New judge appointed to Nevada County Superior Court

Yvette Durant will begin her duties Jan. 3. She will be assigned initially to the Truckee branch courthouse.
Kristie Pellegrino

Yvette Durant said she couldn’t sing after getting her bachelor’s degree in theater.

That led her to the law.

“I can’t carry a tune, so auditioning for graduate school was out of the question,” said Durant.

Durant will become he newest judge on the Nevada County Superior Court bench when she takes office on Jan. 3. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed her to take the place of Judge Robert Tamietti, who retired.

Durant began her legal career as an associate at Ashbaugh Beal from 1991 to 1993. She worked as an associate at Tonon and Associates in 1999, and as a sole practitioner from 1999 to 2011. Durant then served as the first female commissioner in Nevada County Superior Court. She became a judge in 2016, serving on the Sierra County Superior Court bench.

She is not registered with any political party.

Durant is originally from Reno, which is where she began her post-secondary education.

She began her education in the arts, where she earned her bachelor’s in theater from the University of Nevada in Reno. She then received her law degree from University of Washington School of Law.

Her father, an educator, inspired Durant to pursue law. She also said that she enjoyed writing, excelled on her LSAT, and received a scholarship to attend the University of Washington.

“Thus, law school made the most sense.” Durant said.

When she was appointed as commissioner to Nevada County Superior Court, she had to persevere with the job as her children were still very young while she worked 10 to 12 hour days.

As the first female commissioner in the court’s history, she said that some did not graciously accept seeing a woman with her title.

“I dealt with it by remaining professional, proving my competency and always trying to take the high road,” Durant said.

The judge also credits her ability to balance work and everyday life to her husband, who was very supportive and would bring her dinner on late work nights and coffee in the mornings.

The judge said that she is looking forward to her new job serving the people of Nevada County.

“I am excited to be back working with the other bench officers and our amazing court staff, and am so appreciative of all the support and well wishes I have had throughout the appointment process.” Durant said.

Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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