James F. Bass, Jr. was appointed to the Superior Court on May 18, 1995. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Bass was the Supervising Attorney for the Savannah Regional Office of the Georgia Legal Services Program. He formerly served as Chairman of the Access to Justice and Fairness in the Courts committee of the Council of Superior Court Judges from 2000-2008, and Chairman of the Georgia State Commission on Family Violence from 2006-2009. Additionally he served on the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Marriage, Children and Family Law from 2007-2009, and the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Drug Courts from 2006-2009. He currently serves on the Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee, the Special Committee on Drug Courts of the Council of Superior Court Judges, the Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Equality. Judge Bass began the first Drug Court in Chatham County on October 2, 2001.
As for private organizations, he formerly served on the Beach Institute Historic Neighborhood Association, 1981-1983; Chatham/Effingham Regional Board for Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse 1995-8; Chatham/Savannah Citizens Advocacy Inc., Chatham/Savannah Youth Authority Advisory Council from 1990-1995; City of Savannah's Crime Collaborative from 1993-4; Board of Directors Parent and Child Developmental Services Inc, from 1983-1986; Tidelands Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Community Service Board from 1991-1994; Board of Trustees for St. Joseph/Candler Hospital System 1994-2010 and currently; Advisory Board of African American Heath Center of St. Joseph/ Candler Health System; Board of Directors American Diabetes Association of Savannah from 1996-1998; Board of Directors of Coastal Children Advocacy Center Inc. 1994-5; Union Mission Society from 1997-2000; Advisory Board of Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum from 2001-2002; and the Savannah Area Health Collaborative from 2005-2008.
Judge Bass also served as an advisor to the Male Initiative and the Fatherhood Programs of the Equal Opportunity Authority of Savannah Inc. from 1993-1998; Project Alpha and Megagenesis Programs of Beta Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity from 1985-present and the Young Men of Honor Program of Spencer Elementary School.
After earning a bachelor's degree, cum laude with honors, in history from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey in 1972, Judge Bass went on to earn a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the College of Law, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1977.
Judge Bass received the Reginald Huber Smith Fellowship in Community Service Law Award in 1997 and was named Man of the Year by the Beta Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1995. He was also the recipient of the Robbie E. Robinson Award by the Savannah Bar Association in 1991, the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service by the State Bar of Georgia in 2008 , and Special Recognition Award by Safe Shelter of Savannah in 2010.
Currently, Bass is a member of 100 Black Men of Savannah, a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. , the Frogs Club Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc. Bass is a member of the Temple of Glory Community Church under the pastorate of Bishop Matthew M. Odum.