Second Judicial District Court Historical Perspective

McGee
Charles M McGee

JUDGE CHARLES M. MCGEE

(1985-2005)

Charles M. McGee attended the University of Pacific for his undergraduate studies and then the University of Denver, School of Law. Later in life, while a judge, he would receive a Master's Degree in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Mr. McGee served a tour in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He was the Division's Chief of Military Justice, and attained the rank of Captain. Among his military decorations were the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal and the Vietnamese Staff Service Honor Medal, First Class.

Mr. McGee was an attorney in Reno from 1970 through 1984. He was a Second Judicial District Court Master from 1980 to 1985. He was first elected a judge of the Second Judicial District Court in 1984. Judge McGee presided over Department Two of the Court until 2005.

In 1982, he started the CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate, program in Washoe County. CASA is a nationwide child advocacy program through which volunteers speak in court for abused and neglected children.

Judge McGee was a founding board member of Parents United and Children's Cabinet. He was also a founding director of Kids' Korner, the Silver State Academy and the Foster Care Board.

Because a large number of family court cases involve substance abuse, Judge McGee founded and presided over Washoe County's highly successful Family Drug Treatment Court. Judge McGee took drug court concepts and applied them to dependency cases. Washoe County's Family Drug Treatment Court was one of the first in the nation to be established.

Judge McGee was the Chairman of the Juvenile and Family Drug Committees for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

"You can only do so much from the bench," Judge McGee commented. "You got to find a way to get these people to programs earlier, before they come to you in court, because that's the only way to stem the flow."

He wrote extensively about family drug courts and had articles published in the Juvenile and Family Law Journal.

About his work in family court, Judge McGee said, "Family court is probably the saddest as well as the most glorious place to be because you see an endless amount of dysfunction but you also see an endless amount of success stories."

In his years on the bench, he was twice chief judge of the Second Judicial District Court and was president of the Nevada District Judges Association.

The Judge was recognized in the community for his innovative ideas and outstanding commitment to children and families throughout Nevada. The Charles M. McGee Center for Adolescent Programs opened its doors in November, 1992. The Center, among other programs, provided housing for runaways.

Judge McGee retired from the Second Judicial District Court in 2005. He continued to work as a senior judge after his retirement.

He and his wife Karen have three children.

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