Two new attorneys added to DA’s office |

Two new attorneys added to DA’s office

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Kate Johnson and Zach Young, the newest deputy district attorneys in Carson City, pose on the second floor of the courthouse.

A couple of new faces will be seen around the courthouse with the recent hire of two former Washoe County law clerks to deputy positions at the Carson City District Attorney’s Office.

Galena High School graduate Zach Young has known since he was a tyke that he wanted a career in law enforcement.

When he entered college in Santa Clara, Calif., he had ambitions of becoming a cop. But during his junior year, Young, 26, discovered law – prosecution, to be exact. On a partial scholarship, he studied at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

“I’ve wanted to prosecute since then. A lot of people come into this and move on to defense work, but this is where I want to be,” he said. “It’s probably been five or six years since I decided what I wanted to do, so to actually be doing it is just awesome.”

Young said his duties will start with drunken driving, traffic and other misdemeanor cases.

Like most people who finally realize their dream, Young is chomping at the bit to get at the nitty-gritty of law.

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“It’ll be fun to get into some felony cases,” he said.

Prior to taking the position about a month ago, Young was a clerk for Washoe County Judge Steven Zach. There he met fellow clerk Kate Johnson, who worked for Judge Peter Brine.

Two weeks ago, Johnson took an office two doors down from Young.

A 2004 University of San Francisco graduate, Johnson’s main focus will be domestic battery and sexual assault cases. Her position is funded in part by the Office of Justice Programs Stop Violence Against Women grant.

Law enforcement, especially the prosecution side of things, isn’t new to the Maine native – her father earned his living as a homicide detective.

“I’m jumping right in,” Johnson said. “I’m very excited about this job.”

Young and Johnson fill spots left vacant by the departure of Chris Ix, who took a job with the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, and Melissa Wither, who moved to California.

“Zach and Kate are both very bright and enthusiastic. It’s great to have them in the office. We are finally fully staffed. That hasn’t happened in over seven months,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer.

But not for long. Senior Deputy District Attorney Kristin Luis gave her month’s notice last week, announcing she has accepted a position as counsel for the Nevada Ethics Commission.

The office now has 11 deputy district attorneys to handle criminal prosecutions, enforcement of child support and all legal matters affecting Carson City government.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.