Candidate for Los Alamos Magistrate Judge James Rickman awaits his turn to speak at the Oct. 3 League of Women Voters candidates’ forum. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
James Rickman, who is running for the position of Los Alamos Magistrate Judge against incumbent Pat Casados, made his candidates’ forum debut Oct. 3 at the League of Women Voters event at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.
Rickman said he was raised in Los Alamos and has lived in the community for more than 40 years. He said he retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory this year after 24 years of service.
“Obviously I love Los Alamos and its many amenities. I believe that by serving as magistrate judge I can help preserve the outstanding quality of life all of us enjoy here. As the courts play a vital role in assuring the continuing safety and livability of our community,” he said.
Rickman said although a local magistrate judge’s position does not require a law degree or any specific education requirements, he believes he possess “an excellent mix of academic and work experience” that would allow him to serve honorably and effectively as judge. He said he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from New Mexico State University which provided him with a classical education focused on philosophical differences such as logic, ethics, the nature of reality, social sciences including sociology and anthropology, and working knowledge of chemistry, physics and other disciplines. After college, he said he worked extensively as a journalist, a photographer and took a short stint in the public sector, later establishing himself as “a science writer and public relations expert” at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“I believe this combined educational experience has made me adept at being able to understand complex topics across the entire spectrum of human experience, has given me the ability to listen and connect with people from extremely different walks of like, and to sift through the noise and complexity of everyday events to arrive at the underlying truths,” Rickman said.
He said additionally he and his partner have served as landlords and tenants in New Mexico which provides him with a valuable perspective on both sides of landlord disputes. He said he tutored inmates at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility while in college which provided him with some insight into the minds of the incarcerated.
“As someone who has been a victim of crime, I believe victims should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the judicial process to the extent that the law allows and be made whole to the extent possible after a crime,” Rickman said. “As a student of ethics and human nature, I believe that judges should be of the highest integrity and that the court should provide all participants with the greatest amount of decency, dignity and respect. In other words every person who enters the chamber should be treated fairly and impartially and without prejudice of any kind whatsoever. When I say liberty and justice for all, you can have no doubt that I mean it.”