Jim was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Army and attained the rank of Major. He is admitted before the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, the United States Court of Military Appeals and the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
He has been recognized as an “Advocate” before the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Lafayette Parish Bar Association. He is an associate member of the Lafayette Board of Realtors and the Acadiana Mortgage Bankers Association.
Jim served as National President of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He was the National Vice President and Co-General Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He also served as Louisiana State President of WA, the State Judge Advocate and attorney for the American Legion, Department of Louisiana, Chairman of the Lafayette Committee for Services to the Elderly and Chronically Disadvantaged of the Mayor’s Task Force for Human Services for the Elderly, Vice President of the Lafayette Sertoma Club and Vice President of the Southwest Louisiana University of Notre Dame Club.
While serving as National President of the Vietnam Veterans of America he was selected to participate in a Presidential fact finding mission to Vietnam to assess the progress of Vietnam’s cooperation in resolving the POW/MIA issue. As a result, he began the highly successful Veteran’s Initiative, an exchange of information between American and Vietnamese Veterans concerning the losses on both sides during the Vietnam War. This program was credited as being the most important program developed by a veterans organization to help provide answers as to what happened to American Servicemen who were unaccounted for after the war. Veteran’s Initiative was also the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes television program.