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 presiding over complex disputes concerning Nevada's Trade Secrets Act, Securities Act, and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. She is a Certified Water Law Judge, having completed the Nevada Supreme Court Water Law Certification in 2023. Further, she is a member of the following Second Judicial District Court Committees: Criminal Bench/Bar, Courthouse Security, Rules and Statistics and served as Chairperson of the Second Judicial District's Legislative Committee during the 2019, 2021 and 2023 Nevada Legislative Sessions. She is the 2024-2025 President of the Nevada District Judges Association.

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 Nevada State and Federal District Courts. Judge Drakulich parlayed her experience at the utility companies into a private practice at the statewide law firm of 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. On behalf of her clients she pursued and completed the construction of renewable energy facilities (solar, biomass, biogas, wind, and geothermal), natural gas generation facilities and the construction and operation of high voltage distribution and transmission electric lines; and she negotiated the purchase and sale of energy from renewable and natural gas facilities.

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, participating in the National Clean Energy Summit from 2008 to 2014, and was a member of United States 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.