James is the right choice for the client seeking a blend of experience, academics, peer recognition, and wisdom. His experience includes not guilty verdicts in capital and non-capital murders; $2.29 million and other six-figure civil verdicts; exclusion of the State's premier DWI expert; oral argument in the appellate courts; and scores and scores of high-level federal and state jury trials with an impressive verdict record. His academics include recognition as a Board Certified Specialist in Federal Criminal Law, State Criminal Law, and Family Law by the N.C. State Bar; lecturer at over thirty-four legal education seminars for lawyers; and visiting lecturer at law schools and the UNC-School of Government. His peer recognition includes a six-time selection as Super Lawyer; three-time selection to The Best Lawyers in America; selection as "Lawyer of the Year" in DWI Defense in the Charlotte area by The Best Lawyers in America (2021); recipient of the Professor John Rubin Award for legal training; service in governing roles with the N.C. State Bar; and election as past president of the district bar. His wisdom is found in over three decades of practice in high-level criminal, civil, and family law cases across many courts. James loves making a difference in individual lives, particularly when facing complex, high-stakes cases.
James A. Davis, son of Bob and Mary Anne Davis, is the head of Davis & Davis, Attorneys at Law, P.C. He has been an attorney with the firm since 1991 and has led the firm since his father's passing in 2005.
James is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in State Criminal Law, Federal Criminal Law, and Family Law with a trial practice in criminal, domestic, and general litigation. He is deeply committed to excellence and professionalism in the practice of law, having served on the North Carolina State Bar Specialization Criminal Law Committee, the North Carolina State Bar Board of Continuing Legal Education, the North Carolina State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission, and as Issue Planning Editor of the Law Review at Regent University. James also lectures at criminal, family law, and trial practice continuing legal education (CLE) programs, and is regularly designated by the Capital Defender as lead counsel in capital murders.
Colleagues describe James as the “hardest working attorney” they know, “fearless,” and “a great litigator.” He is proud to have earned his colleagues' respect, but is even more gratified by the thanks he receives from clients he has helped. He keeps each of the scores of thank you notes he has received from clients. He truly enjoys making a positive difference in the lives of his clients.
Born and raised in Rowan County, NC, and the father of four children, Mr. Davis has been involved in a number of civic and community leadership positions, including serving on the Board of Directors for Rowan County Helping Ministries and the Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA, the Board of Visitors at Catawba College, and the Board of Trustees at Charleston Southern University. When not practicing law, he enjoys reading, competitive exercise, coaching youth sports, and spending time with his family.
- Criminal Defense
- DUI and DWI
- Family Law
- Divorce and Separation
- Child Custody
- General Litigation
- Regent University School of Law, Juris Doctor
- Catawba College, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- State Criminal Law (2001 to present)
- Federal Criminal Law (2002 to present)
- Family Law (2020 to present)
Honors and Awards
- Selected to North Carolina Super Lawyers (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2009)
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America (2022, 2021, 2020)
- Selected as "Lawyer of the Year" in DWI Defense in the Charlotte area by The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
- Selected for the Professor John Rubin Award for Extraordinary Contributions to IDS Training Programs (2019)
- Selected one of the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by The National Trial Lawyers (2017)
- Selected as an Educational Achievement Program Advocate by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (2017)
Bar and Professional Activity
- N.C. State Bar: Disciplinary Hearing Commission Member (2019-2022)
- N.C. State Bar: Board of Continuing Legal Education, Accreditation Committee Chair (2010-2016)
- N.C. State Bar: Board of Legal Specialization, Criminal Law Specialty Committee (2003-2007)
- North Carolina Advocates for Justice: Continuing Legal Education, Co-Chair (2017-2018)
- Capital Roster for the Office of the N.C. Capital Defender
- Recipient of Professor John Rubin Award for Extraordinary Contributions to IDS Training Programs (2019)
- Past President of Judicial District 19C Bar (now District 27)
- Faculty presenter in over thirty CLEs on criminal and family law, evidence, and other trial practice topics.
- Program chair, faculty, or guest lecturer for UNC-School of Government; North Carolina Advocates for Justice; Office of the Capital Defender; Cabarrus, Rowan, and Wake County Bar Associations; High Point Bar Association; N.C. Bar Association Foundation, Inc.; N.C. Association of Private Investigators; and Campbell University School of Law.
Speaking Engagements and CLE Presentations
- 2021 Update to Jury Selection: The Art of Peremptories and Trial Advocacy Techniques (September 2021)
- The DWI Trial Notebook: A Primer for the North Carolina Practitioner (2020)
- The Role of a Private Investigator in Family Law Cases (2020)
- 2019 Update to Jury Selection: The Art of Peremptories and Trial Advocacy Techniques (2019)
- Think You Know Criminal Law? Version 3.0 (2019)
- Walk Through an Expert Tender and Exclusion (2019)
- Civil Procedure Made Easy: Version 2.0 (2019)
- The DWI Trial Notebook: A Primer for the North Carolina Practitioner (2019)
- Think You Know Criminal Law? Discovering Nuggets—and Landmines—in the Rules: Version 2.0 (2019)
- Civil Procedure Made Easy: Functional Knowledge and Dispelling Myths (2018)
- Think You Know Criminal Law? Discovering Nuggets—and Landmines—in the Rules (2018)
- Jury Selection: Surveying the Law, Human Behavior, and Trial Advocacy Techniques (2018)
- Your Expert Tender is Denied: Now What? (2018)
- Ubering Through North Carolina DWI Law: Outlining the Latest Defenses and Strategies (2018)
- Jury Selection: The Art of Peremptories and Trial Advocacy Techniques (2018)
- The Art of War: Practical Cross-Examination for Litigators (2017)
- Experts, Emails, and Evidence for the Family Law Practitioner (2016)
- Modified Wymore for Non-Capital Cases (2016)
- Confronting the State's Expert (2016)
- Challenging the State's Expert (2016)
- Rule 702: Tricks of the Trade in Domestic Litigation (2015)
- Daubert and Challenges to Expert Testimony (2015)
- Expert Evidence: Master the Rule, Fun Facts, and Tips for Cross (2015)
- Challenging Admissibility of Expert Testimony Under Rule of Evidence 702 (2015)
- Strategies for Limiting State's Expert Testimony: Rule 702, Strategies, and a Case Study (2015)
- Stopping Extrapolation, Using Experts, and Exposing Problems with HGN (2015)
- A New Day: Challenging, Admitting, and Examining Experts Under New Rule 702 (2014)
- Nuggets for Your Trial Tool Box (2014)
- Challenging the State's Expert Under New Rule 702(a)(2014)
- Practice Tips for the Family Law Attorney (2013)
- DWI Defense: Making Sense of the Maze: A Checklist (2012)
- Practical Evidence and Trial Practice Pointers (2011, 2009, and 2008)
- Motions to Suppress: Statements, Property, and Identification (2010)
- Third Party Intervention in Custody Actions (2010)
Professional Memberships and Associations
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Rowan County Bar Association
- North Carolina Advocates for Justice
- District 19C Bar (Former President)
Admissions to Practice
- North Carolina
- United States District Court, Western and Middle Districts of North Carolina
- Current member of Board of Directors for Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA and Board of Directors for Rowan Helping Ministries.
- Current member of Board of Trustees at Charleston Southern University and Board of Visitors at Catawba College.
- Past Deacon, Secretary of Board of Deacons, and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Salisbury, N.C.
- Recipient of the J.F. Hurley YMCA Distinguished Service Award (2018), Salisbury YMCA Distinguished Service Award (2002), Salisbury YMCA Outstanding Leadership Award (1996), and Jaycees Distinguished Service Award (1982).
- Current and past youth sports coach in scholastic, YMCA, and recreational leagues.
- Father of four children.
- Born, raised, and resides in Rowan County, N.C.