Judge Dawson was confirmed
by the United States
Senate in May 2000 to fill
one of the newly authorized
seats in the United States
District Court for the District of Nevada.
He received his undergraduate degree
in1969 from Weber State College in Ogden,
Utah, where he attended on athletic
and music scholarships. After graduating
from the University of Utah Law School in
1971, he clerked for Judge James Guinan
in the Second Judicial District Court.
Judge Dawson became Henderson City
Attorney in 1972 where he served until
1979. During that time he was instrumental
in the creation of the Henderson
Public Improvement Trust, an issuer of
tax exempt bonds. During his service, he
represented the city in attracting Ethel
M. Chocolates, Levi Strauss, Breyer’s Ice
Cream and many other businesses. He
was also instrumental in the first issuance
of industrial development bonds for
the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
Infrastructure for the master-planned
communities of The Lake at Las Vegas,
Green Valley Ranch, McDonald Ranch and
Seven Hills was financed with tax exempt
bonds during his tenure. Those communities
have been the driving force behind
Henderson becoming one of the fastest
growing large cities in the United States
for the past several years. Judge Dawson
served as legal counsel for the Trust until
he became a full-time judge.
Judge Dawson was in private practice
from 1979 until 1995. While engaged in
private practice, he focused primarily in
civil law. He was recognized by the Clark
County Pro Bono Project for Outstanding
Contribution by a Law Firm. In 1995 he
was appointed Justice of the Peace for
Henderson and subsequently elected to
a six-year term. Judge Dawson was for
many years an elected officer and director
of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce,
having served as President and having received
the “Member of the Year” award.
He has donated his time in the creation of
numerous charitable and community organizations.
He has also been licensed as
a private pilot with instrument and multiengine
ratings. He is admitted to practice
in Utah and Nevada.