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Candidate: District Court;

District 30; Division 3

Counties:  Jefferson

Official Website:

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Candidate Statement

Former Judge JAMES MICHAEL GREEN has an extensive professional work history in the Jefferson County Court System. From 1990 to 1993, Judge Green served as a District Court Judge. Judge Green served as a Family Court Judge from 1993 to 2000 when he returned to the District Court Bench where he served well until 2003. During this period, Green was also the presiding Judge in the newly-established Juvenile Drug Court. Since leaving the Bench in 2003, Judge Green has been in private practice.

Judge Green has been a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges from 1993 to 2000 and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Brandeis School of Law from 1997 to 1999. Judge Green has educated many Judges throughout the U.S. for the National Judicial College as well as taught at the annual State Judicial College for the Commonwealth of Kentucky's judges and has presented at countless seminars concerning permanency planning for children throughout the country during his career.

Judge Green received his undergraduate degree from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky where he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Centre College Alumni Association. He earned his law degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Judge Green is the current Chair of the Kentucky Coordination with the Professional Community Committee and serves as a mentor/monitor for the Kentucky Lawyers Assistance Program of the Kentucky Bar Association, which serves mentally or chemically impaired lawyers. Former Judge James Michael Green has been, and will continue to be, an asset to the State Judiciary and the citizens of Jefferson County.



1. In your career, have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and wished you had handled a case or legal issue differently? Describe the situation and any lessons you learned from the experience.


I’ve often wondered if I should have handled things differently. In 35 years one gets many opportunities to second-guess.  



2. Give an example of a circumstance where you faced an ethical dilemma or problem and explain how you solved it.


Many times I’ve been presented with a situation where a litigant thought they knew me or otherwise interacted with me. Each time I would fully disclose, then recuse, and trade the case with another Judge. 


3. What do you believe are the most important qualities of a judge, and how has your professional background and life experience helped you develop those qualities?


Patience, Empathy, Understanding, and Humility. With more than 13 years as a District Court Judge, more than 7 and a half years in Family Court, I have heard, and learned from, many folks regarding many things. Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom, I think.


4. As a potential judge, what do you consider to be your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?


Greatest strength: empathy; Greatest weakness: same thing. Empathy. 



5. What or who are the major influences in your life and why?


Judge Richard FitzGerald and Judge Dan Schneider; Reverend Lee Whitlock and Rolf Proven regarding spirituality; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sir Walter Scott, Emmet Fox, to name a few. They teach wisdom. 


6. Have you witnessed any particular injustices inside or outside the courtroom and how did you respond to those circumstances? How will you respond to similar circumstances as a judge?

I’m an umpire. I call balls and strikes. I make people play by the rules - even rules I do not like. I do not make the rules, but my job is to assure the rules do not conflict with the the authority document - the Constitution.  


7. Who are your judicial role models and why?

Judge Richard FitzGerald, Federal Judge Charles Allen, Justice John Marshall Harlan among many others. They were thinking Judges with vision beyond their time.  


8. Describe a circumstance where you took a difficult or controversial position and how you handled it.


I ruled the Implied Consent Warning was illegal as applied to DUI 1st offenders. I held the New Kids on the Block Donny Wahlberg hearing at 7pm for safety reasons. I co-authored KRS 620 as well as the current Domestic Violence Law. I ran a Juvenile Drug Court when there was no specific authority.

9. How would you describe your general judicial philosophy? 

I try to find a balance between justice and mercy while understanding relativity of perspective and perception.  


10. What are some of the most significant challenges facing Kentucky's judicial system and how do you propose to address them?


Jail over-crowding and the Opioid Crisis are the most glaring current challenges. Alternative sentencing and conditions of bail coupled with treatment-centered probation are most necessary. I would like to do away with the necessity of jury trial in all Disability cases. I also intend to increase awareness of Casey’s Law and make resources both more visible and more available.


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