Judge Scott Pearson was elected to the bench in November of 2010 and retained in 2016. Judge Pearson currently serves as the presiding judge of the Washoe County Community Court and previously served as the presiding judge of the Court Compliance Program (CCP) from 2012 through 2016. At the time, CCP was the largest misdemeanor problem solving court in the state of Nevada serving hundreds of participants a year. The CCP program expanded to a DUI docket and domestic violence dockets, each helping defendants address their substance abuse and mental health issues while finding safe housing and stable employment. In 2013 Judge Pearson created the first Community Court in Nevada which provides a diversion program allowing qualifying participants to have their case dismissed and sealed after completing a rehabilitation program. Judge Pearson has also created special dockets to help defendants engaged in the sex trades and younger members of our community, especially those addicted to heroin. In 2015 Judge Pearson was named Politician of the Year for his humanitarian efforts in the community. Since taking the bench, Judge Pearson has also received the highest performance score or retention score amongst the justice court judges in the biannual judicial rating survey conducted by the Washoe County Bar Association.
Judge Pearson was elected Chief Judge of the court in 2013 and again in 2014. During this time many improvements were made at the court to better serve the public. Operating hours were expanded so that the Court is now open more hours to the public than any court in the State. The Court also began offering electronic filing of court documents, online payments and a traffic ticket amnesty program so citizens with warrants for traffic tickets could resolve them without being arrested. During his time as chief Judge Pearson also worked with the County Commission to cover a vacancy on the bench for a savings of approximately $500,000 to the community.
In 2013 Judge Pearson was elected by his peers to the Judicial Council and the Specialty Court Funding Committee. He also currently serves on the language access committee, forms subcommittee, pre-trial reform committee and bail subcommittee.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Pearson was a deputy district attorney in the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office from July of 1999 until taking the bench in January of 2011. Judge Pearson handled all types of criminal cases from traffic tickets to gang murder prosecutions and was assigned to the Major Violators Unit at the time of his election. During his years at the DA's Office, Judge Pearson was also a regular instructor at the police academy on many areas of the US Constitution and Nevada criminal procedure.
For many years, Judge Pearson served as a scoring judge in the area’s high school mock trial competition and later was chosen as a presiding judge for the local and state competitions. In 2010 Judge Pearson began serving as a scoring judge for the We the People constitutional program. He has served a judge for local elementary schools as well as the high school regional, state and national finals in Washington D.C. Judge Pearson also chairs the Reno/Sparks Rotary Club's Most Improved Student/Achievement Beyond Obstacles scholarship committee which honors students from each of the area high schools that have overcome great obstacles to graduate. All of these students receive leadership training and mentor support and the clubs award more than $20,000 in scholarships annually.
Judge Pearson was raised in Reno where he attended local public schools, Roger Corbett, Vaughn and Reed and later graduated from the University of Nevada with an economics degree, with distinction. Judge Pearson is also a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law where he was a Learey Scholar. Upon graduation Judge Pearson was honored to serve a judicial clerkship for Judge Janet J. Berry at the Second Judicial District Court.
In his free time Judge Pearson enjoys coaching youth sports. In the past ten years he has been the head coach or assistant coach for more than 25 youth sports teams in leagues for the Boys and Girls Club, Great Basin Youth Soccer, Sparks Rec, Sierra Nevada Basketball, Northern Nevada Sports and Rec., and the Reno Continental Little League where he served as a board member for many years. Judge Pearson has been married to Kristy Pearson, a local school teacher, since 1998 and has two boys he enjoys skiing and traveling with.