James K. Bredar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Kelleher Bredar
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Assumed office
December 17, 2010
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by J. Frederick Motz
Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
In office
1998 – December 17, 2010
Personal details
Born James Kelleher Bredar
1957 (age 59–60)
Omaha, Nebraska
Education Harvard College B.A.
Georgetown University Law Center J.D.

James Kelleher Bredar (born 1957) serves as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, a position he has held since 2010. He previously served for 12 years as a United States Magistrate Judge in the same district.

Early life and education[edit]

Bredar was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1957, and he was raised in Denver, Colorado where he attended parochial and public schools. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 from Harvard College and a Juris Doctor degree in 1982 from the Georgetown University Law Center. From 1981 until 1982 he was a Visiting Student at the Yale Law School.[1]


Bredar clerked for Judge Richard P. Matsch of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He next served as a Deputy District Attorney in Moffat County, Colorado (1984–1985), and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado (1985-1989). He later served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the District of Colorado (1989–1991). During 1991 and 1992, Bredar served as a project director for the Vera Institute of Justice, a research organization based in New York. Bredar served in London, England. Bredar served as the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland (1992–1998).[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Bredar served as a United States Magistrate Judge from 1998 until 2010. On April 21, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Bredar to become United States District Judge for the District of Maryland.[2] His nomination was approved by the full Senate of the 111th United States Congress on December 16, 2010.[3][4] He received his commission on December 17, 2010 and was sworn in on December 22, 2010.[1]

Notable cases[edit]

In October 2013, Judge Bredar was dealing with a large and complex case related to numerous defendants in a marijuana drug-sale network. He held a hearing to review federal and state policies related to prosecution and sentencing of convictions for marijuana use, sales and distribution. He noted the legalization of marijuana in 25 states and the District of Columbia for medical and personal use (in some states).

He also noted that "marijuana legal reforms and developments at the state and federal level now called for imposing below-guideline sentences for federal marijuana offenses. ... Judge Bredar handed down a 12-page opinion in US v. Dayi, No. JKB-13-0013 (D. Md. Nov. 1, 2013) [(See External link below)] explaining his views and thinking on this front."[5] He believes that marijuana legalization in various states and federal policy related to prosecution were reasons to give a downward variance of two levels from the recommendations in the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines in the cases before him of persons convicted of federal marijuana crimes. He explained that the court had a responsibility both to address the seriousness of the crime and to try to achieve parity in sentencing.[5]

Judge Bredar has become known for his insistence that attorneys use Bluebook citation style in motions.[6]

In April 2017, Judge Bredar approved the consent decree signed by the Mayor of Baltimore, the Baltimore Police Department, and former acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for major reform in the police department. Negotiation of the decree had followed a thorough investigation by the Department of Justice of the police department, as requested by the city in 2015. Bredar denied a request by the new U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to postpone signing for 30 days in order to give the new administration time to review the decree; he said the court was satisfied with it and it was time to get changes underway.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c "Bredar, James Kelleher - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov. 
  2. ^ "President Obama Names Five to the United States District Court". White House Office of the Press Secretary. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Phillip, Abby (16 December 2010). "Senate confirms judicial nominees". Politico. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Pres. Nom. 1653, 111th Cong. (2010).
  5. ^ a b Berman, Douglas (4 November 2013). "Sentencing judge explains his view on how nationwide reforms should impact federal marijuana sentencing". Sentencing Law and Policy Blog. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  6. ^ David Lat (20 August 2016). "Benchslap Of The Day: Don’t You Dare Put Citations In The Footnotes". Above the Law (website). Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Kevin Rector, "Federal judge approves Baltimore policing consent decree, denying Justice Department request for delay", Baltimore Sun, 07 April 2017; accessed 22 April 2017
  8. ^ Victor, Daniel (8 April 2017). "Judge Approves Consent Decree to Overhaul Baltimore Police Dept.". The New York Times. p. A18. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
J. Frederick Motz
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland