Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Chief Judge James E. Lockemy

Born in Dillon County, South Carolina in 1949, James E. Lockemy has been deeply involved with community activities most of his life. This began while his parents, James Edmond Lockemy  and Nettie Turbeville Lockemy (both deceased), ran a country grocery store that sponsored checker tournaments, spelling bees, and boxing matches in the lower income Newtown section of the county.

After graduating from Dillon High School, he attended The Citadel leaving in his second year after deciding to get married. Briefly, he attended Coastal Carolina and then returned to Dillon and worked as a bagboy at a local supermarket and delivered morning newspapers while achieving his bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He then attended law school at the University of South Carolina. After graduating he entered the United States Army acquiring the rank of Captain while assigned to the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

After completing his three year tour of duty, he joined the South Carolina Army National Guard and also accepted a position as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond. While in Washington, D.C., he served as legal counsel to a subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of his most memorable experiences was as lead staff counsel to coordinate the successful efforts to keep the Electoral College in Presidential elections. Senator Strom Thurmond presented him for admission to the United States Supreme Court.

He returned home to Dillon in late 1979 where he entered the practice of law in the firm of Greene, Lockemy, and Bailey. In 1982 he entered the race for the House of Representatives and was elected. In the House he focused on health care issues and also represented the state at the150th anniversary of the Fall of the Alamo where nine South Carolinians fell including its commander, William Barrett Travis.

In 1980 Judge Lockemy began coaching youth baseball and founded the Rangers, a team he has coached every year since. He has led the Dillon All-Stars to the state tournament on two occasions, finishing as first runner up in 1996. He also began the efforts to renovate the old Dillon County Theater by joining with his law partner to donate the building and forming a committee to begin renovations. It is now a thriving performing arts center. He still serves as a board member and occasionally performs in plays. In 1989 he was chosen as Dillon County Citizen of the Year.

He joined efforts to build a Veterans' monument in Dillon and currently is a member of the group that conducts Veterans' Day ceremonies every year.

He was chairman of the committee to renovate the Dillon County Courthouse that was officially unveiled in July, 1999. The South Carolina Supreme Court for the first time ever in Dillon County history held a special session of the court that day as part of the festivities.

He was elected as a Circuit Judge in 1989 occupying At Large Seat 6. Since 1995 he has been one of the representatives of the state judiciary to the ABA Conference of State Trial Judges. He has lectured at Law Day activities, South Carolina Bar seminars, and to legal and American history groups.

Presently serving as a Colonel in the South Carolina National Guard he is coordinator of Judge Advocate General activities and services. He is an active Kiwanian having served as president and lieutenant governor. He currently is working to complete his Master's Degree in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada and The National Judicial College.

Residing in Dillon County, he continues to coach baseball (although not winning very many games in the last few years), is active in community theater (usually portraying a killer or otherwise strange person i.e. Uncle Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace), and helps out on Veterans' Day (chosen Dillon County Veteran of the Year in 1999). He has two sons, Jamie and Will, and a granddaughter, India Boone.

Photo of Justice James Lockemy
The Honorable James E. Lockemy
Court of Appeals
1220 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-1890