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Chief Judge James E. Lockemy (Ret.), J.D.
South Carolina Court of AppealsSenior Lecturing Fellow

Chief Judge James E. Lockemy (Ret.), J.D.


Chief Judge James E. Lockemy (Ret.) is a senior lecturing fellow at Regent Law. In 2016, he became the first Native American to be elected as the Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

Before serving on the court of appeals, Chief Judge Lockemy served for seven years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, and two years as a Legislative assistant to Senator Strom Thurmond & Sub-Committee Minority Counsel, US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Chief Judge Lockemy is also a veteran. He spent four years in active duty, and twenty-six years in the South Carolina National Guard. He served a tour of duty in Kosovo, and he was a Major General, (R) JSD Commander in the South Carolina Military Department between 2012–2017. He retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

Judge Lockemy now serves as a member of the ABA Board of Governors. The University of South Carolina School of Law recently honored Judge Lockemy by naming the Native American Law Student Association Chapter after him.


Chief Judge Lockemy has received numerous awards and honors in each capacity that he has served, including:

  • Member of Executive Council & Past President, National Guard Association of South Carolina
  • Recipient of 17 military awards, including The Legion of Merit, US Army
  • Past member of Executive Committee, National Conference of State Trial Judges
  • Co-Chair of Editorial Board & Contributing Author, The Judges Journal, Judicial Division, ABA
  • Past President, South Carolina Circuit Court Judges’ Association
  • Chair, Appellate Judges Conference, Judicial Division, ABA, 2018-2019
  • Chair, Appellate Judges Education Institute, 2019-2020
  • South Carolina Bar Representative to the ABA House of Delegates, 2019-2021
  • Presidential appointee, ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System
  • Adjunct Professor of History & American Government, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, 2012-2016
  • Commencement Speaker, UNC-Pembroke, May 2017
  • Member, Lumbee Warriors Association—Native American Veterans Group

Chief Judge Lockemy earned his Bachelor of Arts from Pembroke State University where he was later recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus. He earned his Juris Doctor from South Carolina University School of Law, and his Master’s Degree in History from the Citadel. He is currently a PhD candidate in History at Pembroke State University.