Judge of the Circuit Court

Mary James photo


  • Occupation: Judge, Marion County Circuit Court since 2003.

    Occupational Background: Judge; lawyer in public and private practice for 22 years. As a young woman, Judge James worked as a waitress, factory worker, cashier, and sports reporter.

    Educational Background: B.S. (Honors), Business Administration, Portland State University; J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School; Strauss Institute (Pepperdine Law School) Mediation Certificate; National Judicial College.

    Prior Governmental Experience: Hearings officer; Special Counsel, Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability; Assistant Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice; Special Prosecutor, Washington County District Attorney.

    Personal Background: Raised in Oregon, Judge James and her husband have been Salem residents for 24 years. Community leader (Rotary Club of Salem, Boys and Girls Club, Liberty House, Humane Society, Marion County Bar Assn, Marion-Polk Food Share, Campaign for Equal Justice, State Police Foundation; Pentacle Theater, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Elsinore Theater, Family Building Blocks, YWCA, Queen of Peace Church.)

    Dear Citizens of Marion County:

    It is a great honor and privilege to serve as your circuit court judge. I have worked diligently to live up to that honor and have dedicated myself to the fair and impartial administration of justice based solely on the principle of law. Each case that comes before a trial judge is unique, and I work hard to treat all participants fairly and to issue timely decisions.

    As circuit judge, I have:

    Organized my court docket to ensure timely trials and hearings;

    Taken the time to explain court proceedings that may not be transparent to jurors and parties;

    Presided over mental health court to help offenders overcome special challenges, reduce costs and save lives;

    Sentenced criminals to protect public safety, rehabilitate through appropriate programs, and decrease repeat offenses.

    I appreciate the trust voters placed in me when you elected me in 2004, and ask for your vote in support of my re-election so I can continue this important work.


    Mary Mertens James

    (This information furnished by Mary Mertens James.)

Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722