After 10 years on the District Court bench and 32 exceptional years in public service, Judge David Barker retired on Jan. 6. Judge Barker has been a steadfast figure in the court. He served the past two years as chief judge and on the court executive committee since 2011.
During his term as Chief Judge, Judge Barker was known for his commitment to serving the public, for being an excellent steward of public funds, and making the most of technology to improve efficiency. He conceived and worked to develop the Courtfinder “app” that puts court dockets in the palm of users’ hands. Additionally, the court made the list of the Top-10 Court Technology Solutions, as named by the National Association for Court Management.
Judge Barker’s leadership and ability to promote collaboration can been seen in Project 48, which reduced criminal bind-overs from 10-15 days to 48 hours. The project had a direct impact on reducing the average number of days in jail and generated significant financial savings. Project 48 demonstrated an impressive cooperative effort that included the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices, Justice Court, District Court, and the Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers. Project 48 was selected by the National Association of Counties for their 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management.
Judge Barker began his public service career in 1984, when he was sworn in as a Clark County Deputy District Attorney and promoted in 1989 to Chief Deputy District Attorney supervising the Major Fraud Division. In that role, he worked in numerous divisions including, criminal track team chief, screening, and Grand Jury/financial crimes. In 1991, he left the District Attorney’s Office for private practice with the law firm of Bell and Davidson. He returned to the District Attorney’s Office in 1992.
In March 2007, Judge Barker was appointed to Department 18 of the Eighth Judicial District Court by Governor Jim Gibbons and ran unopposed in both 2008 and 2014. He has served impeccably as jurist in Department 18 and his regard for the Constitution and the justice system has been exemplary. He is highly respected, regarded as fair, balanced, ethical and committed. During his time on the bench, he valued respectful courtroom decorum, efficiency and courtesy.
Judge Barker has donated countless hours to the Bar and community as a member of the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board and as a coach with Nevada State Bar sponsored High School Mock Trial program. His efforts have served to open doors for many young people interested in law careers. Judge Barker’s unwavering commitment to his family, career and his country are an example for all. Through his honor, virtue, and compassion, he has been an exemplary inspiration to the justice community. His consistent presence and steadfast leadership will be greatly missed.