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James A. Belson
Born (1931-09-23)September 23, 1931[1]
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alma mater Georgetown University (B.A., J.D.)
Spouse(s) Rosemary Greenslade Belson (d. 2014)
Children A. James Belson, Marie Belson Hoeffner,, Elizabeth Belson FitzPatrick, and Stephen Griffin Belson

James A. Belson (born September 23, 1931) was a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Washington, D.C., Belson graduated from Gonzaga College High School in 1949. In the 1950s, he earned bachelor's and law degrees from Georgetown University and worked as a law clerk for prominent D.C. lawyer Edward Bennett Williams and federal appeals judge E. Barrett Prettyman.[1] He spent three years in the United States Army as a JAG and then returned to Washington, where he became a partner at Hogan & Hartson.

In 1968, President Johnson appointed Belson to the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions, which became the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1971. After thirteen years on the Superior Court bench, Belson was elevated to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1981. The Washington Post described him as "a widely respected legal writer and jurist."[2] He was a candidate for chief judge in 1984 and 1988, but the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission instead chose William C. Pryor and Judith W. Rogers, respectively.[3] Belson took senior status in 1991 and continued to hear cases until retiring from the court in 2017.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nominations for District of Columbia Courts: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, First Session, on nominations of James A. Belson to be an associate judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and Richard S. Salzman, Warren R. King, and Reggie B. Walton, to be associate judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, June 17, 1981.
  2. Weiser, Benjamin (May 20, 1981). "Reagan Nominates Belson to D.C. Court of Appeals". Washington Post. 
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named jnc

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