James R. Winchester

Score: 74%
James R. Winchester
Appointed by: Governor Frank Keating
Retention date: January 4, 2000

Justice James Winchester was appointed Jan. 4, 2000 as a member of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, the state's court of last resort for civil matters. A native of Clinton, Oklahoma, Justice Winchester received his bachelors of art from the University of Oklahoma and his juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University.

After graduating from law school, Justice Winchester practiced law in Weatherford and Hinton before being named Associate District Judge for Caddo County in Jan. 1983. In Dec. 1983, at age 30, Justice Winchester became one of the youngest district judges in the state when he was appointed as District Judge for the Sixth Judicial District of Oklahoma. During his tenure as a district judge, he tried more than 200 jury trials, ranging from fraud to first-degree murder death-penalty cases.

Justice Winchester was named Outstanding State Trial Court Judge by the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association in 1986 and served as an executive board member of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference from 1992 to 1996. He served as President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference in 1995.

Justice Winchester believes the children of this state are one of our most valuable assets and he established the second in-state program for Children Coping With Divorce to assist children during that difficult time.

From August 1997 to January 2000, Justice Winchester served as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge.

Justice Winchester is a member of the current Leadership Oklahoma class. He currently resides in Chickasha, Oklahoma with his wife, Rep. Susan Winchester and their son, Davis.