The Honorable J. James McKenna currently holds an of counsel position with ASM. Judge McKenna has made invaluable contributions to the legal field over the course of more than forty years practicing in both the public and private sectors. He began his legal career in 1965 serving with the Corporation Counsel in Washington, D.C, before joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he served as an Assistant United States Attorney. Judge McKenna spent a year practicing privately prior to returning to the public domain as Assistant to the Deputy States Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, eventually earning the title of Deputy States Attorney. He then headed the Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County, Maryland, leading a team of eight attorneys.
From there Judge McKenna moved back to the private sector, where he built and maintained a successful personal injury and criminal law practice until he was appointed to the bench by Maryland governor Harry R. Hughes in 1986. Judge McKenna served as a Circuit Court Judge for Montgomery County, Maryland for the next 13 years before retiring in 1999.
Judge McKenna has served as President of the Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyers and Member of the Board of Trustees for the Office of the Public Defender in Maryland. He is also a founding member of the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice and has memberships to the Executive Board of the Maryland Trial Attorneys Association, the Barristers (DC), and the Lawyers Club (DC). Judge McKenna holds a Bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University and a Law degree from the Georgetown Law Center, where he has since returned to teach as an adjunct professor. He has also served in the United States Marine Corps and the U.S. Army.
Since retiring Judge McKenna has served as both a mediator and arbitrator in a wide array of legal matters. He along with his wife Lois are also part owners of the family owned Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, in Dickerson, Maryland, where on any given Saturday you are likely to find him giving a tour of the family’s award winning wines.