Brent T Adams



Brent Adams was one of two Nevada students selected to attend the National High School Institute at Northwestern University. He and his colleague won the Nevada State High School Debate Championship in his junior and senior years. He was chief justice of the Las Vegas High School Student Court.

As a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he received the Charles E. Murray Award from the Nevada State Press Association for Outstanding Reporter of the Year.

At Northern Arizona University, he was the Frances I. Borozon scholar in philosophy and English. He was also elected President of the Associated Students by the largest majority in the history of the university. As a member of the collegiate debate team, he placed first in speech and debate events throughout the Southwest. He led the winning team in the National Discussion Contest sponsored by Bradley University.

He received his legal education at the University of Arizona College of Law where he qualified for the Dean's List every semester. For two years, he placed first in the Joseph S. Jenckes Jury Advocacy Competition and was editor of the College of Law News Journal.

He was elected to the Order of the Coif and graduated, with distinction, in the upper tenth of his class. His achievements in jury advocacy were recognized by the Arizona Academy of Trial Lawyers Award and the Phoenix Association of Defense Counsel Award.

Judge Adams began his legal career as law clerk for Samuel S. Lionel, senior partner of Lionel Sawyer and Collins.

During his five year tenure as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, the office had the highest jury verdict success rate of any federal defender office in the United States.

From 1982-1984, he served as State Chairman of the Democratic Party of Nevada.

After 17 years of successful law practice, he was nominated in a merit selection process conducted by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection. He was the first judicial appointee of Governor Bob Miller. He was invested to office on July 4, 1989. Elected four times, he served as a general jurisdiction trial judge for 25 years.

He retired from office on August 1, 2014. Governor Brian Sandoval entered a Proclamation designating the date as "JUDGE BRENT ADAMS DAY", in the State of Nevada.

As Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District Court, Judge Adams pioneered creation of the Washoe County Drug Court, the Early Case Resolution Program, Bench-Bar Committee, Pretrial Services Department, court house security program, the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and the renovation and relocation of the Washoe County Law Library. He served on the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, State Bar Disciplinary Board, Nevada Judicial Assessment Commission, Board of Continuing Legal Education and the Judicial Public Records Commission.

He was honored as Judge of the Year by the Northern Nevada Alumni Association of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

In each biennial bar survey of the judiciary, Judge Adams has been highly ranked in all categories of judicial performance.

Judge Adams was a member of the National Judicial College core faculty for over twenty years. At least twice yearly he taught trial and appellate judges from across the nation in settlement conference techniques, complex case management, judicial discretion, professional ethics and evidence. He was also active in international in-country judicial education jointly funded by the National Judicial College and the United States Agency for International Development. He taught judges in Moscow, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Columbia. He was chosen by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference to conduct educational seminars in Guam for trial judges of territories in the Pacific Islands.

Judge Adams has participated in many courses on dispute resolution, including advanced mediation training at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, National Association of Business Court Judges, Nevada District Judges Association, State Bar of Nevada and the Washoe County Bar Association.

He is editor-in-chief of the Nevada Civil Practice Manual published by the Lexis Publishing Company.

Judge Adams has presided in hundreds of jury and non-jury trials. He has sat by designation on the Nevada Supreme Court. He was the founding presiding judge of the Washoe County Business Court.

Judge Adams has conducted settlement conferences and mediation for over 30 years with a high-resolution rate. Between 1991 and 2014, he has taught mediation techniques annually at the general jurisdiction college of the National Judicial College.

Second Judicial District Court
75 Court St.
Reno, Nevada, 89501