James D. Hall was born in Warsaw, Indiana, and attended Purdue University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1958, and Indiana University where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1961. From 1961 to 1964 he served as a Judge Advocate in the US Navy at the US Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. From 1964 to 1967 he worked in the Patent Department of the US Atomic Energy Commission in Germantown, Maryland. In 1967, he began private patent law practice in South Bend, Indiana, with the law firm of Oltsch & Knoblock founded in 1895. He has represented clients before the US Patent and Trademark Office, several Federal District and Circuit Courts, including the US Federal Circuit Court, the US International Trade Commission and the US Supreme Court.