James Eugene Robinson was born in Michigan on May 11, 1843. His early education was obtained in Canada, and he taught school there for a short period of time. He then enlisted in the Union Army and served during the Civil War.
After his discharge, Robinson began his formal education and he graduated from Michigan State University School of Law on March 5, 1868 with the degree of L.L.B. He was admitted to the Wisconsin bar and began his practice in Trempealeau County. He also served as District Attorney for the county for one term.
Robinson moved to Fargo, Dakota Territory, in 1882. He practiced in Fargo until 1916, when he was elected Associate Judge of the North Dakota Supreme Court. He served a full six year term until 1922. During this time, he wrote a "Saturday Evening Letter" column for the Bismarck Tribune pertaining to the work of the Supreme Court. Robinson was defeated for re-nomination in the June 1922 primary.
In 1923 Robinson authored a book entitled Wrongs and Remedies. After leaving the Supreme Court, he remained in Bismarck for a time, but was forced to retire from the active practice of law for health reasons. He entered a National Soldiers Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1931 and lived there until his death on March 22, 1933.
Sources: North Dakota Blue Book, 1919. Historical Sketch of the North Dakota Supreme Court, David L. Peterson, 1969.