James Aloysius Coolahan

James Aloysius Coolahan

Title: District Court
Appointed by: John F. Kennedy
Judicial Tenure: 1962 - 1986
Served as Chief Judge: 1972-1973
Born: April 26, 1903
Birth Place: Hoboken, NJ
Died: July 16, 1986
Place of Death: Spring Lake, NJ

Coolahan was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He received an LL.B. from Rutgers University School of Law in 1925. He was a law clerk from 1925 to 1927. He was in private practice in Jersey City, New Jersey from 1927 to 1949. He was a First assistant corporation counsel, City of Hoboken, New Jersey from 1932 to 1943. He was a judge on the Hudson County Court, New Jersey from 1949 to 1956. He was a judge on the Superior Court of New Jersey from 1956 to 1962.

Coolahan was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Coolahan was nominated by President John F. Kennedy on February 19, 1962, to a seat vacated by Mendon Morrill. He served as chief judge from 1972-1973. During his 18 years on the bench, Judge Coolahan presided over a number of significant cases, one of the most coming in 1974, when he ordered the FBI to destroy a file it had been keeping on a high school student who had corresponded with the Socialist Workers Party as a class exercise. He assumed senior status on June 1, 1974 and retired in 1980. Judge Collahan passed away in 1986.

Professional Career

  • Law clerk, 1925-1927
  • Private practice, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1927-1949
  • First assistant corporation counsel, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1932-1943
  • Judge, Hudson County [New Jersey] Court, 1949-1956
  • Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, 1956-1962


  • New Jersey Law School (now Rutgers School of Law -- Newark), LL.B., 1925

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