2006 Special Event: Judges in J-Schools

With Judge Rick Distaso - Prosecutor, The People v. Scott Peterson

Rick Distaso has been a Judge of the Stanislaus County Superior Court since July 2005. Prior to being appointed to the Superior Court, he was a Senior Deputy District Attorney with the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office. His assignments within the District Attorney's Office included the Homicide Prosecution Team, Crimes Against Children/Sexual Assault Unit, Felony Trial Team and Juvenile Unit. From 2003-2005 he successfully prosecuted the case of The People v. Scott Peterson. This case received worldwide publicity and was covered by every major news medium. In 2000 he received an Award of Excellence from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office for his role in prosecuting the first internet attempted child molestation case in Stanislaus County. In 2005, he received the National District Attorney's Association "Home Run Hitter's Award," and was named one of the California District Attorney's Association's Outstanding Prosecutors of the Year. In 2006, he was named one of California Lawyer Magazine's Attorney's of the Year in criminal law.

The Judges in J-Schools pilot program is being launched in only three Journalism Schools in the United States with the goal of developing and presenting educational programs for legal affairs journalists covering the courts. This event is being co-sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for the Courts and Media, National Judicial College. The concept for the National Center for the Courts and Media was created when journalist Rollan Melton served as trustee and secretary of the National Judicial College Board of Trustees. Rollan Melton devoted his adult working life to the field of journalism, working as a reporter, editor, public relations manager, Editor in Chief and publisher of the Reno Evening Gazette, and Vice President and President of the Speidel Newspaper Group. As president, Melton negotiated the 1977 merger of Speidel into Ganett and went on to serve on the Ganett Newspapers Board of Directors. Rollan Melton went on to author several books and, on November 30, 2001, was inducted into the Nevada Writers' Hall of Fame.

The Center brings together the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada and The National Judicial College, and aims to unite the independent judiciary and the free press.

This event is being co-sponsored by:
The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for
The Courts and Media
National Judicial College

Event Location

SJMC Conference Center

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