Clark County Family Court Department P

Dayani v. Perry

Sara Dayani is a native Las Vegan and a graduate of Boyd School of Law. She’s worked in Family Court since 2008, currently in the courtroom of Judge Charles Hoskin.

“I feel very prepared because I disseminate information and review cases in the same manner a judge does,” Dayani says. “Everything comes to me first. At any time I have 500 cases.”

Dayani was instrumental in starting the UNLV Mediation Clinic run through Family Court, in which law school students mediate cases.

She says her research on the correlation between zip codes with high crime rates and high truancy rates helped the courts win $600,000 to increase high school graduation rates and narrow the school-to-prison pipeline. 

Dayani says her experience as the mother of a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old would also be an asset as a judge. 

“I have better experience. I have the knowledge, temperament, and I’ve been trained by three different judges. I understand the cases in Family Court are everything to the litigants.”

Her goal, she says, is to make the court experience easier and better.  

“Applying the law consistently is the only way to achieve fairness,” she says. 

Dayani says she’s troubled by the lack of awareness pro se litigants, those who represent themselves. Litigants don’t know the trial prep course is offered on line.  

“I want to have handouts of resource information on the Self Help Center. I’d like to call cases that have pro bono counsel first so it’s not taking their time,” she says of her ideas to improve service.

She says she’d also like to “open the door for more mediation programs,” which are currently limited to deciding custody matters but not financial issues such as division of property.

“You almost create enemies when you make them go to trial,” she says of divorcing parents.

Dayani has raised $36,894 and has $1,864 on hand. 

Mary Perry passed the Nevada bar in 2001, according to her website. Her focus is on domestic and family law but she also has experience with personal injury and criminal cases.   

“After 19 years arguing one side or the other, I recognize I’m much better off making the decision of what’s best,” Perry told the Current. “After eight and a half years in the military, I learned you have to move up. This is the natural progression in the career.”  

“On every case I start out determining what’s best for the child. If the child’s parent don’t let me be fair,  I have a hard time representing them,” she says.

Perry says she’s taken psychology classes, but is “smart enough to know I don’t know it all.”

The pandemic is changing parental behavior, she says. 

“I’m seeing a lot more parents who are wanting to protect their kids a little bit more,” she says. “They don’t trust the other side is going to protect them and keep them cocooned. That’s not healthy for the child, either.” 

Some parents want to put their child in private school but the other parent can’t afford it. Others are requesting changes in child support orders because of reduced earnings or unemployment. 

“I try to get people to work things out,” she says. “It may cost me money but it’s the right thing to do.”

Perry says the expanded use of telephonic hearings, made standard because of COVID-19, is “the one change I always thought about and it has been made. It saves litigants from having to take time off from work. If they’re staying at home, it saves them from having to find a babysitter.”

“It’s my job to help the litigants,” Perry says. “They aren’t there to please me. I’m there to serve them.”  

Perry has raised $74,793 and has $1,820 remaining.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.