Department 1 - Honorable Kathleen M. Drakulich


Judge Kathleen Drakulich was appointed to Department One of the Second Judicial District Court on June 30, 2017, by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. In addition to her duties as a general jurisdiction judge presiding over criminal and civil matters, Judge Drakulich serves as a Business Court Judge, and is a member of the following Second Judicial District Court Committees: Criminal Bench/Bar, Jury Trial Working Group, Courthouse Security, Rules, Statistics and Legislative, for which she serves as Chair.

Judge Drakulich received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, completed economics course work at Oxford University and graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

In 1986, Judge Drakulich served as a law clerk to the Honorable William N. Forman in the Second Judicial District Court. Thereafter, as a prosecutor for the Washoe County District Attorney, she prosecuted major felonies including white collar, sexual assault, narcotics and murder cases. She served as an associate in the law firm of Anderson, Pearl, Hardesty, Lyle & Murphy, practicing in a broad array of civil cases in Nevada and California. She then became Assistant General Counsel at Sierra Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company (NV Energy) where she litigated electric, water, and natural gas cases before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Nevada District Courts. Judge Drakulich parlayed her experience at the utility companies into a private practice at McDonald Carano, where she represented local, state, national and international clients in the gaming, manufacturing, health care, information technology and renewable energy industries in general rate, resource planning and other complex regulatory proceedings, the construction of renewable and natural gas generation facilities and the construction and operation of high voltage distribution and transmission electric lines.

Judge Drakulich previously served as a board member for the Nevada Trial Lawyers, Renown Health and Governor Brian Sandoval's Board of Economic Development. She has served as chairman of the board for Renown's South Meadows Facility and the Clean Energy Project and was a member of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Blue-Ribbon Panel on Renewable Energy. She was named a Best Lawyer in America by her peers each year from 2008 through 2017, was named Energy Lawyer of the Year in 2012 and 2015 and has enjoyed a Martindale Hubbell AV peer rating since 2008.

Additionally, Judge Drakulich has a long history of rendering pro bono legal services for citizens of northern Nevada. She has volunteered her time as the spokesperson for the Washoe County Zero Tolerance drug program, speaking to students about the dangers and consequences of drug use. She has participated in the "Adopt-a-Family" Christmas programs for Nevada Women Lawyers and the Boys & Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows. She has also dedicated a significant amount of time to various organizations as a volunteer educator regarding the growth of energy and renewable energy resources throughout Nevada.

Judge Drakulich truly enjoys living and working in northern Nevada.