James Louis Robart is the incumbent Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, having assumed office on June 28, 2016. Formerly, James Robart was the Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (2004 – 2016).

Early Life and Education

James Robart was born on September 2, 1947 to the family of Standard Oil of California’s ship captain Victor Robart in Seattle, Washington. Raised in Shoreline, Washington, James went to Shoreline High School where he became an Eagle Scout. Completing high school education, James Robart joined Whitman College for an undergraduate degree. Later, he went on to do JD in Georgetown University Law Center.

Personal Life

Judge Robart is married to Mari Jalbing since 1980. They do not have their own children but remained foster parents for several years of life. As hobby, Robart likes fishing, reading biographies and wearing a bow tie.



Graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, James Robart joined Lane Powell Moss & Miller as a private law practitioner in Seattle. Working for the private law firm, Robart concentrated in civil litigation and even chaired the Litigation Department of the firm from 1992 to 1998. During the last two years of his career in private law practice, James Robart was a managing partner at Lane Powell Moss & Miller. During this period of three decades, Robart involved himself in several high-profile cases including Washington’s Initiative 695.

Wrapping up his 3-decade long service in private law practice, James Robart joined the US District Court for the Western District of Washington on June 21, 2004 after being approved by the Senate on June 17. Under this capacity, James Robart ruled against the City of Seattle in the ASF Inc v. City of Seattle case. Likewise, in 2011, he dismissed phone book companies’ lawsuit against Seattle. According to the lawsuit, the phone companies were appealing against allowing customers to cancel deliveries. Similarly, he also handled Microsoft v Motorola case in 2012.

On June 28, 2016, James Robart was promoted to Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. As a Senior Judge, Robart was assigned to look into the Microsoft Corp. v. US Department of Justice case whereby Microsoft and other tech companies had appealed against barring companies from alerting their costumers of government surveillance of their online activities such as emails. This has been one of the most high-profile cases Judge Robart has ever looked into.

Donald Trump and Judge James Robart

In February 2017, Judge Robart ruled against Donald Trump’s executive order on travel and immigration. As a result, Trump attacked Robart on Twitter saying the decision was ‘ridiculous’. Following the attack, Trump came in controversy among the Congressmen and commentators for trying to breach the independence of judiciary.

Categories: Biography

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