Chief justice serves as jury foreman

Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Gibbons said Thursday serving on the jury in the Olive Garden assault case against David Paul Lane was a great experience and interesting.

He said it’s the first time he has ever been on a jury and the first time according to available records a Nevada Supreme Court Justice has ever served on a jury.

He said several justices have been summoned in the past but none was selected to serve.

The panel, which deliberated only about 90 minutes before finding Lane guilty on two of five counts, also named Gibbons their foreman.

“We went back to the room and they said I guess the judge will be the foreman and I said I’m not the judge, I’m Mark,” he said.

Gibbons said he told the other members everyone in that room was equal and to ensure he didn’t have any undue influence, he would vote last on every count against Lane.

He said the first vote on the assault count involving Erica Olivas was 11-1 against conviction. He was the one for conviction but was convinced by the others to join them in a not guilty verdict.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I might add, though, that if I were an attorney, I would not have allowed someone with formal legal training to participate as a juror.”

He said he also agreed with Judge James Wilson’s rulings in all of the objections raised during trial but added, “At one point in the trial, the judge sustained an objection and the witness continued speaking I started to go like this and say stop. I went, wait a minute, I’m on the jury, I can’t do that.”

As for any advice for the court about the process, he said courts should “do their best to manage court time to minimize these delays.”

He pointed out they were called to the court at 9 a.m. Thursday but didn’t get into the jury box until 11:15 a.m.

Gibbons, who spent six years as a district judge before election to the Supreme Court, said the experience was enlightening and he’s glad he got the chance.


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