James McMenis

James McMenis

Smackover resident and El Dorado attorney, James McMenis, has announced his candidacy for associate justice, position 5, on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

McMenis pointed to his small town south-central Arkansas common sense values; his training, education and experience as an attorney and in problem solving; his public service and his military/government experience as good reasons to consider supporting him or the Court of Appeals.

McMenis, a Gideon and 20-year military veteran, earned a master’s o military law degree from the Judge Advocate Generals School. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law and Ouachita Baptist University, as well as the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer Course. Ater military retirement, McMenis began deciding cases presented to the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

“While a Court o Appeals judge has statewide appellate jurisdiction, he or she is elected from local districts. I believe I a the right attorney with the energy and experience to as serve the District 5 associate judge,” McMenis wrote in a news release announcing his candidacy. “I am a seventh-generation Arkansan, with strong, deep, south central Arkansas roots and have learned from our people.”

McMenis said he learned about serving others from his parents. His family believed in service and exemplified a tradition of service to the community. They were all educators and church leaders in Union County. His father, Freeman McMenis, was a pastor and educator; his mother, Eleanor, was an educator in Union and Ouachita counties; as were his brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Kathy.

McMenis is a military veteran who service in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years. “I also learned about service and leadership while preparing or and pursuing a successful career in the U.S. Army in various leadership roles,” he said.

McMenis is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, where he served on the House of Delegates (tenured member) and various committees. He serves as president of the local Gideon Camp, as a judge advocate for the Roy Kinard American Legion Post 10, on the board of the directors of Families and Children Together, Inc. – Head Start and the Center for Legal Services and is a member of Lions International.

McMenis said his military decorations include the Alabama Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

His last 10 years were spent in the Department o Defense Level Forces Command, responsible or Land Defense of the Continental U.S., as well as military support to Civil Defense. He authored the legal annexes to that command’s concept of operations plan and served as the legal adviser to the Crises Action (Response) Team, which supported the military response for hurricane relief and the Los Angeles riots.

He also served as the executive for Reserve Affairs and formerly served as general counsel, Fort Drum, as well as other positions, including chief, legal assistance; chief, Personal Actions Division; chief, Training and Liaison Division; and assistant chief, Criminal Law Division.

“I believe I have the depth of experience, training and education to be effective as an appellate judge,” he said.