March/April 2014
Retirement: Judge James M. Moody, Sr.

Judge James Maxwell Moody Sr. retired on March 7, 2014, after 18 years of service as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He stepped down a few days before his son, James “Jay” Maxwell Moody, Jr., was confirmed as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

James Moody was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, in 1940. He graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Man agement from the University of Arkansas in 1962, and while waiting to enter the U.S. Army, entered law school. He graduated with his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1964 and then served as an artillery officer in the Army from 1964 to 1966. Following his military service, he worked as a civil defense attorney at the Little Rock firm of Wright, Lindsey and Jennings, until his appointment to the federal bench in 1995. He handled cases primarily involving product liability, professional liability, torts and business.

In 1992, the Association of Defense Counsel named him Outstanding Defense Counsel, and he was listed in the business and personal injury litigation sections of “The Best Lawyers in America.” In 1999, the Arkansas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates awarded him its first “Civility Award.”

In 1995, Moody was appointed U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas by President Clinton, and he assumed senior status in 2008. As a jurist, lawyers in the Eastern District of Arkansas have considered him one of the fairest on the federal bench.