James Waldo Ackerman (January 1, 1926 – November 23, 1984) was a United States District Judge in Illinois.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Ackerman received a Bachelor of Science from Marquette University in 1947 and a Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School in 1949. He served in the United States Navy, from 1944 to 1946 and again from 1952 to 1954. In the interim, he was in private practice of law in Sangamon County, Illinois. He was an Assistant state's attorney, Sangamon County, Illinois from 1954 to 1956, and then a State's attorney in that county until 1960, when he returned to private practice. While in private practice, he was counsel to the municipal corporation of Springfield, Illinois from 1961 to 1962, assistant state treasurer for Illinois from 1963 to 1964, and a deputy state attorney general from 1968 to 1971. He was a judge on the Illinois Circuit Court from 1971 to 1976.
On June 18, 1976, President Gerald Ford nominated Ackerman to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois vacated by Harlington Wood, Jr. Confirmed by the United States Senate on July 2, 1976, Ackerman received his commission that day. On March 31, 1979, he was reassigned by operation of law to the newly created United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, formed from a re-drawing of the Illinois districts. He served as chief judge of that court from 1982 to 1984. His service terminated upon his death, November 23, 1984, in Springfield, Illinois.