I voted


Judge Sandra Unsworth Joins Second Judicial District Court
Judge Unsworth brings 27 years of family law experience

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Jackie Bryant

Reno, Nev. Dec. 11, 2019. The Washoe County Second Judicial District Court (SJDC) is pleased to Judge-Unsworth.jpgannounce that Judge Sandra Unsworth (pictured right) was sworn into the SJDC, Department 12, on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. Judge Unsworth steps into the role left by Judge Doherty, who retired earlier this fall.

After administering the oath of office, Chief Judge Scott Freeman welcomed Judge Unsworth and stated, “We are extremely fortunate to have Judge Unsworth’s 27 years of experience and compassionate perspective on the Bench.”  

Judge Unsworth’s passion for family law developed through her own life experiences and in observing how legal proceedings involving family matters so deeply affect the parties and their children. 

“Families, however they are constituted, fundamentally contribute to our sense of who we are as individuals and as a community. As the presiding judge in Department 12, I will adjudicate matters with a keen understanding of how important each case is to each person, and with ethical, prudent, and reasoned judgment. It is an honor to be a member of the Second Judicial District Court, and I will humbly and gratefully serve Washoe County citizens,” stated Judge Unsworth.

About Judge Sandra Unsworth

After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), Judge Unsworth returned to her native Nevada and hometown of Reno in 1986 to work as a law clerk for the Honorable Phyllis Halsey Atkins.  She subsequently joined the Washoe County District Attorney’s office as a deputy district attorney where she remained until she opened her private law office in 1992. During her time in private practice, Judge Unsworth specialized in criminal and family law matters. In addition to her work as private counsel, Judge Unsworth was a special master in the role of parenting coordinator and taught parents better communication and parenting skills. In addition, she served as guardian ad litem in a number of cases where she was honored to represent the best interest of children in contested child custody and visitation matters. She maintained her private law practice until taking the oath of office as a judge. 

About the Second Judicial District Court

The Second Judicial District Court was established in 1910. The Family Division of the Second Judicial District court was established in 1990. Judge Unsworth was appointed by Governor Sisolak on November 8, 2019. She will be the second judge in Department 12, succeeding Judge Frances Doherty who retired in August 2019. To learn more about Judge Unsworth and the Second Judicial District Court, please visit the District Court’s website at www.washoecourts.us.


Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »