Churchill County commissioners voted at last week’s meeting to hire Fallon attorney Jacob Sommers as its full-time public defender.
County Manager Jim Barbee is currently negotiating a contract with Sommers, who has practiced law in Churchill County since 2007.
For the past 13 years, Sommers has had a private law practice, and in 2012, he was also named as one of the county’s public defenders. With his new appointment, Sommers will solely be Churchill County’s full-time public defender and establish his office at the former Fallon Chamber of Commerce building across the street from the county complex on North Taylor Street.
As a private attorney, Sommers represented private and indigent clients for civil and criminal matters. His extensive criminal defense practice includes defense for category A felony cases with penalties of lifetime imprisonment, as well as simple misdemeanor cases.
“I have broad experience in representing and assisting criminal defendants as they negotiate the process of our criminal justice system,” he said in his application. “I feel that all criminal defendants I represent receive a strong defense and honest advice.”
Since 2006, Sommers said his family enjoys the small-town atmosphere.
“My family and I have come to love the qualities of Churchill County, and it is my hope that I can continue to serve our citizens in providing honorable and zealous indigent defense,” he said.
Prior to opening his private practice, Sommers served as a law clerk for the late Judge David Huff in the Third District Court in Fallon. Sommers conducted legal research and drafted bench memorandums for review and evaluation by the judge.
From 2005 to 2006, Sommers was a law clerk for the Federal Defender, District of Nevada in Las Vegas. He assisted staff attorneys with in-depth and complicated legal research and writing of appellate briefs to the Nevada Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Sommers attended the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 2003-2006, and he received his undergraduate degree in 2003 from Utah Valley University in Orem. He was valedictorian of his graduating class.