Honorable Thomas P. Nugent (Retired)


Judge Nugent was appointed to the San Diego County Superior Court in 1998. For the first 15 years, he served in the capacity of an independent calendar judge, responsible for civil lawsuits from filing to resolution.

In his final two years, he assumed responsibility for a department engaged exclusively in conducting settlement conferences. The length of the hearings varied with the complexity of the case and the issues covered all phases of civil law.

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Nugent was the founding partner in one of San Diego’s oldest and most prestigious law firms, Haskins, Nugent, Newnham & Kane, where he practiced primarily as a litigator handling a wide variety of civil and criminal matters.

In private practice, he appeared before the Securities Exchange Commission as well as administrative agencies such as the Board of Medical Quality Assurance and the New Mexico State Racing Commission. As an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association, he served as chair of the bar’s Ethics Committee as well as the Indigent Criminal Defense Program.

While both on the bench and in private practice, Judge Nugent was involved in a variety of complex business matters including insurance, real estate and contract disputes, as well as professional liability, employment and personal injury cases. He has been approved by the court to handle California Environmental Quality Act litigation (CEQA).

Judge Nugent, who most recently was recognized by San Diego Metro Magazine as one of the “Top 20 Men Who Make a Difference in San Diego,” has chaired a variety of programs for the San Diego County Bar Association, Continuing Education of the Bar and various judicial conferences. In his last year on the bench, he served as chair for the San Diego County Superior Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He has also served as a faculty member for the San Diego Inn of Court. He completed a seminar offered through the court in mediation from the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Judge Nugent proudly served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.



  • University of Pennsylvania, J.D. (University of Pennsylvania School of Law)
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.S. Economics (Wharton School of Economics)
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