Water Judges Pilot Program

Photo of topaz lake on a fall day with an orange tree in the foreground and typical high desert hills in the background.

After extensive study, including reviewing adjudication models from other jurisdictions and gathering input from various sources, the Commission to Study the Adjudication of Water Law Cases concluded that Nevada would benefit from providing district court judges special training to preside over water law cases. As a result, the commission proposed the certification of specialty water law judges and developed rules for assigning water law cases.

The pilot program, launched in January 2024, mandates that certified judges hear water law cases. The certification process involves judges submitting an application and undergoing specialized training on key topics in water law, conducted by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The program is governed by Supreme Court Rule 18, which outlines the criteria for water law cases and the assignment process, ensuring cases are assigned randomly to certified judges within the relevant jurisdiction. This pilot program will run for at least three years. During the pilot program the commission will collect and review annual status reports to evaluate the program's effectiveness and decide on its permanent adoption.

Nevada Water Law Judges

  • Judge Kathleen Drakulich (2nd JD)
  • Judge Leon Aberasturi (3rd JD)
  • Judge John Schlegelmilch (3rd JD)
  • Judge Kriston Hill (4th JD)
  • Judge Al Kacin (4th JD)
  • Judge Mason Simons (4th JD)
  • Judge Kim Wanker (5th JD)
  • Judge Michael Montero (6th JD)
  • Judge Gary Fairman (7th JD)
  • Judge Steven Dobrescu (7th JD)
  • Judge Tom Gregory (9th JD)
  • Judge Tom Stockard (10th JD)
  • Judge Jim Shirley (11th JD)

List updated  2/13/2024

  • Judge Kristin Luis (1st JD)
  • Judge Bita Yeager (8th JD)

List updated 2/13/2024

Filed Orders and Judgments will be posted here.