Incumbent Fil Am Judge Runs For Her 4th Term

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) – A Filipino American woman judge has joined the mix among the hundreds of elective positions in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, Nevada, in the coming November 4, 2014 general elections.

Cheryl B. Moss, a 13-year veteran District Court Family judge, is running for re-election for the Eight Judicial District Court Judge Family Division I, a six-year term, for the fourth time.

The Eighth Judicial District Court is served by 52 elected judges. There are 32 civil/criminal judicial departments and 20 family/juvenile judicial departments in Clark County.

In 2000, Moss ran for the District Court for the first time, and won with heavy support from the Filipino American community. She ran and won again in 2002 and 2008. She is running for a fourth term this year.

Judge Moss, whose grandmother was a sister of Las Vegas Filipino public-spirited pioneer Rudy “Roque” Legaspi Oquendo, who earned a street name in the Sin City, East and West Oquendo, is up against Travis Shetler, a 21-year general practicing lawyer in Las Vegas.

Judge Cedric Kerns, whose mother is Filipino, was the first Fil-Am to be elected in Nevada’s history when he won a seat as a municipal judge in 1997.

Another Filipino American, Ron Q. Quilang, wanted to put the Filipino American in the Nevada political map but lost in the primary last June when he contested a Nevada State Senate seat, representing District 9.

Although a non-partisan position, a candidate for District Court Family Judge must be an attorney licensed and admitted to practice law in the courts in the State of Nevada, another state, or District of Columbia for not less than 10 years at any time preceding election or appointment, at least two years of which have been in Nevada.

Judicial candidates are required to file disclosures of their contributions and campaign expenditures (C&E) with the Secretary of State’s Office. C&E Reports are filed five times throughout the year during an election year, and then annually, if needed.

They are also required to file a Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS) with the Administrative office of the Court.

A Filipino American supporter, Las Vegas businessman Tonie Sison predicted that Judge Moss will win her re-election handily shortly after the reception of the CanDo (Concerned Asians for Nevada, a Development Organization) Dinner, an evening of culture, education and celebration, keynoted by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is not running for re-election, last Aug. 29 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.


The event recognized Asian Americans in Public Service, including Judge Moss. Some 850 people turned up. CanDO promotes civic responsibility among Asian Americans and encourages participation in the political process.

Although, Asian Americans outnumber blacks in Las Vegas, according to 2010 Census, there are an estimated 30,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans residing in Las Vegas, making Asians the largest ethnic group. This is twice as many immigrants from Mexico and Central America. “(B)ut unofficial estimates put the number of Filipinos and Filipino Americans as many as 100,000,” according to an article, “What’s In The Cards for Filipinos in Las Vegas,” written by former Manila Bulletin sports writer Bert B. Eljera, posted on the website magazine, Positively Filipino.

Most of the Filipinos are employed in the health care industry, majority as nurses, schools, casinos, churches, shopping malls and groceries.

In 2013, the Las Vegas Review-Journal sponsored a survey of 902 lawyers who rated Nevada Supreme Court justices and judges located in Clark County. 44 percent of respondents voted in favor of keeping Moss on the bench. The average vote in favor of retention for all 88 judges evaluated was 71 percent.

Judge Moss has also picked up the endorsements of the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Managers and Supervisors Association (LVPMSA), according to Irene Castro; the Seniors United Board; the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers headed by Norman “Doc” Halliday, president; Nevada Political Action for Animals, whose president is Stacia Newman; the Southern Nevada Central Labor Council (SNCLC) headed by Debra Berko; Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro, Inc. Chris Collins as Executive Director; Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SRCC) representing carpenters in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado with Mike Draper as Supervisor; Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada (PFFN) headed by its president Rusty McAllister; Southern Nevada Central Labor Council headed by Ryan Beaman and affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the Nevada State AFL-CIO.

Judge Moss graduated from the George Washington University, Washington D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She then attended the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where she graduated in the top 25 percent of her class and was a National Team Leader in the law school’s Moot Court Team for the Spong National Competition.

After law school, she served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable John H. Bayly, Jr., Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She also served as an intern in the United States Attorney’s Office, Misdemeanors Branch, Washington, D.C. Her legal career between 1986 and 2000 included working in law firms in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas, as well as her own law office, Cheryl B. Moss, Chartered.



HONOREES: District Court Family Division I Judge Cheryl B. Moss (fourth from left) was among the Asian Americans honored Aug. 29 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada during a reception at the CanDo (Concerned Asians for Nevada, a Development Organization) Dinner, an evening of culture, education and celebration, keynoted by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is not running for re-election in the general elections on Nov. 4, 2014. Filipino American Tonie Sison (extreme right) announces the names of the other honorees, from left, Judge Kalani Hoo, Judge Cedric Kerns, Grace Tam, Dr. Rachakonda Prabhu, Gerri Schroeder, Judge Jerry Tao and Ashook Michandani. (JGL Photo courtesy of Tonie Sison)


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