James W. “Jim” Case was born on June 21, 1945 in Chicopee, Massachusetts. His father was a firefighter and his mother was a homemaker who raised seven children. His parents were involved in local politics. James was the fourth of the children (there were 5 boys and 2 girls). His family was Irish-German Catholic, but mostly identified with the Irish community in the town; they had strong community values. The town was a blue-collar mill town with a good public educational system that James graduated from. He then went on to Clark University (in Worchester, MA) where he majored in psychology. Then, he was drafted in November 1968 and served two years in the army during the peak of the Vietnam War. In the army, James served as an administrator in a physical therapy clinic at an Army hospital. After the Army, he returned to Maine to attend law school in Portland at the University of Southern Maine, and became active in politics as co-chair of the local Kennedy campaign committee, and became interested in labor law (his father had been a union leader, but didn’t influence him much in that sense). He also worked on George Mitchell’s campaign for Governor. After law school and after he finished working on the Mitchell campaign, James Case went to Washington to work in Muskie’s office, first as assistant counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He worked on the Public Works Committee which involved economic development and environmental policy. Later, James Case’s title changed from Counsel to Legislative Director, for Ed Muskie. James Case married in 1971. He is currently a labor lawyer in Maine.
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Burnham-Bestor, Marisa, "Case, Jim oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 75.