James M. Wexstten
James M. Wexstten was born on April 29, 1950, and was raised in Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois. He attended Kaskaskia College and received both his B.S. degree, in 1972, and J.D. degree, in 1976, from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He was a member of the charter class of the SIU School of Law.
Judge Wexstten engaged in the practice of law for 11 years in southern Illinois with his office located in Mt. Vernon. In 1988, he was elected an at-large Circuit Judge for the 12 counties of the Second Judicial Circuit. He was twice elected Chief Circuit Judge, from 1991-1993 and again from 2000-2003. He was retained by the voters as a Circuit Judge in 1994, 2000, and 2006. On February 2, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him to the Fifth District Appellate Court. He was elected to a full term effective December 1, 2008.
Judge Wexstten is a past president of the Illinois Judges Association, where he continues to serve. He is also a past president of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, serving on its Judicial Advisory Polls Committee, and the Jefferson County Bar Association, where he served as a past president.
He and his wife, Darla, a licensed clinical social worker, have three daughters and six grandchildren.