Kent Dawson

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Kent J. Dawson
Judge Kent J. Dawson.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada
Assumed office
July 9, 2012
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada
In office
May 31, 2000 – July 9, 2012
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Andrew Patrick Gordon
Personal details
Born 1944 (age 71–72)
Ogden, Utah, U.S.
Alma mater Weber State College (B.S.)
University of Utah Law School (J.D.)

Kent J. Dawson (born 1944) is a senior United States District Court Judge in the District of Nevada, having been appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton on April 6, 2000, confirmed by the United States Senate on May 24, 2000, and receiving his commission on May 31, 2000. Dawson's appointment, along with that of Roger Hunt, filled two seats created by 113 Stat. 1501, and represented the first expansion of the federal judiciary in Nevada since 1984.[1] Dawson has lived in Henderson, Nevada since 1972, where he was also City Attorney and Justice of the Peace.

Dawson was born in 1944 in Ogden, Utah, and attended Weber State College in Ogden on athletic and music scholarships, graduating in 1969.[2] He received his J.D. from the University of Utah Law School in 1971, and served as a law clerk for James Guinan, a Nevada state court judge.[2] Dawson was Henderson City Attorney from 1972 to 1979, then worked in private practice until 1995, when he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Henderson.[2]

A famous case heard by Judge Dawson was the criminal prosecution of professional tax protester, Irwin Schiff. In 2005, Schiff was convicted of various criminal tax charges for which Dawson sentenced Schiff, in February 2006, to over thirteen years in prison. Judge Dawson rejected one of Schiff's common tax protester arguments that no law imposes a liability on an individual for income taxes, instructing the jury that sections 1, 61, 62 and 6012 of the Internal Revenue Code "working together, make an individual liable for income taxes". Dawson sentenced Schiff to thirteen years in prison, and Dawson's sentence imposed was unanimously upheld on appeal by the three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with the exception of a contempt conviction, which was remanded for resentencing.[3]

In late 2011, Judge Dawson granted court orders for the seizure and transfer of hundreds of domain names belonging to websites alleged by luxury goods company Chanel to be selling counterfeit merchandise. He also required that "all social media websites" and "all Internet search engines" (specifically listing Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yahoo) remove these domain names from any search results.[4]

He assumed senior status on July 9, 2012.


  1. ^ Bar Briefs, 8 Nevada Lawyer 9 (August 2000).
  2. ^ a b c "Nevada Judicial Biographies", United States District Court - District of Nevada, State of the Court 2006, p. 5.
  3. ^ Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, December 26, 2007.
  4. ^ US judge orders hundreds of sites "de-indexed" from Google, Facebook, comment

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Newly created seat
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
May 31, 2000 – July 9, 2012
Succeeded by
Andrew Patrick Gordon