James and his wife, Heather, moved to Whatcom County in 2007. They own a home in Bellingham which they share with their two young boys and their rescue dog, Lily. James and Heather spend most of their free time with their children and Lily hiking, biking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors here in beautiful Whatcom County.

​Experience that Matters

James has spent his entire career protecting the public’s interests including over ten years here in Whatcom County. He has nearly 14 years of professional legal experience which includes both criminal and civil experience in three separate jurisdictions.

Following his graduation from Florida State University's College of Law, James began his career as a line prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida. He prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases including drug trafficking, violent offenses, and capital felonies in one of the busiest trial circuits in the state. He quickly developed a reputation as a skilled prosecutor who works hard, exercises good judgment, and secures justice for victims of crime. His expertise in the courtroom resulted in his appointment to a specialty unit, the Child Abuse Division, where he prosecuted sexually motivated crimes against children. James left that position when he and Heather moved to Whatcom County in 2007.

The Nooksack Indian Tribe hired James as a prosecutor after he relocated to Whatcom County. He was responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor-level offenses in Nooksack Tribal Court. While there, he saw a different approach to criminal justice than the one he had seen in Florida. The Tribe focused more on rehabilitation than incarceration. He also represented the interests of the Nooksack Indian Tribe in child dependency cases filed in state courts under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

In 2010, James was hired by the City Attorney’s Office in Bellingham. He was initially assigned to the criminal division as a prosecutor, but he was promoted to the civil division later that year. He provides advice to city departments on a variety of complex legal issues involving constitutional law, contract law, elections issues, labor and employment law, land use, and public disclosure. James is also the city’s designated public records officer. He trains all city employees and elected officials on the public disclosure requirements of the Public Records Act. He respects and values the need for transparency in our public agencies.

We can ensure public safety while also making reforms that have been proven to safely reduce incarceration rates. We can divert resources away from incarceration and invest more in treatment for the mentally ill and those with substance abuse issues. We can use data to make smarter decisions that will lead to better outcomes for less money. We can do better. 

James and his wife, Heather, moved to Whatcom County in 2007. They own a home in Bellingham which they share with their two young boys and their rescue dog, Lily. James and Heather spend most of their free time with their children and Lily hiking, biking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors here in beautiful Whatcom County.

James Erb for Whatcom County Prosecutor
JamesErb For Whatcom County Prosecutor