Retired Superior Court Judge Larry Card holds court in Juneau

Retired Alaska Superior Court Judge Larry D. Card listens to an attorney in Juneau Superior Court on Wednesday.

Juneau attorneys got a face-to-face glimpse of the man many have been meeting, well, face-to-face with their clients for years.


Retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Larry Card is a regular fixture on the instructive video shown to defendants when they are first arraigned in Juneau District and Superior Court.

“He looks and sounds the same,” one public defender said. “Your jaw drops. You keep thinking the clerk is going to come out and turn the video off.”

Card was serving as a Judge Pro Tempore, per Alaska Rules of Court Rule 23, which allows retired judges to be called to serve if demand is needed.

In the world of benches and gavels Card was the first black attorney appointed to the Alaska Superior Court in 1993. He served on the Alaska Judicial Council from 1993-2005.

Card was raised in a single-parent home in Kansas. His father died when Card was 8 years old and his mother had only a sixth-grade education. Card is a former Air Force captain and moved to Alaska in 1976 as an Air Force attorney assigned to defense work.

Card conducted criminal defense work and mixed civil practice prior to his appointment to the Superior Court.

“I think this says that poverty alone is not enough to stop you,” Card said in an interview with JET magazine after his appointment. “If you’re willing to work hard, you can do anything you want to.”

Before his retirement Card was evaluated twice for Judicial Retention by his peers, attorneys, peace officers, jurors and court employees and was described in the Good and Excellent categories.

While a judge Card was one of the most sought after by law students for internships to serve as his clerk.

“I enjoy teaching lawyers how to try cases and I take every opportunity to be on a faculty discussing trial practice,” Card once said. “Better trial lawyers means better justice, in the most efficient way.”

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at


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