Race for the Bench in Dept. 9
The candidates running for the open judgeship in Department 9 have something key in common - name recognition. In fact, you probably know both of them by name and by sight. Scott Freeman has had a television show in town since 2004 and Cal Dunlap has served in office.
Dunlap has served as Washoe County's Chief Deputy D.A, Assistant D.A. and as District Attorney. His cases have included the victims of the Mizpah Hotel fire, last year's air race crash and families involved in the Fallon Cancer Cluster.
Freeman stepped away from his show when he was appointed to the bench after Judge Robert Perry passed away.
Freeman is known as a very successful high profile defense attorney representing clients including Darren Mack, the Mustang Ranch Brothel and a victim in the Pittsnogle case against the City of Reno. He says he's geared his entire career toward becoming a judge.
"People think I know defense because I was a defense attorney for so long. They wonder if I know the rest and I do," Freeman says. "In my 28 years in practice I've handled every kind of case there is, that's what I bring to the table."
Freeman says he's settled 11 cases out of court since he took the bench. And he prides himself on the law enforcement support he has gotten in his bid for the bench.
"That is significant," he says,"because despite the fact that I was theoretically on the other side of the fence I have police supporting me. I am proud of that."
Dunlap says there is a reason he didn't seek the appointment earlier this year.
"I don't see how anyone can do a good job in a new position and run for office," Dunlap says.
Dunlap's campaign has been mainly self-financed.
"I just don't think special interest groups should participate in judicial campaigns at all. They shouldn't be endorsing anyone because they all have an agenda."
Freeman wants to see younger blood in an aging court system. Dunlap says he brings more experience to mentor attorneys. And they are both very involved in the community.
Written by Erin Breen