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Name: Judge Jamie Ross Born: Feb, 12, 1961. Age: 46
Jamie Elaine Ross was born and raised in an affluent Connecticut suburb. Her parents, Harold (Hal) and Elaine Ross, were professionals—he a doctor, she a lawyer. Harold is retired, and Elaine died when Jamie was in her twenties. She was raised Catholic, and while she doesn’t consider herself “religious” she believes in God, but also believes others are entitled to believe what they believe. She is the only girl among five brothers—Harold Jr. (aka Hank), Richard, Matt, Tom and Charlie.
She is closest both in age and relationship to Hank, 48, who is a doctor like their father practicing medicine in the same town where they grew up. Richard, aka Rich, 42, the black sheep of the family, lives in Jersey where he’s a chiropractor. Matt, 38, also stayed in Connecticut and he’s an accountant there. Tom, 36, lives in Manhattan like Jamie, however the two run in far different circles and she rarely sees her banker brother. Finally there is Charlie, who is 27, the youngest of her siblings. Being out of the house when he was born, Jamie never had time to bond with her youngest brother.
Jamie was studious and no-nonsense, it seemed since she was small. She has a deadpan, often dry sense of humor that can be biting at times. She can be mischievous and have a good time with friends, but in the courtroom, whether it be before a jury or on the bench, she is all business.
Jamie inherited many of her liberal-leaning beliefs from her parents. While she’s begun to have a better relationship with her father in recent years and actually finds herself close to him, her relationship with her mother, while the woman was alive, was somewhat strained.
After prep school, Jamie attended Wellesley College in the late 1970s, in the midst of the women’s liberation movement and was forefront in campus politics and protests. She was, in fact, a bra-burner. She also played tennis on the Varsity Women’s Tennis team. She’s always been fit, whether from going to the gym, running, or tennis, and still enjoys the game.
After graduating from college with a BA in American History, she went to law school at Columbia. Right after, she went to work for a local defense attorney. Her no-nonsense approach to the law, as well as her work ethic was noticed by the law firm of Gorton & DeLuca. They recruited her, and she went to work for them.
It was there that she met her first husband, Neil Gorton. He was ten years older than her, and her boss. They married, and she had her only child, a daughter, Katelyn, in 1986. She continued to work as a defense attorney for the same firm for ten years after, earning a reputation as a hard-ass.
It was in 1995 that she was defending a rapist. While he was on the stand describing an attack he committed, she had to drop a coat over his obvious arousal. Thanks to her “coat trick” the defendant was acquitted, but the incident was one she could not forgive herself for, or get out of her mind.
In the middle of this, her marriage began to unravel. At the end of 1995, she and Neil Gorton began divorce proceedings. This of course let to an ensuing bitter custody battle for Katelyn. Eventually, they came to a shared custody agreement which was detailed down to what shows Katie could watch on TV (Neil’s clause, not hers).
The “coat trick” still weighing on her mind, in addition to no longer having a job mostly due to her divorce, Jamie went to work for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
While she does have liberal beliefs and is all for defendant’s rights, Jamie is also very stringent on legal ethics. All of these things made clashing with Jack McCoy a very frequent occurrence in her time at the DA’s office. Her relationship with him was strained to begin with, seeing as how she’d just replaced his dead lover, Claire Kincaid. In addition, McCoy’s views on the death penalty and bending trial rules were much different than her own. Eventually, however, they became close friends. Though he is no longer her boss, she trusts him greatly and sees him as a mentor.
During her second year at the DA’s office, Jamie, still having to deal with her ex-husband in court, and not much for friends, turned to her boss and mentor, Jack McCoy. They had a brief affair, but were able to remain friends after the fact. It’s not a subject either of them talk about with other people, and rarely (usually only in moments of anger) mention with each other.
She left the DA’s office in 1998 to spend more time with Katie.
She had since returned to her first career as a defense attorney and while the lucrative job did allow her to buy her coveted brownstone, it was not as fulfilling as her time as an ADA had been. She continued for awhile longer at this position, going through the motions, making enough money to secure her and Katelyn’s future. Right when she was offered a partner position, she was also given an opportunity to become a judge. She chose to return to the Manhattan judicial system, and has been a judge for almost three years.
In 2006, she had a brief but somewhat damaging relationship with Trevor Langan, an attorney she’d known from law school and then re-met on a case. Shortly after he left her high and dry, her ex-husband was killed. While Jamie and Neil had their fair share of arguments over the years, she still had loved him over the years and she took his death very hard, as of course, did Katelyn.
While Katie went back and forth between her parents during her childhood, she was always much more of a daddy’s girl. Although her father went to Yale, she didn’t follow in those footsteps and chose to attend Brown University. After his death, she ended up coming back to the city and is currently enrolled at NYU.
Between the breakup with Langan and the death of Gorton, as well as other issues, in the late summer of 2006, Jamie suffered a breakdown of sorts. She went to the Rolling Hills Spa where she stayed for about a month. It was there that she met Dan Fielding, who first became a good friend and who she is now seeing.