Meet Pete


Pete Hardin

A former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators, Pete Hardin is running to enhance safety, heal victims, and to restore integrity and professionalism to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Pete’s father, an Army soldier who later became a bankruptcy judge, and his mother, a former school teacher, instilled in him the values that guided them: selfless leadership, integrity, courage, respect, and compassion. Pete’s parents taught him that being an attorney isn’t just a job, it’s a profession — one that should be treated with dignity and respect by its practitioners; and that commitment and service to one’s community and family is an imperative.

Pete was called to a career in public service and, in 2005, earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. In garrison, he was lead counsel in courts-martial and administrative separation hearings. Pete achieved the rank of Captain and ran the prosecution office for the largest command in the Marine Corps. Pete’s greatest honor throughout his Marine Corps career was serving with fellow warriors who pushed him beyond his limits, supported him through triumph and hardship, and taught him what servant leadership really means.

Pete remained in public service after leaving active duty. The work ethic he developed and the leadership lessons he learned in the military helped Pete excel as a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Deputy District Attorney, Pete worked with and advised law enforcement officers from various Orange County municipalities, the California Highway Patrol, and toxicology experts. As a federal prosecutor, he worked with and advised law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Secret Service; Department of State; Department of Homeland Security; Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Postal Inspection Service while prosecuting cases involving financial and government fraud, mail and wire fraud, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, and violent crimes.

After departing public service, Pete worked at two of the nation’s premier boutique litigation law firms before starting his own law practice. He has represented defendants, targets, and witnesses in federal and state criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions conducted by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, federal and California Environmental Protection Agency, and municipal police departments. Pete has conducted internal investigations of and represented companies and corporate officers; conducted in-depth research for and drafted litigates motions and pleadings; and prepared presentations for clients and federal and state prosecutors and investigators. He has worked with experts in toxicology, DNA, financial accounting, emotional and physical trauma, computer information extraction, and prison efficacy in preparation for trial and mitigation at sentencing.

Pete earned his Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University. During law school, he attended the demanding Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and served as a summer law clerk to the Honorable Judge James E. Baker, a former chief judge to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, DC. During his time in the military, Hardin graduated from the Navy Operational Law Training School, Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, and U.S. Army Airborne School. He earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal — ISAD Afghanistan, Expert Rifle Qualification Badge, and Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification Badge. 

Pete is devoted to his community and dedicates time to serve fellow veterans, civic and community organizations, and student extracurricular activities. As a father to Wyatt, age 8, Pete understands the need to provide an example of integrity to our children, and the challenges families face providing a safe environment for them to thrive.

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