Voters will be casting ballots in more than 60 judicial races in 2020, but when it comes to Department 1, the clear choice is Bita Yeager.

Passion & Professionalism

Community minded and justice driven – that’s how Bita Yeager describes her approach to the law.  Over her 25-year legal career in public service in both civil and criminal law, Bita has always been passionate about access to justice.

In 2017, she was selected to be the Eighth Judicial District Court’s first specialty court hearing master, where each week, she presides over 200 hearings in her Mental Health Court, Co-Occurring Disorders Court, Assisted Outpatient Treatment Court, and Civil Commitment Court.  She is also an adjunct professor at Boyd School of Law.

Prior to her selection as a hearing master, she served on the bench as a Las Vegas Justice of the Peace, hearing civil matters.  Before her service as a judicial officer, she was a trial litigator and Team Chief in the Clark County Public Defender’s office for over 18 years.

The Difference is Clear

What sets Bita apart and makes her the most qualified candidate for District Court, Department 1 is not just her judicial experience in both criminal and civil matters and her extensive jury trial experience, but her award-winning work creating community programs to increase access to justice and make our communities safer.

Statistical evidence shows that when we address and treat the underlying drivers of crime, whether it is homelessness, substance use disorder, unemployment, or mental health issues, that it reduces the risk of that individual committing more crimes, which makes for safer communities” said Yeager. “When I was a public defender, people who had turned their lives around and wanted to be productive community members would ask how to seal their records, because they were having great difficulty finding employment.  Record sealing can be a complicated process and there were no resources in the community to help, so I started a partnership with Boyd School of Law, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and Nevada Legal services to create a record sealing class.  Since 2014, over 2,000 community members have taken the class.

Bita also founded the first-ever Community Courts in BOTH Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.  She brought community partners together, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, treatment providers, and job training organizations, so that defendants charged with lower-level crimes were held accountable for their decisions while being connected to services to address their underlying issues.

In her current specialty court role, Bita works with community partners to ensure that participants are held accountable to remain crime-free, while also taking steps towards becoming more independent and productive members of society.

In Bita’s Civil Commitment Court, she works with Metro’s Crisis Intervention Training team, mental health providers, hospitals, hospital attorneys, prosecutors and defense attorneys, to make improvements to our current court process for those community members who are in a mental health crisis.

“It is absolutely critical that individuals in a mental health crisis are given the help and treatment they need, without having their constitutional rights unfairly compromised. Unfortunately, many attorneys and judges are not trained about substance use disorder and mental health issues.  I would bring that critical expertise to the bench” explained Bita.  “I have earned a reputation in the legal community for working hard, always being prepared on the facts and the law, and being courteous and fair. That is why I am running for Department 1.”

Learn more about Bita
on BallotPedia

See Bita’s candidate profile
on Clark County Bar Association

Past and Present Community Involvement

 

Member, Statewide Mental Health Crisis Workgroup

Member, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Subcommittee on Homelessness and Mental Health

Committee Member, Supreme Court of Nevada Judicial Council Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release

Adjunct Professor, Boyd School of Law

Master, Howard D. McKibben Inn of Court

Instructor, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Training

Leadership Las Vegas, Class of 2020

Mentor, Nevada State Bar Transition Into Practice (TIP) program for new attorneys

Graduate, FBI Citizen’s Academy

Election Polling Place Team Leader

Presenter, CSN Women’s Alliance Event, “Women and the Criminal Justice System”

Presenter, Southern Nevada Regional Behavioral Health Board

Presenter, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Panel member, Constitution Day Panel at CSN

Volunteer Judge, We the People Competition

Volunteer Judge, Boyd Law School Client Counseling Competition

Volunteer, Three Square Food Bank

Grant Peer Reviewer, U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs

Panel Member, U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs Body-Worn Camera Expert Panel

Blue Ribbon Selection Committee, Bureau of Justice Assistance Criminal Justice Summit