Former NJC faculty James Zimmermann dies

Dallas district judge taught 35 courses at the National Judicial College

Former Dallas Judge James Braxton Zimmermann, who was involved in the prosecution of Jack Ruby and later taught the NJC’s General Jurisdiction course 29 times, has passed away.

Judge Zimmermann, 84, died of natural causes at his home in Dallas on Dec. 14.

A prosecutor and later district judge in Dallas for nearly two decades, Zimmermann first attended the NJC in 1971 and joined the faculty of the College in 1973. He taught General Jurisdiction every year from 1975 to 1986 and taught 35 classes overall at the NJC.

He began his career as an assistant district attorney in Dallas County, assisting in the prosecution of Ruby, killer of John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1968, after a period in private practice, he was appointed to the bench of Criminal District Court No. 3 in Dallas, where he served for 16 years.

Zimmermann was then appointed to the 191st District Civil Court in Dallas. He held that position for one year before being appointed to the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas. Zimmermann retired from the bench in 1986 to resume private practice.

In 1967, Zimmermann married Pixley McDonald, who passed away in 2013. He is survived by his three daughters and three grandchildren.

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