Superior Court Judges
Superior Court Judge James E. Hardin, Jr.
The Honorable James E. “Jim” Hardin, Jr.

The Honorable James E. Hardin, Jr. was born and educated in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Northern High School in 1975, from Duke University in 1979, from the Mercer University School of Law, in 1983, and obtained an LL.M. in Judicial Studies from the Duke University School of Law in 2014. Judge Hardin briefly worked in the private practice of law and later served in the Durham District Attorney's Office for nearly twenty years in various positions, including as the District Attorney and as an Assistant District Attorney. Upon being elected District Attorney for Durham in 1994, Mr. Hardin worked with multiple agencies and individuals to bring innovative specialty courts to our local justice system including: Teen Court, Drug Treatment Court, Community Life Court, and Domestic Violence Court. He effectively collaborated with other Judicial District leaders to create the felony case management system for Durham, a system which was ultimately adopted as the model for our state. In 2005 Judge Hardin was appointed as a Special Superior Court Judge and was then elected as a Resident Superior Court Judge in 2010. Among his civilian awards, Judge Hardin was selected as a Lawyers Weekly USA Top Ten Lawyer of the Year in 2003, as one of the N.C. Jaycees Five Outstanding Young North Carolinians of 1996, and honored with the Durham Jaycees Distinguished Service Award of 1996.

Judge Jim Hardin has also served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve, being commissioned in 1988 as a Judge Advocate. Since commissioning, Judge Hardin has served in numerous positions of significant responsibility with multiple major commands with the U.S. Army and Army Reserve including a mobilization with XVIII Airborne Corps during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, a deployment with Third Army, U.S. Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as a Military Judge for six years, with his career culminating as the Chief Trial Judge of the U.S. Army Reserve. After having served for nearly twenty-nine years, Judge Hardin retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Colonel. Among his numerous military awards are the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Star Device, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Basic Parachutist Badge.