James J. Guinan was born September 21, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois. He received his B.A. degree from Yale University in 1949 with a political science major. In 1952 he received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
He was employed as an attorney in the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. from 1952 to 1955. From 1955 to 1958 he was engaged in the general practice of law in the same city. In 1958 he assumed the position of Chief Deputy Director of the Nevada Statue Revision Commission and chief deputy legislative bill drafter, which position he held until 1963. During this time he was also engaged in the general practice of law.
From 1963 to 1971 he practice law in Reno, Nevada. He was legislative consultant to the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada from 1965 to 1971. HE has been a member of the Client Security Fund Committee of the State Bar of Nevada since 1970.
In 1971 Mr.Guinan was appointed District Judge of the Second Judicial District Court in Reno, Nevada.
He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946. He is married and has five children.