Winchester grad earns judgeship
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By BETH ZUMWALT
Jessica Goodey, a 2003 graduate of Winchester High, was recently elected a judge of a Las Vegas Justice Court in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The Las Vegas Justice Court has limited jurisdiction,” Goodey said. “But all cases start in justice court, civil, felonies, misdemeanors. Then the felonies eventually get moved to district court.”
Goody graduated from Winchester and attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate.
“Then I attended the University of Las Vegas for law school,” she said.
After practicing law in Las Vegas for nine years, mostly personal injury cases, Goodey became disenchanted with the justice system and decided to change it from the inside.
“There was a judge that just simply wasn’t doing her job,” Goodey said. “I decided to run for her position. There were three other candidates and the way elections work in Las Vegas is that if no candidate takes 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates have to have a run-off. That is what happened.”
Upon seeing the tough re-election battle, the incumbent judge did not run. But one of Goodey’s opponents was a judge in another jurisdiction..
“He was sort of an incumbent,” Goodey said. “He turned out to be who I had to run against in the run-off.”
Goodey prevailed and now sets on the bench hearing all kinds of cases.
She and her husband, Anthony Garasi, live in Nevada with Goodey’s 17 year-old-son, Murry Brown.
“I received a great eduction at Winchester. We moved there when I was in the fifth grade,” Goodey said. “I was active in student council and was president. That helped me decide I wanted to become a lawyer. I had no idea I’d be a judge at this time. Maybe down the road a few years, but not this soon.”
Goodey said she believes that everybody has a place to be at a certain time.
“I believe Winchester was where I was supposed to be,” she said. “I had opportunities there I might not have had if I was somewhere else.”