Durham County Superior Court Judge A. Leon Stanback is retiring, and Gov. Bev Perdue is giving his post to Jim Hardin, already serving as a “special” Superior Court judge. Hardin will always be remembered as the district attorney in the Michael Peterson murder case. (And as the one who’d left office by the time the Duke lacrosse case came along.)

From Perdue’s press office:

Gov. Bev Perdue today appointed Special Superior Court Judge James (Jim) E. Hardin Jr. as a Resident Superior Court Judge for the 14B Judicial District covering Durham County. Hardin will fill the unexpired term created by the resignation of Judge A. Leon Stanback on Sept. 1, 2009 after serving 20 years on the bench.

“Jim Hardin’s nearly two decades as a prosecutor and two terms as a Special Superior Court Judge has prepared him to accept the responsibilities of a Resident Superior Court Judge,” Perdue said. “I am confident that he will serve the citizens of Durham County well.”

Hardin has worked in various capacities in the Office of the District Attorney for the 14th Prosecutorial District for almost 20 years, including 11 years as District Attorney. He currently serves in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, as Commander of the 12th Legal Support Organization of the United States Army Reserve, holding the rank of colonel. He is active in numerous civic organizations in his community.

Hardin received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1979 and his law degree from Mercer University in 1983.