Home>Articles>Judge Hardy’s Personal And Business Relationships Raise Questions In Reno Mayor’s Tracking Lawsuit

Judge David Hardy (Photo: Washoe District Courts)

Judge Hardy’s Personal And Business Relationships Raise Questions In Reno Mayor’s Tracking Lawsuit

Judge Hardy’s relationship with Charles Woodman raises questions of judicial neutrality and impartiality

By Megan Barth, April 4, 2023 5:30 pm

The Globe has uncovered some information related to a case of “public interest” (according to headlines, bipartisan Nevada lawmakers and a discovery commissioner) that raises questions as to judicial impartiality and neutrality in a civil lawsuit that has come to be known as Trackergate.

The civil case involves Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, later joined by former Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, against a private investigator who placed tracking devices on their respective vehicles prior to the November 2022 midterm election. An investigative tactic that is legal under current Nevada statute. Although the lawsuit was filed against the private investigator, the plaintiffs’ lawyer admitted in a public statement that “We will aggressively seek to determine who hired the private investigators and will be amending our complaint to assert claims against them as well.”

As one judicial source told The Globe: “They are going for the Doe’s for the dough.”

Headlines used in Exhibit for AB 356. (Photo: Nevada Legislature)

In late January, Judge David Hardy granted subpoenas forcing Private Investigator David McNeely to identify who hired his firm to secretly install the tracking devices. It was an unusual ruling as McNeely had not yet secured a legal defense. Since that ruling, McNeely has retained Brian Hardy of Marqis Aurbach.

Atty. Hardy responded to the judge’s ruling and is “defending McNeely’s livelihood, his reputation, and protecting his trade secrets.” Atty. Hardy further contends that Mayor Schieve has filed the civil lawsuit for “the sole purpose of forcing our Clients to disclose the identity of their client.”

In February, Judge Hardy asked Discovery Commissioner Wesley Ayers to review the case and provide the court with his opinion on whether or not the client of the private investigator should be revealed. Ayers determined that the “Plaintiffs’ interest in the disclosure of that information, coupled with the public interest in disclosure of that information in this case, substantially outweigh any interest that Defendants have in withholding or delaying the disclosure of the identity of their client.”

Ayers decision further reveals that public influence is prevalent in this case, which, as one lawyer told The Globe, is good cause to file for a change of venue.

Public influence and Doe’s aside, Judge Hardy’s biography reveals personal and business relationships that raise questions as to whether or not he can preside over this case with neutrality and impartiality.

According to his bio:

Judge David Hardy is a fifth-generation Nevadan whose progenitors settled the Virgin Valley in the 1870s. He was appointed to the District Court, Family Division, in January, 2005, and elected without opposition to the General Jurisdiction Division in 2010. Judge Hardy was a partner in the Law Firm of Hardy & Woodman before his appointment to the bench.

Judge Hardy graduated from Brigham Young University, magna cum laude, and with honors from Brigham Young University Law School where he served as managing editor of the BYU Law Review. Judge Hardy earned a M.A. in Judicial Studies in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Judicial Studies in 2015. His M.A. and Ph.D. were conferred by the University of Nevada, Reno.

Based on Hardy’s personal ties and professional career in Reno, his connections in the “Biggest Little City” are vast, deep and wide.

One such connection is Charles Woodman.

Charles Woodman is the Woodman in the Law Firm of Hardy and Woodman. Judge Hardy and Charles Woodman were not only law partners at Hardy and Woodman, but developed a close friendship since meeting in law school at Brigham Young University (BYU). In a report by the Reno Gazette Journal, Woodman is referred to as a “long-time family friend” since meeting at BYU law school.

Their long-time family friendship has since developed into another business venture specializing in estate planning which lists their respective wives as managing members.

Harwood Enterprises LLC lists Woodman and Hardy’s wives as managing members. (Photo: bizpedia)

From this business address, political donations were made by Charles Woodman to Hillary Shieve’s mayoral campaign and to Governor Joe Lombardo’s campaign by David Hardy. Hardy and his wife also donated to Deborah Schumacher who was a former partner at the law firm, McDonald-Carano LLP, representing Mayor Schieve. Wesley Ayers also contributed to Schumacher’s campaign for the Nevada Supreme Court.

In 2016, Woodman ran for Municipal Court Judge in 2016 and is pictured below with Mayor Schieve. Mayor Schieve commented that she was “really proud of you, Charlie.”

Charles Woodman and Hillary Schieve in campaign photo posted by Woodman on Facebook (Photo: Charles Woodman on Facebook)

In another report by the Reno Gazette Journal, Mayor Schieve endorsed Woodman for Municipal Court Judge raising ethical questions regarding an endorsement video they had produced for his campaign.

RSJ reports on Hillary Schieve’s endorsement of Charles Woodman for Reno Municipal Court Judge (Photo: screenshot from article)

After his loss, Woodman thanked his supporters on his personal Facebook page. Mayor Schieve responded that she “loved him and his family to pieces.”

Mayor Schieve responds to Charlie Woodman on Facebook. (Photo: screenshot of Charlie Woodman’s Facebook page)

According to Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct:

Judges should maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.

Rule 2.4.  External Influences on Judicial Conduct.

      (A) A judge shall not be swayed by public clamor or fear of criticism.

      (B) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or other interests or relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment.

      (C) A judge shall not convey or permit others to convey the impression that any person or organization is in a position to influence the judge.

Due to the political spectacle surrounding this case, the pending legislation, the determination of public interest, and the extensive familial and business ties between Woodman and Judge Hardy, questions arise as to whether or not Washoe County is the appropriate venue for this case and whether or not Judge Hardy can ensure public confidence by remaining neutral and not be swayed by “public clamor” or family/business relationships with Charles Woodman that may influence his “judicial conduct or judgment.”

The Globe will continue to follow this interesting case and provide related updates.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Megan Barth
Spread the news:


3 thoughts on “Judge Hardy’s Personal And Business Relationships Raise Questions In Reno Mayor’s Tracking Lawsuit

  1. Judge David Hardy if investigated would be doing 50 years in prison. The Judge plans and schemes on how to best take over or steal a Trust while having beneficiaries incarcerated.
    I barely escaped being locked up. He did steal the money. he did steal the money.

  2. David Hardy uses Woodmana Law Firm for bribery payoffs. as of 2020, David Hardy and Charles Whitman still have a business license together in that law firm, which is illegal for a sitting judge, and there’s so much more.

  3. I the Respondent herein had a negative experience with Judge Hardy in a pending court case. He deprived me of my constitutional right to a fair and impartial trial based on a personal injury case as the result of an assault and battery by security guards at Western Village casino and resort. I am a senior citizen of 85 years of age now and was beat-up by the guards for having pulled my face mask below my nose to communicate on an emergency phone call during the COVID-19 pandemic. Defendants attorney filed a sham Motion for summary judgment without any evidentiary support and Judge Hardy’s judicial function was only to determine whether a triable issue of fact existed for a trial by jury. But instead Judge Hardy tried the case by motion without a trial where there were numerous triable issues of fact to be determined by a jury and not him. He knew the law but decided to commit malfeasance in public office to terminate a valid personal injury case where I had suffered physical and emotional injury to my body, and then deprived me of my civil rights by motion thus raising a Federal Question jurisdiction for Civil rights violations and a fraud being perpetuated on the court by Judge Harding. Judge Hardy was neither impartial, nor fair in the administration of justice and I find him an absolute disgrace to the Nevada judiciary by my own personal experience before him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *