Chief Justice Ron D. Parraguirre has assumed the administrative post of the Nevada Supreme Court from Justice James W. Hardesty.
Chief Justice Parraguirre is a fourth generation Nevadan and a second generation judge. His family emigrated from the Basque country to western Nevada in the 1870’s to ranch the country south of Carson City.
With the exception of the Nevada Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Parraguirre has served at every level of the courts in the Nevada Judiciary. Chief Justice Parraguirre also has received and maintained among the highest ratings in the bi-annual judicial surveys during his tenure on the bench.
During the next year, Chief Justice Parraguirre will focus, among other tasks, his efforts on improving the Supreme Court’s pro bono efforts and support specialty courts throughout the state.
“I intend to ensure Nevadans have access to justice by emphasizing legal representation so no one will be without legal assistance regardless of their economic status,” said Chief Justice Parraguirre.”
The Court of Appeals also will factor in the Chief Justice’s plans for the coming year.
“With the assistance of the Court of Appeals we have been able to significantly reduce the backlog of pending cases which will expedite the litigation process,” said Chief Justice Parraguirre. “We anticipate that before long, the Supreme Court will be in a position to focus on issuing many more opinions, giving the citizens and businesses located in Nevada needed guidance and some level of predictability in litigation matters that may affect them.”
The Chief Justice has a variety of responsibilities as administrative head of the state’s legal system and represents the Nevada judiciary with state and local officials and nationally. During his term, Chief Justice Hardesty was elected Second Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for the Conference of Chief Justices of the United States.
Chief Justice Hardesty also provided leadership during the 2015 Legislative Session and was instrumental in a number of initiatives to advance the administration of justice.
- Chief Justice Hardesty’s achievements include:
- Implementing the Court of Appeals approved of by voters in November 2014, including budgets, central staff, and case assignments for the first year of operations.
- Negotiating the approval of a Supreme Court courthouse in Las Vegas reducing the court’s rent by $500,000 over the next 10 years.
- Securing state general funding to support specialty courts throughout Nevada, adding $3,000,000 each year in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
- Negotiating the approval and creation of the Eleventh Judicial District comprised of Pershing, Lander, and Mineral counties.
- Establishing the Commission to Study the Administration of Guardianships in Nevada’s courts.
- Forming a committee to study evidence-based pretrial release of defendants.
- Initiating a committee to formulate a set of courses and curriculum to improve judicial education, and make recommendations for minimum mandatory courses and curriculum.
The Chief Justice presides when the Supreme Court sits as an En Banc court and a majority vote of the full court is necessary for any major action. The Chief Justice does not serve as a member of a three-justice panel to hear cases, but does substitute for other justices on panels who must recuse because of conflicts. Chief Justice Parraguirre will serve as Chief Justice until the end of 2016.