Department 9 - Honorable Scott N. Freeman


Chief Judge Scott Freeman was appointed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to serve as the Presiding Judge in Department 9 on March 26, 2012. In November 2012, his appointment was confirmed by the voters of Washoe County when he successfully retained his seat by popular election. He then ran unopposed in the 2014 election. On November 17, 2017, he was unanimously elected Chief Judge by his peers. In December 2019 he was again unanimously re-elected Chief Judge for a second two year term.

Chief Judge Freeman graduated from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, with a degree in Politics and a minor in Economics. Thereafter, he received his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California. Chief Judge Freeman has been a resident of Northern Nevada for over 40 years.

Chief Judge Freeman commenced his law career in 1984, working with attorney David R. Houston. In 1986, the firm became known as "Houston and Freeman," until 1994, when Chief Judge Freeman commenced a solo law practice emphasizing the representation of individuals accused of crime. His private law practice included extensive civil and criminal trial, appellate and administrative law experience.

In 1993, Chief Judge Freeman was appointed Pro Tem Family Court Master and Pro Tem Juvenile Court Master by the Second Judicial District Court. In 1995, he was appointed by the Reno Municipal Court to serve as a Pro Tem Judge up to and including the time he was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court by Nevada State Governor Sandoval.

Prior to his ascension to the bench, Chief Judge Freeman spent 28 years in private practice and has received numerous awards and distinctions. In 2008, he was awarded "Defender of the Year" by the statewide Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice. In 2012, he received the Best Lawyers in America award. He has received the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Mountain States Super Lawyer awards. In 2009, he was named a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. From 1999-2012, he has been AV-rated by the international lawyer directory Martindale Hubble. In 2007, he was Las Vegas Life Magazine Super Lawyer Best Criminal Attorney In Nevada. In 2002, he was Nevada Business Magazine Super Lawyer Best Criminal Attorney In Nevada. In 1999, he was the first recipient of the Washoe County Access To Justice Foundation's Pro Bono Attorney Of The Year award.

Chief Judge Freeman was also appointed by the State Bar of Nevada to be a permanent member on the Commission for Judicial Selection from 2008-2011. He was the Nevada Law Foundation Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1998-2000. He was the criminal justice representative on numerous law related committees, including the Washoe County Public Defender Selection Committee, Washoe County Alternative Public Defender Selection Committee, Nevada Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, Washoe District Court Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, Washoe District Court Criminal Rules Committee, and the Nevada Mandatory Sentencing Review Commission. Chief Judge Freeman has also been a lecturer of numerous topics at seminars sponsored by the State Bar of Nevada, Washoe County Bar Association and local universities and high schools. He currently is an instructor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Nevada.

Chief Judge Freeman is most proud of his work in the community. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Reno Sunrise. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children's Cabinet from 1999 to 2014. He was also active with the International Special Olympics. From 1999 to the present, he has been the Director of Security for the Barracuda Golf Championship, an annual PGA Golf Tour event. As of 2014, he has been an active member of the Reno Rodeo Association.

Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2012, Chief Judge Freeman co-hosted a weekly television show Lawyers, Guns & Money on KRNV TV, an NBC Network affiliate, with an interview format of notable personalities in the legal, cultural and charitable communities.

As Chief Judge, he will promote public trust in an independent, transparent, and efficient judiciary. Chief Judge Freeman is especially focused on ensuring the District Court provides an excellent service in a safe and secure environment.

Chief Judge Freeman enjoys spending time with his two young adult children, skiing during the winter and long distance bicycle riding in the summer.