Name: Tom Stockard
Address: P.O. Box 2155 Fallon, NV 89407
Phone number and campaign Web site:
(775) 427-1814 http://WWW.STOCKARD4JUDGE.COM
Education: B.A. Brigham Young University Spanish, J.D. J. Rueben Clark Law School
Political experience: This is my first political campaign
Please write a short biography of yourself (This answer may be up to 200
words; you might include such things as birthplace, career, community
involvement, family, etc.):
Tom Stockard is the Chief Deputy District Attorney of Churchill County, Nevada. He has served in this position for ten years.
Tom has a wide range of legal experience, having both prosecuted and defended criminal cases at all levels. Before coming to the District Attorney’s Office, Tom had an active civil trial practice including medical malpractice, personal injury and complex civil litigation cases. Tom has also represented clients in many divorce cases involving child custody, pension disputes, and the division of community property. He has also participated in over 75 mediation cases during his legal career.
Tom is active with the State Bar of Nevada, and is one of only three attorneys in the state that serve, along with the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, as permanent members of the Nevada Judicial Selection Commission.
Fluent in Spanish, Tom has frequently provided pro-bono assistance to Spanish speaking indigent clients. He has also served on the Board of Directors of New Frontier Treatment Center and is a member of the Western Regional Drug Court Advisory Team.
Tom and his wife Julie live in Fallon. The have been married for 18 years and are the parents of four children.
Why do you believe voters should select you rather than your opponent as
district court judge?
I have a wide range of my legal experience. Before coming to the District Attorney’s office, I handled a wide range of civil and family law cases. These cases included complex civil litigation involving wrongful death and serious injury. As Chief Deputy District Attorney, I have successfully prosecuted all levels of criminal cases including murder, drug trafficking, sexual assault and child pornography. I have successfully represented clients on appeals to the Nevada Supreme Court. I have been endorsed by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department Employee’s Association as the most qualified candidate for District Court Judge, Department Three.
What changes would you make if you were elected?
My primary goal would be to increase the access to justice of all people in Lyon and Churchill Counties. I would immediately work to eliminate the backlog of cases, so that we don’t run into the situation where “justice delayed is justice denied”. This may require longer hours for the Court and allowing trials and hearings on more days then the current schedule provides.
Should judges be given more discretion than allowed by current law in
imposing sentences? Why?
Current law allows judges discretion at sentencing. For example, a burglary defendant faces a sentencing range of 1-10 years in prison. A judge has the discretion to sentence within that range, with minimum and maximum sentences. With very few exceptions, the law further allows a judge the discretion to suspend that sentence and place the defendant on probation with specific conditions. If the crime is drug related, a judge can also place the Defendant in the Drug Court program where the defendant would be closely monitored and tested. The key is for judges to use that discretion wisely.
What criteria would you use for deciding whether to impose or affirm
sentences outside of standard ranges?
There are no instances in which I would impose a sentence outside of the range provided for by law. I will always impose a sentence within the range set forth in the law. The overriding consideration of where within that range a defendant is sentenced will be the safety of the community.
The criteria which I would consider includes but is not limited to the defendant’s criminal history, whether the crime was violent in nature, whether the defendant has a history of drug abuse. I will always take into consideration the impact the crime had on the victim.
Would the reality of prison overcrowding play a role in how you sentence
As a sentencing judge if, after weighing all the facts and circumstances, I believe that the public needs to be protected from a defendant, I will discharge what I consider my primary duty and protect the public by sentencing the defendant to prison. As for non-violent criminals, the law is providing more options for the sentencing judge, with programs such as drug court.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your legal career?
I have been an attorney for over 15 years, during that time, I have always strongly represented my client’s interests. I am proudest that I have done this with honesty and integrity. I invite voters to contact attorneys with whom I have done cases and ask them about me. The quality and depth of my legal experience has been recognized by the readers of the Lahontan Valley News, who voted me best Attorney, and by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Employees Association, who have endorsed me as the best candidate for District Court Judge, Department Three.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your personal life?
In my personal life, my greatest accomplishment is my family. I have been married to Julie for 19 years. We are the proud parents of four children. My boys Tommy 16, and Ryan 12 are active in football, baseball and boy scouts. My daughters Lauren 14 and Alyssa 10 are active in ballet, jazz, swing dancing and both play musical instruments. My wife Julie, who teaches fifth grade, and I, are both involved in a wide range of community activities.
What is your general judicial philosophy? What things would you emphasize if
elected to the bench?
I would characterize myself as a judicial conservative. I believe that judges should apply and not make the law.
If elected, my primary goal would be to increase the access to justice to all members of our community. This includes making trial and hearing dates available sooner than the court is currently doing. It also involves making sure that people representing themselves have the resources necessary to have access to the justice system.
What else would you like to say to voters about your qualifications and
I appreciate the opportunity that the Nevada Appeal has given me to set forth my qualifications and judicial philosophy to the voters of Lyon County. If elected, it would be my honor to serve you.