Mr. James W. Kilbourne Jr.


James is recognized locally and statewide for his leadership in the legal profession. James was President of the Buncombe Bar in 2018-19 and President of the Western District Federal Bar in 2016-2017. He served as the chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Convention Planning Advisory Committee for the 2018 (Wilmington) and 2019 (Biltmore) Conventions. He is currently serving as Chair of the NCBA Appellate Practice Section and has served on the North Carolina Appellate Rules Committee for 8 terms.

James is a litigation attorney with twenty-five years of experience, in all aspects of civil litigation, including depositions, hearings, mediations, arbitrations, jury trials, and appeals. He primarily handles the firm’s complex litigation, copyright/ trademark litigation, and appeals. He has significant trial experience in State, Federal and Tribal courts and is an excellent strategist and negotiator. James is also a certified mediator.

James worked with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for 7 years earlier in his career and has likely tried more cases in the Cherokee Court than any other attorney. On issues of tribal jurisdiction, he has spoken nationally for the Federal Bar, American Bar Association, National Criminal Justice Association, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, and Department of Justice: Office of Victims of Crime. On Native American legal issues, his work has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Indian Country Today, Congressional Record, and a number of law reviews.

Member Bar Number: 24354

Practice Areas

Appellate practice, Bankruptcy, Collections, Creditors Rights, Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Land Use Law

States Licensed


Bar Admissions:
North Carolina, 1997
Eastern Cherokee, 2001
U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1999
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 2022
U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 1999
U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina, 1999
U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina, 2006


Centennial Award, Buncombe County Bar 2023, AV® Preeminent Rated since 2014, Legal Elite, Business North Carolina, Appellate, 2022, Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Contact Information

Allen Stahl +Kilbourne | Email: jamesk@asklawnc.com   | Phone: 828-254-4778