James R. Winchester
James Winchester is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 and judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 who is current serving as Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Oklahoma Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma is one of the two highest judicial bodies in the U.S. state of Oklahoma and leads the Oklahoma Court System, the judicial branch of the government of Oklahoma....


Early life

Born in Clinton, Oklahoma
Clinton, Oklahoma
Clinton is a city in Custer and Washita counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 9,033 at the 2010 census.-History:The community began in 1899 when two men, J.L. Avant and E.E...

 in 1953, Winchester received his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from the University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is a coeducational public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. the university had 29,931 students enrolled, most located at its...

 and his Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 from Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City University, often referred to as OCU, is a coeducational, urban, private university historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church...

. After graduating from law school, Winchester practiced law in Weatherford, Oklahoma
Weatherford, Oklahoma
Weatherford is a city in Custer County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 10,833 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Weatherford is located at , elevation 1,647 feet ....

, and Hinton, Oklahoma
Hinton, Oklahoma
Hinton is a town in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 2,175 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Hinton is located at , elevation 1,676 feet ....

, before being named Associate District Judge for Caddo County, Oklahoma
Caddo County, Oklahoma
Caddo County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population was 30,150. Its county seat is Anadarko. It is named after the Caddo tribe who were settled here on the 1870s...

 in January 1983. In December 1983, at age 30, 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.

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 also served as President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference in 1995. From August 1997 to January 2000, Winchester served as a United States Administrative Law Judge. While in these positions, he established the second in-state program for Children Coping With Divorce to assist children during difficult times.

Supreme Court

Governor of Oklahoma
Governor of Oklahoma
The governor of the state of Oklahoma is the head of state for the state of Oklahoma, United States. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Oklahoma executive branch, of the government of Oklahoma...

 Frank Keating
Frank Keating
Francis Anthony "Frank" Keating is an American politician from Oklahoma. Keating served as the 25th Governor of Oklahoma. His first term began in 1995 and ended in 1999...

 appointed Winchester to the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Oklahoma Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma is one of the two highest judicial bodies in the U.S. state of Oklahoma and leads the Oklahoma Court System, the judicial branch of the government of Oklahoma....

 on January 4, 2000. In 2007, the eight other Justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court elected him to serve a two year term as Chief Justice of Oklahoma.

Personal life

Winchester currently resides in Chickasha, Oklahoma
Chickasha, Oklahoma
Chickasha is a city in and the county seat, business and employment center of Grady County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 15,850 at the 2000 census. Chickasha is home to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and hosts an annual Festival of Light celebration located at...

, with his wife, State Representative
Oklahoma House of Representatives
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oklahoma Legislature, the legislative body of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members are responsible for introducing and voting on bills and resolutions, providing legislative oversight for state agencies, and helping to craft the...

 Susan Winchester
Susan Winchester
Susan Winchester was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives to represent District 47 in 1998 where she served until 2008. She was elected Whip for the Republican Caucus after her first term, and in 2005 became the first woman to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in...

and their son, Davis.
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