Jim is a native Houstonian who graduated from University of Saint Thomas in 1972 and the University of Houston Bates College of Law in 1975.
He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney under Carol Vance. He also served under District Attorney Johnny Holmes, where he advanced to a district court chief.
Jim then moved to Belton, Texas where he served for four years as the first assistant district attorney in Bell and Lampasas counties.
He returned to Houston to practice criminal defense law for over twenty years. Jim also served as the first assistant district attorney to Patricia Lykos for four years and then served as general counsel to the Harris County Sheriff.
Jim has been Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Criminal Law continuously since 1983.
Jim also served in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he climbed the ranks from being an enlisted seaman recruit to commander and commanding officer before he retired from the service.