be open for public inspection at the Commission's office.
(a) If the panel finds unfair election practices, the panel shall
determine the appropriate remedy.
(1) The committee or panel has authority to impose sanctions,
including publication of its decision. If a public statement is made by the
committee or panel, that statement may be used by the aggrieved candidate in the
(2) A public statement by the
committee or panel of its findings may not always be appropriate. For example,
an untrue statement may be corrected by a public retraction of the statement by
the offending candidate; in the event that the group addressed by the offending
candidate was relatively small, then a retraction directed to that particular
group may be deemed sufficient.
(3) The committee or panel may refer any matter to the appropriate
body for professional discipline, and the committee's or panel's findings may be
used as evidence in any disciplinary proceeding.
(4) The committee may respond publicly to any unauthorized public
reference to the committee by a candidate.
All meetings of panels concerning unfair election practices are confidential.
Any decision shall be signed by the chair or vice-chair and all decisions must
be made public.
* These changes became effective July 26,