Panel selects three for judge seat

Following a series of interviews on Saturday, a list of justice of the peace hopefuls has been narrowed down to three who will go before the Board of Supervisors next month.

The appointee will have to run for election in 2012.

The three candidates are:

• Thomas Armstrong, 37, served as a senior deputy district attorney in Carson City from 2001 to 2006. As a prosecutor he handled hundreds of felony matters including representing the state in many jury trials ranging from felony DUI to murder and was successful in securing maximum penalties and prison sentences for people convicted of drug dealing, drug trafficking, sex offenses and murder. In 2009 he was appointed a justice pro tem for Carson City handling both criminal and civil calendars, including preliminary hearing, temporary restraining orders, small claims, traffic and general criminal matters.

In 2007 he worked in the litigation department of Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario, where his primary practice areas were civil litigation and civil defense. He represented business owners and corporations in contract disputes and advises on local and state regulatory issues. In 2009, Armstrong went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney.

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, and University of Utah College of Law, Armstrong lives in Carson City with his wife Katie Miles and their 14-month-old daughter Natalia.

• Gerald Gardner, 46, is the assistant district attorney for Carson City, a position he has held since January 2007. Gardner's legal career began in 1991 with the Clark County District Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, where he served as a prosecutor for nearly nine years and tried approximately 40 jury trials to verdict. While serving on the Special Victims' Unit from 1998 to 2000, he prosecuted child homicide and sexual abuse cases exclusively.

In 2002 Gardner was appointed chief deputy attorney general for the Nevada Attorney General's Office, where he served as statewide chief of the criminal division, prosecuting public corruption, insurance fraud, and prison gang cases. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Gardner also served as regional chief of the Las Vegas Office of the Attorney General, overseeing the daily operations of a 130-person office. Gardner is a 1991 graduate of Cornell Law School, lives in Carson City with his wife of 11 years, Stephanie, and three children, ages 9, 7, and 2.

• Laurie Trotter, 45, has served as a deputy district attorney with the Douglas County District Attorney since 2008. Prior to that she served with the Carson City District Attorney's Office from October 2005 to July 2008. As a prosecutorm Trotter handled criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to felony kidnapping, robbery, child abuse and drug trafficking among many others. She also assisted in the preparation of search warrants and served as a special prosecutor in Lyon County in 2005/2006.

From August 2004 to October 2005, Trotter was a civil defense attorney with a Georgeson & and Angeran in Reno where she defended clients of insurance companies and personal injury law. She has practiced law in federal court, U.S. district court, the Eighth Judicial District Court, Ninth Judicial District Court and First Judicial District Court, Second Judicial, Third Judicial District Court.

She graduated in 2003 magna cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash., and served as a judicial law clerk for Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Shearing from August 2003 to August 2004.

Before attending law school, Trotter was an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington D.C.

Trotter lives in Carson City.


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