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James K. Bredar, Chief District Judge

101 West Lombard Street
Chambers 5A
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 962-0950

Chief Judge James K. Bredar was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1957. He graduated from Harvard University in 1979 and from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1982. He was a visiting student at the Yale Law School in 1981-82.

Judge Bredar was raised in Colorado. Before becoming a lawyer he served as a National Park Ranger. Following graduation from law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch in Denver. He then worked as a prosecutor, first as a Deputy District Attorney in Moffat County, Colorado and later as an Assistant United States Attorney in Denver. He also served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Denver. In 1991 and 1992, Judge Bredar was a Project Director with the Vera Institute of Justice and led their office in London, England.

In 1992, Chief Judge Bredar was appointed Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland. He served in this position until he was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in 1998. On December 17, 2010, he was commissioned as a U.S. District Judge. He became Chief Judge on October 6, 2017.  

Judge Bredar serves as a member of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on the Budget. Previously, for seven years he served as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction.  Judge Bredar served as a trustee of the non-partisan Vera Institute of Justice in New York between 2007 and 2017. He is a member of the Lawyers' Round Table law club in Baltimore. Judge Bredar was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1994, and the Maryland Bar in 1995. He is also admitted to the Bars of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Tenth Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for Maryland and Colorado.