Former judge dies at 90


Whether in the courtroom or the living room, D. Francis Horsey was committed and considerate.

"Everything my father did was to provide for me and my sister and my mom. He lived his life through his family," said Debbie Thompson, Horsey's daughter. "He was a very fair and honest man, and everyone admired him."

Horsey, who died Sunday at age 90, was a municipal judge in Las Vegas for more than 20 years. Even after hanging up his robe as a full-time judge in 1985, the city asked whether he would be an alternate judge, and he accepted.

"People nowadays are easily swayed by money and prestige, but he didn't care about any of that," Thompson said. "His heart lied with the law, and he knew the law very well."

Horsey, born in Pioche on July 19, 1917, moved to the Las Vegas area in 1922. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School and started his private practice in Las Vegas in 1948. He began serving as a part-time municipal judge in 1961.

"He took his work seriously," said George Foley, 86, who knew Horsey from childhood. "He was a hard worker and always a good friend."

Foley, a Las Vegas lawyer, was in Horsey's courtroom many times during his career.

"His private conduct never interfered with his work," Foley said. "He always honored his position."

In 1973, Horsey lost re-election to Seymore Brown. But Horsey was appointed in 1975 as judge of a newly formed Municipal Court.

Horsey helped make the court more efficient by using computers on traffic citations and violations. He was one of the longest active members of the Nevada State Bar.

 

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