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Judicial Profile: Hon. Nathan Tod Young

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If you have cause to visit Douglas County, or to attend court at the Ninth Judicial District courthouse in Minden, you won’t need to pick up your coffee from Starbucks on the way. Judge Nathan Tod Young assures visiting attorneys that they are welcome to partake of the courthouse’s fresh-brewed coffee and chat. “I always keep a pot of coffee on,” he said. In keeping with his interest in getting to know visitors, Young feels strongly that every case, in every court, comes down to people – not just the clients, but also the lawyers, jury, witnesses and other individuals involved. Young’s mentor, former Justice Dan Lee of the Mississippi Supreme Court, helped shape this belief. “He had a great sense of right and wrong, and he had a great sense for people,” Young recalled. “I worked for him for the first two years after law school.” Young earned his juris doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law, and practiced law in Nevada for 28 years prior to his appointment to the Ninth Judicial District Court,
Nevada Lawyer December 2013
following the retirement of Judge David Gamble. Although he was born in Ohio, Young’s family moved to Nevada when he was 2 years old, and he harbors deep affection for the state. “I’ve always felt that home means Nevada, to me,” he said. In particular, Young – who spends a great deal of his time off the bench outdoors – finds that Nevada offers a beautiful and relaxing setting for his frequent hikes. “I love the desert, both high and low desert,” he said. “My two kids and I go out fishing a lot, and I do a lot of hiking. I have hiked most of the Tahoe Rim Trail and … every year for the last 20 years or more, I have spent my birthday walking Hope Valley along the Carson River.” When not working or hiking, Young also enjoys writing short stories for family and friends. Young credits his interest in the law to his parents, who fostered an interest in civic duty in Young, as well as in his three brothers and one sister. “[They] instilled in their kids a strong sense of love for this country, and a strong sense of right and wrong,” he recalled. “We were taught not to live life on the sidelines, and to try to be a representative for what is good.” Attorneys practicing before Young are encouraged to embrace civility when appearing in the Ninth Judicial District Court. “Argue the law and the facts,” Young advised. “Don’t tell me what a dog or a scoundrel your opposing counsel is. It’s not a fair and persuasive argument to me.” The judge also emphasized that the Ninth Judicial District Court is an efficient court, and he strives to resolve cases efficiently. Attorneys should be prepared to present their cases when they are called. “I don’t like to continue things for no reason,” Young said. “No one comes to the courthouse on their best day. The lawyers are stressed, their clients are more stressed and they deserve a thoughtful opinion on their case.”
December 2013 Nevada Lawyer

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