Patricia A. Cooper-Smith

Procter R. Hug, Jr.

Procter R. Hug Jr., a native Nevadan, has made a lasting mark on Nevada’s institutional, legal, and judicial history. Born March 11, 1931, in Reno, he describes an “ideal childhood,” with parents who nurtured and encouraged a bright, busy, and optimistic child. Judge Hug’s memory of early teachers is an early harbinger of his success as a high school debate champion—fertile ground for the future lawyer and judge.

Peter I. Breen

It is no accident that tradition, history, and continuity are important to the Hon. Peter I. Breen, Judge of the Second Judicial District, Washoe County, Nevada. As a native Nevadan and the third generation of his namesake and family to be a lawyer and a judge, the law beckoned.

Cameron M. Batjer

The adage “once a teacher, always a teacher” best describes Justice Batjer’s life. The native Nevadan son of a pioneer family, and son of a teacher, Justice Batjer instructed people in how to live their lives through example and by embodying a fair-minded application of the rule of law.

Bruce R. Thompson

Born July 31, 1911, Bruce R. Thompson was a native Nevada son. His father taught Latin, Greek, and history at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR); his mother was a homemaker. Judge Thompson describes the family home on Reno’s Riverside Drive as one acre on the Truckee River with cows, chickens, and a large vegetable garden. He recalls milking the cows, weeding the garden, and serving as a marriage witness for a minister neighbor’s wedding business.

Howard D. McKibben

Born April 1, 1940, in Virginia, Illinois, Howard McKibben lived at The Baby Fold orphanage in Normal, Illinois, until 1942, when he and his sister, Marian, were adopted by James and Bernice McKibben. Judge McKibben’s father was superintendent of schools, and his mother was an English and Latin teacher. Throughout his oral history, Judge McKibben expresses his gratitude to his adoptive parents for the love and values that inform his life and career, and adoption remains an important advocacy issue for him.

Herbert M. Jones

Herbert Monroe Jones was born July 22, 1914 in Phillipsburg, Missouri. His father, an oil-drilling superintendent, worked for Shell Oil Company. In 1925, Mr. Jones was 11 years old when the family moved to Klulong, in Sumatra, Indonesia, a town he describes as being “carved out of the heart of the jungle.” It was a big change for the Missouri paperboy.

Elmer Millard "Al" Gunderson

Elmer Millard “Al” Gunderson was born August 9, 1929 on the proverbial “wrong side of the tracks” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A life story of never knowing an invalid father— in his own words, having met his father perhaps four times while growing up—and feeling as if he were at times an “orphan” are evident in the man he became.

Frank W. Daykin

Frank W. Daykin, born October 28, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio, was a Midwesterner with the soul of a classicist. He became “the editor’s editor” and, in the process, reshaped the way Nevada statutes are read.

Harry Eugene Claiborne

The life of Harry Eugene Claiborne had many chapters, from rural McRae, Arkansas to the neon lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. From his years as a rural farm boy who started a rabbit business at ten to a federal judgeship, imprisonment, and impeachment for tax evasion by the U. S. Senate, his was a varied life that eventually put him in the crosshairs of a federal Strike Force investigating and prosecuting organized crime.

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