James Martin Fitzgerald

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James Martin Fitzgerald, ca. 2010.

James Martin Fitzgerald (October 7, 1920[1][2] – April 3, 2011[3][4][5]) was an American lawyer and judge. He served as an associate justice of the Alaska Supreme Court from 1972 to 1975, and resigned that position when he was appointed to a judgeship of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, remaining in that position until his retirement in 2006.

Born on October 7, 1920, in Portland, Oregon, Fitzgerald served in World War II as a U.S. Army Private, 1940–1941 and a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, 1942–1946. He attended Willamette University where he received a B.A. in 1950, followed by an LL.B. from Willamette University College of Law in 1951. Later, he went on to serve as an Assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Alaska, 1952–1956, City Attorney, Anchorage, Alaska, 1956–1959 legal counsel to the Governor of Alaska, 1959, and state commissioner of public safety, Alaska, 1959.

Fitzgerald served as a Judge of the Alaska Superior Court, Third District, from 1959 to 1972, serving as Presiding Judge from 1969 to 1972. He became a Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court in 1972, serving in that office until 1975.

On December 2, 1974, Fitzgerald was nominated by President Gerald Ford to be a Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, to a seat vacated by Raymond Eugene Plummer. Fitzgerald was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 18, 1974, and received his commission on December 20, 1974. He served as chief judge from 1984 to 1989 and assumed senior status on January 1, 1989.


  1. ^ Atwood, Evangeline; DeArmond, Robert N. (1977). Who's Who in Alaskan Politics. Portland: Binford & Mort for the Alaska Historical Commission. p. 30. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Elaine B., ed. (1973). "Alaska Court System". Alaska Blue Book (First ed.). Juneau: Alaska Department of Education, Division of State Libraries. p. 98. 
  3. ^ "R.I.P. Judge James M. Fitzgerald, 1920-2011" (https). Wickersham's Conscience. wordpress.com. April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "James Fitzgerald Obituary". Anchorage Daily News. legacy.com. April 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ Staff report (April 6, 2011). "Retired Alaska judge dies in California". Anchorage Daily News (Anchorage: The McClatchy Company). p. A7. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 

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