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Harry R.
Democrat NV

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  • Tribute to Philip M. Pro

    by Senator Harry Reid

    Posted on 2015-01-20

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    REID. Madam President, I rise today to recognize the career of the Honorable Philip M. Pro, who is retiring from the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

    For more than 25 years, Judge Pro has sat on the district court. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan, and he took office on July 23, 1987. From 2002 to 2007, he served as chief judge for the district court. Since being appointed to this distinguished position by President Reagan, his consistent leadership and responsiveness to the public and the court have not gone unnoticed. In October 1993, then U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist appointed Judge Pro as chair of the Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 2007, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Pro to the board of the Federal Judicial Center.

    Beyond his remarkable career at the district court, Judge Pro has had a tremendous impact on the entire legal community. He served for several years on the Study Committee to Review the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. He was actively involved in numerous international rule-of-law programs in countries such as Hungary, Spain, Norway, Malawi, and South Africa. Judge Pro was integral in the establishment of the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He served on the Law Advisory Committee for the law school and the advisory board of the school's Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution.

    In addition to his impressive work in the legal community, he has worked since 1987 to educate Nevada's youth about civic duties through his role with the We, the People . . . the Citizen and the Constitution Program.

    On a personal basis, I was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission during tumultuous times, when it was discovered mob influences infiltrated Nevada's gaming establishments; Phil was one of my attorneys. We have joked, since then, that he was able to beat, on behalf of the State of Nevada and its gaming authorities, the best lawyers that the adverse interest could buy. He was then an advocate of the law. Phil understood the law, for which I will always be grateful. I would also be negligent if I did not announce to everyone within the sound of my voice my envy for his great voice. He has a deep baritone speaking ability, which sets him apart from almost everyone else. I thank Phil Pro for his friendship.

    Through his years of professional and voluntary service, Judge Pro has become a fixture in the Nevada legal community. I congratulate him on his many successes and decades of dedicated public service. I wish him the best in all his future endeavors.


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