Brent Adams Obituary Brent Adams has passed away unexpectedly
- by Alex Danvers
Brent Adams Obituary , Death – On All Souls Day, November 2, 2022, Judge Brent Thomas Adams, a 74-year-old supreme justice, passed away in his west Reno home with his devoted wife Elise by his side. He left an endless supply of memories, tales, anecdotes, accolades, and experiences to his family, his legal colleagues, his clients, and to his numerous close friends throughout Washoe County and the state of Nevada—a legacy—that will not be forgotten. Law, literature, music, teaching, philosophy, the Catholic Church, writing, politics, and, after he retired, big league baseball, were just a few of Brent’s varied interests. His devoted wife Elise, his sons Thomas (Alyssa) and William, both from Reno, his stepson Toby Jennings (Anna), and his grandchildren Margaret Adams, Maya, and Leon Jennings, all from Reno, remain as his survivors.
His twin brother Bruce, mother Nelda Adams, father Thomas Adams, and sister Marlene, all of Las Vegas, are also deceased. On June 3, 1948, Brent was born in Las Vegas. He attended public schools, and during his junior and senior years at Las Vegas High School, when he also served as chief justice of the high school supreme court, he won the Nevada State High School Debate Championship. He won collegiate debates across the Southwest, took first place in every speech and debate competition held at several universities, and graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University with degrees in philosophy and English.
He also served as the student body president while competing in speeches and debates. Brent worked as a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal before continuing on to the University of Arizona College of Law, where he was given the Charles E. Murray Award for Outstanding Reporter by the Nevada State Press Association. After giving up his outstanding media career after two years, he continued on to successfully complete his legal education, making the Dean’s List each semester while also serving as the editor of the College Law News Journal. As a law clerk for Samuel S. Lionel, the senior partner of Lionel, Sawyer and Collins in Reno, Brent got his start in the field. Prior to holding the position of State Chairman of the Democratic Party of Nevada from 1982 to 1984, he served for five years as an Assistant Federal Defender during which time he distinguished himself as a young attorney by helping that office achieve the highest jury verdict success rate of any federal defender office in the United States.
He was nominated in a merit selection process run by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection after 17 years of successful practice, and on July 4, 1989, he was appointed, becoming the first judicial appointee of Governor Bob Miller. He was elected four times and worked for 25 years as a general jurisdiction trial judge before retiring from the Second Judicial District Court on August 1, 2014. In addition, for more than twenty years, Brent was a renowned member of the National Judicial College, training judges from all over the world. Noting that Judge Adams was a “Model Judge,” Nevada’s then-Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a proclamation declaring the day of Judge Adams’ retirement as “Judge Brent Adams Day.
” After retiring, Brent’s activities went a different direction. He was a really effective mediator. He enjoyed reading mysteries while smoking his personal English tobacco blend in his briar pipe during his free time. He might be rehearsing for a cello or ukulele lesson or he might be listening to one of Yo-Yo Ma’s compositions. While visiting England, one of his pals recalls contact with Brent about their shared love of romantic poetry. The correspondence would inevitably include Brent’s opinion of the Dodgers’ performance that day. On occasion, Justin Turner’s No. 10 jersey for the evening’s televised game would be worn by the Nevada judge with the longest tenure.
Brent might just as swiftly offer his thoughts on a variety of literary works if he applied his bright judicial intellect to the challenging realm of America’s game. His library, which contains more than a thousand books that Brent and Elise diligently collected over many years, is a portrait of Brent’s intellectual depth. Brent wrote for a living. For the National Judicial College, he devoted endless hours to authoring legal briefs, constitutional opinions, and polemical commentary. He constantly encouraged his numerous law clerks to defend their legal positions both orally and in writing, while also offering constructive criticism. He once read Helen Keller’s book aloud to her during a high-profile murder trial, referring to it as “very serious business,” as the attorneys waited in the hallway.
Elise’s childhood home of Santa Monica was frequently visited by Brent and Elise throughout his retirement years. Brent’s passion in movies, music, and fine cuisine were enhanced with a trip to Santa Monica and a stop at Dodger Stadium. The legal profession is represented by Associate Chief Justice James W. Hardesty, who says: “We lament Judge Adams’ departure. We honor his commitment to upholding the law and the example he set for the rest of us to follow. He will be remembered for his warm smile, fantastic anecdotes, thoughtful handwritten notes, wonderful sense of humor, encouraging counsel, and adept communication. It will be followed by a private funeral mass. Please think about making a donation to the National Judicial College’s memorial fund instead of sending flowers, since it has been set up in his honor.
Brent Adams Obituary , Death – On All Souls Day, November 2, 2022, Judge Brent Thomas Adams, a 74-year-old supreme justice, passed away in his west Reno home with his devoted wife Elise by his side. He left an endless supply of memories, tales, anecdotes, accolades, and experiences to his family, his legal colleagues, his…