4 looking to replace District Judge James Bixler in Department 24

Four candidates, including a longtime personal injury lawyer, are vying to succeed retiring District Judge James Bixler in Department 24.

Jim Crockett, a State Bar of Nevada member for nearly 40 years, says becoming a judge has always been a career goal, and he believes his decades of experience would be an asset on the bench.

“I have found it gratifying helping people get their lives back together, and that has inspired me to take this next step,” Crockett says on his campaign website.

Crockett, namesake of the widely known law firm Crockett &Myers, has endorsements from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, Clark County Prosecutors Association and Professional Firefighters of Nevada.

Crockett says one of his biggest professional accomplishments has been obtaining a rare certification as a civil litigator by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

In 2006, he was named trial lawyer of the year by the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, now known as the Nevada Justice Association.

Crockett said he would like to see civil cases move through the court system more effectively to relieve the burden on judges and reduce costs to litigants.

“We need to focus attention on ways to get cases resolved and settled so people aren’t always leaving their fate in the hands of a trial,” he says.

Attorney Joe Hardy Jr., the son of Republican state Sen. Joe Hardy, shares that view.

“In the last few years, district courts have done a better job of speeding up the civil litigation process,” Hardy says.

A Brigham Young University law school graduate, Hardy says he was inspired to become a judge after working one summer while in law school for Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George.

“I believe in public service and giving back to the community,” says Hardy, a State Bar member since 2000.

Like Crockett, Hardy says he would bring experience to Department 24, which primarily was assigned civil cases under Bixler.

“You name the type of civil case, and I’ve handled it,” Hardy says.

An appointed board member of the Nevada Taxicab Authority since 2010, Hardy says he is backed by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Anthony Ashby, who has specialized in civil defense work, says Clark County is “above average” in moving along civil cases.

Ashby, a State Bar member since 1993, ran afoul of the lawyers organization a decade ago when he and his partner self-reported that they had not made a proper accounting of their firm’s trust account.

The Nevada Supreme Court in 2005 ordered a 90-day suspension of their law licenses, but stayed the punishment and put them on one year probation. They were ordered to take State Bar-approved courses aimed at improving their handling of legal funds coming into their office.

Perennial judicial candidate Tony Liker, once a professional football player, also has jumped into the race.

“I’m a hard worker,” says Liker, a former prosecutor who specializes in criminal, family and personal injury law. “I would be fair and give everybody a chance.”

Liker, a University of Oregon law school graduate, has been a State Bar member since 1992.

In 2005, Las Vegas police arrested him on allegations that he choked his roommate, but no criminal charges were filed.

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