...a sixth-generation El Pasoan who is deeply rooted in the city he calls home.
He attended schools in the Socorro Independent School District and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 37, where he then became an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Americas High School, and went to receive degrees in political science and law from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While in school, James was a classified information management analyst for the U.S. State Department.
James returned to his hometown of El Paso, immediately after graduating from law school. From 2013 to 2020, he served as an assistant district attorney at the DA’s Office, specializing in high-stakes cases in the Special Crimes Unit. He handled over 100 homicide cases, including the 2019 Walmart massacre and murder of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter J. Herrera.During this time, he showcased his expertise by training and assisting fellow prosecutors on understanding investigatory tools and methods in conjunction with how to present them persuasively and correctly in trial. He was also on-call 24/7 to provide legal assistance to homicide investigators with the El Paso Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2021, James responded to a nation-wide call by the Department of Justice to handle the increase of federal crime cases after the US Supreme Court recognized significant portions of Oklahoma as Indian land. There he served as an assistant United States attorney, prosecuting violent offenses within tribal nations and collaborating with various law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of those residing on tribal lands.
James returned to El Paso and has been a senior public defender for El Paso County since 2022, representing low-income members of our community who are accused of serious felony offenses. His unexpected journey into criminal defense has reinforced his belief in the necessity of mercy for true justice to prevail.
James has dedicated his career to public service and regularly gives back to our community even outside of work. He serves on the Horizon Economic Development Board, and the Board of the Yucca Council of the Boy Scouts of America. James has volunteered as a commissioner for El Paso County Emergency Services District #1 and the City of El Paso Charter Advisory Committee.
As a former mock trial participant, James has been a dedicated coach to area students. He hopes to continue this throughout his career to inspire future generations of justice seekers.
With a career spanning state and federal prosecution to criminal defense, James has personally tried 65 jury trials, half of which involved murders. He’s committed to public service and continue to make a positive impact on the El Paso community.
Join James in the Pursuit of Justice