Washoe District Court Judge Patrick Flanagan dies

Judge Patrick Flanagan. Second Judicial District Court photograph.
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Washoe District Court Chief Judge Patrick Flanagan died Friday, two days after he had to be hospitalized and a murder trial he was presiding over was given to another judge.

The Second Judicial District court announced the death on its website. It says funeral services will be held Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Snows Church.

Flanagan has a long history in Reno-area courtrooms, serving as a private attorney and an assistant federal public defender before being elected to the bench.

He was Washoe County Bar Association president in 2000 when he called on Gov. Kenny Guinn to put a halt on executions until the state can ensure that innocent people are not being killed.

Flanagan was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in 2001 that restricted his movement but he went on to serve on the bench. Judge

Jerry Polaha swore in Flanagan as a new judge in January 2007. Polaha had fond memories of the late judge on Friday.

“We go back quite a ways,” said Polaha, also a former defense attorney. “I’ve had trials with him in federal court. I see him in the (parking) garage.”

While practicing as a defense lawyer, Flanagan would also be talking to staff of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the U.S. Supreme Court, where Flanagan has also practiced, Polaha said.
“He was such a sweet man,” Polaha said. “A good lawyer. A good judge. We’re really going to miss him.”

Flanagan’s injury came the same week as the Sept. 11 attacks, Polaha said. “I thought the world was ending.”

His biography on the court web site said he graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and California Western School of Law. He is the past president of the State Bar of Nevada, the Washoe County Bar Association and the Nevada Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

The court web site says on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 all cards, flowers and food may be delivered to Jeff Ostomel's home at 1140 Alpine Circle in Reno and beginning Oct. 8 75 Court St., Suite 214.