Retired 16th JDC Judge James R. McClelland, 68, died Sunday, March 15, 2015. Raised on a rice farm in Elton, LA; McClelland was valedictorian of his high school class. He continued to excel academically at LSU, where he earned a BS degree in 1969, an MBA degree in 1971, and his JD degree in 1975. He graduated with honors as a member of the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Louisiana Law Review. After being admitted to practice law in 1975, he practiced with the law firm of Aycock, Horne & Coleman, of Franklin, LA, where he became a partner in 1978. He was the founder of the local Public Defender Board and served as a public defender from 1975-1981. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in the 16th JDC from 1981-2008. In 2009, he was elected to the 16th JDC, where he served as Judge of Division D until his retirement on March 1, 2015. As a Judge, McClelland presided over the St. Mary Parish Adult Drug Treatment & DWI Court, and the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court for four years. McClelland served on the Governor’s Advisory Board of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention under Governor Foster. He was an active member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, where he served in the House of Delegates, Board of Governors and as Secretary. He was a charter member of the American Inns of Court – Inns on the Teche, where he served as President from 2010-2011, and received the Inns’ Professionalism Award in 2012. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.