Biography

Jim Drummond practices law in Georgetown, Texas, with a primary focus on criminal defense, both trials and appeals, in federal and state courts. Jim has had significant success in appeals, including reversal of a state court conviction for child sexual abuse which sent an innocent man to prison until Jim’s appeals succeeded in obtaining his release.

One anonymous lawyer who responded to an inquiry from Martindale-Hubbell referred to Jim as an “excellent lawyer, of utmost integrity, and possessed of outstanding analytical and scholarly skills, an excellent communicator, articulate and highly thought of by members of the bar association.” On www.avvo.com, Jim has received a rating of “10.0- Superb,” the highest possible rating. You can also find avvo.com endorsements from former clients and other attorneys attesting to Jim’s abilities here. IN 2012 Jim was named one of the top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers.

Prior to entering private practice in October 2008, Jim was Supervisor of the Death Penalty Habeas Unit of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Oklahoma City, and previously had served as Chief of the Non-Capital Trial Division of the Oklahoma Indigent defense System for nine years. Jim is licensed in Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona and is a 2011 graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. From February 2014 – October 2017, Jim was an assistant public Defender for the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases, handling death penalty defense exclusively.

Persons charged with crimes may not be guilty, or they may not have committed as severe an offense as the prosecution alleges. Our entire system of justice depends on defense lawyers who fight hard for their clients, who keep up with changes in the law, and who are willing to consult with other lawyers about their cases to make sure the best defense is offered. Any lawyer who tells you that he knows everything about an area of law is deceiving you. When Jim is not sure about a legal or strategy point, he gets other opinions before developing his arguments and strategies.

That said, Jim has presented continuing legal education courses at many seminars, and has written several scholarly articles on the law. In 2011 Jim was awarded the Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award by the Oklahoma Bar Journal for his article on Illegal searches and seizures.

Just as importantly, Jim ensures that he is easy to reach, returns calls promptly, and listens carefully to his clients. Jim regards every client as his partner, because the client has unique knowledge about the case. Jim cannot promise always to agree with the client, and except for certain crucial decisions – such as whether the client should testify, whether the client should accept a plea bargain, and whether the client should appeal a conviction – Jim makes final strategic decisions. If he makes a decision contrary to the client’s desires, the client will always know why.

Jim is married to Deborah King Drummond, who is his investigator in all matters of trial level representation, as well as in post-conviction review cases. Deborah holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma, having graduated with distinction. In addition, she holds several national certifications as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and until 2012 conducted an active practice in clinical hypnotherapy. She was a fraud investigator for Dell Computer Corporation in Round Rock, Texas in the late 1990’s.

RESUME OF JAMES ALEXANDER DRUMMOND
OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION #2504
STATE BAR OF ARIZONA # 9671

EDUCATION:

B.A. (English Literature), Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, 1969.
J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK, 1976.
M.A. (Creative Writing), City College of New York, New York City, 1976.

Law School Class Rank: 41 of 184, or top 22%. American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Labor Law. Grade Point 7.7 including A+ in 3 courses. Master’s Degree Program Grade point: 4.0. Elected to Honor Council, 1974.

MILITARY EXPERIENCE:

Specialist Five, U.S. Army, active duty 1969-1971, East German border; honorably discharged, 1975.

WORK EXPERIENCE:

October 1, 2008 – present: sole practitioner, Jim Drummond Law Firm PLC, Norman, Oklahoma

January 2007-September 2008: Supervisor, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of Federal Defender, Federal Judiciary (U.S. Government): Supervise attorneys and investigators in defense of petitioners in capital cases in the U.S. Courts (including U.S. Supreme ;Court)

January 1998-January 2007: Chief, Non-Capital Trial Division, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. Supervised 22 staff attorneys and legal representation contracts covering 75 Oklahoma counties; managed budget of $6 million per annum.

1996-1998: Appellate Defense Counsel III, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, Norman, Oklahoma: Capital Direct Appeals Division. 1995-1996: Private practice of law, Edmond, Oklahoma

1989-1995: Engaged in Private Business; taught English Composition March 1990 at Tri-County Community College, Murphy, NC

1986-1989: PH.D. work, Universities of Oklahoma and New Mexico (GPA 4.0)

1984-1986: Admission to Arizona Bar; Private Practice in Tucson with Immigration Law focus; served as chief counsel for Tucson Ecumenical Council Legal Aid

1977-1978: Partner, Harding, Eldridge & Drummond, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; general practice with criminal law emphasis

OTHER CERTIFICATIONS:

Completed 40 hour Certification Training approved by Oklahoma Supreme Court in Family and Domestic Mediation, Mediation Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 2002. Qualified to practice in any area of mediation pursuant to Oklahoma District Court Mediation Act.

PUBLIC SERVICE:

Inaugural Chair, Criminal Law Section, Oklahoma Bar Association, 2004-2005
Member, Access to Justice Committee, Oklahoma Bar Association, 2003-present
Commissioner, Oklahoma Sentencing Commission, July 2001-October 2006
Board member, Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 1999-2001, 2006-present
Chair, Oklahoma Bar Association Committee on Public Defenders, 2002-2003
Chair, Legal Ethics Advisory Panel, Oklahoma Bar Association, 2009-2010
Member, Legal Ethics Advisory Panel, Oklahoma Bar Association, 2007-2009
Ex-Officio Board member, Oklahoma Drug Court Association, 2001-2002
Ex Officio member, Oklahoma Access to Justice Commission, 2005-2006

PUBLICATIONS:

Legal:
» “Gant TKO’s Belton in the Fourth Round; Belton Demands Rematch: The Millennium’s Most Important Fourth Amendment Decision So Far”, Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 80, page 1799, 10/10/2009;
» “A Little Known Branch of Law Enforcement: The Oklahoma Indigent Defense System,” Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 9, 3/15/2003;
» “OBA-Net: Boring Name, Great Site,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (Back Page), Vol. 76, Issue 32, 11/19/2005;
» “The Devil Is In The Generalities,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (Back Page), Vol. 74, Issue 10, 4/13/2003;
» Article on Transferred Intent doctrine, in The Gauntlet, Fall 1996 issue (Publication of Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association).

Fiction:
» Short stories in Arts Journal (June 1987)
» OK BEST: Short Stories By Oklahoma Writers (December 1997).

Nonfiction:
» Numerous articles on scholarly antiques subjects (e.g. daguerreotypes, patent models) for AntiqueWeek.

CLE PRESENTATIONS:

2008 Forensic Institute, Criminal Law Section, Oklahoma Bar Association, Daubert hearings; 2007 Criminal Defense Institute: Daubert practice; Search and Seizure Update, Sequoyah County Bar Association, 5/15/2003; Legislative Update, Oklahoma Bar Association Convention, Criminal Law Track, November 2001; Gang Expert Testimony segment, Forensic Science Seminar, Oklahoma City University, February 2002; Legislative and Criminal Law Update, Washington County Bar Association, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, March 2002.; Oklahoma Sentencing Policy, Cleveland County Bar Association; Drug and Vice Law Update, September 2005, Cleveland County Bar Association. Planner, moderator and organizer of other presentations.

CURRENT BAR MEMBERSHIPS:

Oklahoma (1976); Arizona (1984). Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court (1997); Tenth circuit Court of Appeals (2007);Western District – Oklahoma (1976); Northern District – Oklahoma (2007); Eastern District – Oklahoma (2007); Fifth circuit Court of Appeals (2009).

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, American Bar Association, Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Cleveland County Bar Association (Past-President), Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (board member); Criminal Law Section of Oklahoma Bar association (Inaugural Chair and current board member)

MARITAL STATUS:

Married to Deborah King Drummond, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Legal Media:

  • “Gant TKO’s Belton in the Fourth Round; Belton Demands Rematch: The Millennium’s Most Significant Fourth Amendment Decision So Far,” accepted for October 2009 publication in the Oklahoma Bar Journal
  • “A Little Known Branch of Law Enforcement: The Oklahoma Indigent Defense System,” Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 9, 3/15/2003
  • “OBA-Net: Boring Name, Great Site,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (Back Page), Vol. 76, Issue 32, 11/19/2005
  • “The Devil Is In The Generalities,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (Back Page), Vol. 74, Issue 10, 4/13/2003
  • Article on Transferred Intent Doctrine, in The Gauntlet, Fall 1996 issue (Publication of Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association).

Fiction:

  • “The Confessor,” Short Story, in Arts Journal (June 1987)
  • “Archangelsk” and “Honorable Discharge,” Short Stories, in OK BEST: Short Stories By Oklahoma Writers (December 1997)
  • “Hard Boiled Heaven,” Short Story, in The Briefcase (June 2009), publication of the Oklahoma County Bar Association

Nonfiction:

  • Numerous articles on scholarly antiques subjects (e.g. daguerreotypes, patent models) for AntiqueWeek.

Philosophy of Defense Manifesto

People sometimes ask me how defense lawyers can represent all those criminals. My first thought is to observe that they are not criminals until they have been convicted of the crime; they are the accused; and then I remind them that no one is going to prison without a defense lawyer. It’s the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. If you like locking up criminals, therefore, you should love defenders.

But then I realize that what I’m thinking is not much of an advertisement for my skills. Love me because I lose cases and my clients get locked up! I figure that you may love me from a pretty far distance if I make that pitch.

The better and truer answer has several parts:

  1. If we don’t want a police state, then everyone should have a real chance to establish they are not guilty of the crime charged. If there were no defenders, whoever has power can just lock you away to get you out of their way.
  2. Even if the client did commit a crime, was it the crime charged or some other crime that’s not as bad? A lawyer who gets a charge reduced from murder to manslaughter, or from manslaughter to negligent homicide, has made sure that people get the punishment they truly deserve, and not some harsher and more unjust punishment.
  3. I have represented clients in capital murder cases for 13 years. The death penalty should be reserved for the most vicious and violent offenders, in cases where there are few or no mitigating circumstances to explain how that client could come to kill another human being.
  4. In cases where abuse as a child, drug use, or mental imbalances or mental diseases are a factor, and there is no doubt the client actually killed the victim,
    life in prison without parole means exactly what it says and is a more appropriate punishment. Over the last 11 years, I (along with attorneys Lynn Burch and Randy Bauman) had represented an Oklahoma inmate at both the State and federal level, and ultimately helped secure a new trial for him in 2008. This man
    was a foreman at an Oklahoma defense plant, and had 19 witnesses who could have attested to his good character and generosity before he fell into methamphetamine addiction. His trial attorney used none of this available evidence, and the jury assessed the death penalty. Now he has a chance at a new
    trial where the jury will be able to hear both sides of the evidence. It’s about fair justice.
  5. Criminal defense is challenging and exciting! May the Saints preserve me from Mergers and Acquisitions!!!

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas, 2012
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, 1976
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, 1976
  • United States Supreme Court, 1997
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2010
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, 2011
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 2019
  • State Bar of Arizona, 1984
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, 1984
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2007
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, 2007
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, 2007

Affiliations

District 5 Governor, Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors, 2014

Williamson County (Texas) Bar Association, 2019-present

Williamson County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2018-present

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2014-present

Inaugural Chair, Criminal Law Section, Oklahoma Bar Association, 2005-2005

Commissioner, Oklahoma Sentencing Commission, July 2001-October 2006

Board member, Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 1999-2001, 2006-present

Board member, Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2007-present

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1997-present

Panelist, Oklahoma Bar Association Legal Etics Advisory Panel, 2007-present

President, Cleveland County Bar Association, 2005-2006