Judge Hit By Vehicle Near Courthouse

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Larry Hicks, a highly regarded U.S. District Judge in Nevada, passed away following a vehicular accident near Reno’s federal courthouse. Hicks was 80 years old.

According to the Reno Police Department, the vehicle-pedestrian collision occurred at around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. After the accident, Hicks was rushed to the hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries. The driver involved stayed on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Preliminary findings suggest that impairment was not a factor in the tragic event.

Appointed to his position by former President George W. Bush in 2001, Judge Hicks had a distinguished service record in Nevada, spanning more than two decades. His significant contributions to the legal profession earned him wide respect.

Born in Evanston, Ohio, Hicks relocated to Reno, Nevada from Los Angeles when he was 13 years old. A graduate of Reno High School, he was the first in his family to attend college, studying at the University of Nevada, Reno. Hicks was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and later received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Hicks’ legal career started in the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office in 1968. He was elected as the Washoe County district attorney in 1975, serving until 1979 before joining a well-known Nevada law firm. Hicks was deeply committed to justice, and his impact on the community was substantial.

Reacting to Hicks’ death, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo noted, “The entire state is mourning the loss of a man with unmatched professional integrity.” The passing of Hicks leaves a significant gap in both Reno and Nevada’s broader legal community.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office honored Hicks’ memory, with Sheriff Darin Balaam recalling the judge’s dedication to his family and community. “Judge Hicks, despite his numerous achievements, once said, ‘My greatest thrill in life is my family.’ He lived by a philosophy that emphasized balancing family, work, and self,” Balaam stated.

A statement issued by Hicks’ family through the District Attorney’s Office highlighted his commitment to family and community: “Judge Larry Hicks was highly respected as a lawyer and judge, a loyal friend, mentor, and dedicated to justice. For us, he was, above all, a man who prioritized family. He was a hero in every sense, a loving husband of nearly 59 years, a devoted father, a cherished grandfather, and a brother. His loss is immeasurable.”

During his tenure, Hicks oversaw many high-profile cases, including environmental disputes and political corruption trials. His notable cases included the sentencing of Nevada lobbyist Harvey Whittemore for illegal contributions to U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s 2007 campaign. Hicks also adjudicated various conservationist challenges to federal land management decisions in Nevada, often deferring to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s expertise.

In recognition of his eminent career, Hicks received the Presidential Award from the State Bar of Nevada in 2020. His son, Chris Hicks, the current Washoe County District Attorney, lauded his father, saying, “Congratulations, Dad. No one is more deserving! Thank you for being an incredible father, mentor, and lawyer.”

According to Reno Police Chief Kathryn Nance, “Judge Hicks’ death is a tragedy that will leave a lasting impact on our lives.” To honor Hicks, flags at federal courthouses across Nevada were flown at half-staff.

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