Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004 | 3:27 a.m.
Family Court Judge Gerald W. Hardcastle faces three challengers for his Department D seat.
His opponents for the six-year post that pays $130,000 a year are attorneys Vicki Carlton, Elizabeth Halverson and M. Lauren Lok.
Hardcastle, 58, has served as a Juvenile and Family Court judge for 12 years and has practiced law locally for 19 years.
Hardcastle, who has a law degree from the University of Utah, started the Children Cope with Divorce parent education program and the Truancy Court Diversion Project to address students skipping middle school classes.
He is a past recipient of several awards, including Nevada Youth Care Providers Humanitarian of the Year Award. He is running on a platform of continuing to develop programs to better assist families and children and move cases efficiently through the busy Family Court calendar.
Carlton, 46, a Clark High School graduate who has a bachelor of arts in political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a law degree from Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles, has served as law clerk to former U.S. Magistrate Philip Pro, who is now a federal judge.
She also has been law clerk to former District Judge Michael Douglas, who is now a Nevada Supreme Court justice. A sole practitioner for seven years, Carlton has concentrated primarily on family and criminal law.
Carlton said her goals are "to restore and respect litigants' constitutional rights, including due process guarantees of reasonable notice and fair opportunity for hearing."
Halverson, 47, who earned her law degree at the University of Southern California Law Center, is making her first run at public office.
"I have worked with 26 different judges assisting them in writing decisions, research and other tasks," said Halverson, who has taught classes in tax law to Internal Revenue Service auditors and has had a solo private practice.
Lok, 33, a local attorney, graduated from Duke University School of Law and worked in the district attorney's family support division for three years before starting her own practice. In her private practice she handles many family court cases, she said.
"I'm very familiar with this area of law," she said.