ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. District Court Judge James A. Parker, who served in New Mexico for more than three decades and a had a courtroom named after him, has died.
Parker died Friday at the age of 85, according to a statement from the U.S. District Court in New Mexico. A cause of death wasn't given.
Colleagues and friends remembered Parker for his work ethic, leadership, inspirational guidance and his ability to maintain a heavy case load.
“We were privileged to work with and know this exemplary man,” said the court's chief judge, William Johnson.
Parker worked for an Albuquerque law firm for 25 years before former President Ronald Reagan nominated him to serve as a U.S. District Court judge in 1987.
Parker remained on the federal bench for 35 years, one of the longest tenures of any federal judge in New Mexico, the statement read. A courtroom on the 6th floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Albuquerque was renamed in January to honor Parker.
Parker was born and raised in Houston. He had a mechanical engineering degree from Rice University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law where he graduated first in his class.
As a federal judge, Parker advocated for resolving disputes outside the courtroom. He also served on national boards and committees.
Carolyn Wolf, president of the State Bar of New Mexico, called Parker a “brilliant jurist” who was courteous to everyone who appeared before him.