James R. Judge - Silver Party, Appointed

10th Nevada Attorney General

Term:  December 21, 1896 - January 2, 1899


James R. Judge, born in Altoona, Huntington County, Pennsylvania, on September 9, 1850, received an education in engineering at St. Francis College Brooklyn Heights, New York.  He came to Nevada in 1877 to work for a survey party with the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.  In 1879, after studying law under Colonel A.C. Ellis and Cameron King, he gained admittance to the NV State Bar on April 5, 1881[1], and began his professional legal career in Carson City, Nevada.

On December 21, 1896, Nevada Governor Reinhold Sadler appointed Judge as Nevada’s tenth Attorney General because Judge’s immediate predecessor, Robert M. Beatty, died while in office. 

After serving both as the Attorney General and later, Lieutenant Governor, Judge left public office in 1903 and remained in private practice until 1911, at which time, Attorney General Cleveland Baker appointed Judge as a Nevada Deputy Attorney General.

Election of 1898

After serving almost three years as the Attorney General, Judge decided to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor.  In a four-person race, and of the 9,672 votes cast, Judge received 38% of the votes, beating his closest rival only by 465 votes to win the election. 

Office Administration and Duties

Judge had no deputies or other support staff according to the Nevada Attorney General’s budget for the 1897–1899 state biennial fiscal period:

1897–1899 Budget




Attorney General’s Salary



Office expenses came from an appropriation “[f]or a current expense appropriation, to defray the telegraphic, postage, and contingent expenses of the several state officers, Supreme Court, and State Library, to be expended under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor, State Controller, and Secretary of State, $4,000”

The 1897 Nevada State Legislature added additional duties for the Attorney General to perform:

  • Nevada Attorney General is to examine the articles of incorporation and by-laws of Mutual Fire Insurance Companies and certify compliance with Nevada State Law to the Nevada State Controller (Statutes of Nevada, 1897, Chapter XXXVIL, page 38).
  • Nevada Attorney General is to examine the Articles of Incorporation of those corporations doing business in Nevada as Sureties on Bonds and certify compliance with Nevada State Law to the Nevada Secretary of State (Statutes of Nevada, 1897, Chapter L, pages 62–63).
  • Nevada Attorney General–in those actions concerning the estates of deceased persons–is to: (1) take action in the District Court if it is discovered or believed that the estate is escheatable, (2) inform the District Court of information that exists to support the appointment of a receiver, (3) receive five-percent of the estate’s property for the State of Nevada if the estate’s property is found to be escheatable.  (Statutes of Nevada, 1897, Chapter CVL, pages (162–164).

[1] Nevada Reports, Number 22, p. 12.

    • James R. Judge - Nevada Historical Society