Getting to Know Miles Mediator & Arbitrator James Young

James Young is a fully bilingual (English-Spanish) mediator and arbitrator with Miles in Charlotte. His broad range of experience includes breach of contract, defamation, personal injury, workers compensation, and estate matters. He is a Certified Superior Court Mediator and has experience mediating a range of cases including, but not limited to, guardianships and Medicaid planning, special needs estate planning, breach of contract, defamation, personal injury, workers compensation, and estate matters. He also has extensive arbitration experience in the areas of personal injury, landlord/tenant issues, and contractual disputes.


What made you want to become a lawyer?

From a young age, I emphatically knew that in life my “job” would be to help others. I gravitated to law when I learned of marginalized communities being exploited by the powerful simply because members of those communities did not have the resources (knowledge, skills, connections, or resources) to protect their interests.

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”


What is your area of specialization?

I don’t have a specialty, but I have significant experience in breach of contract, auto tort, estate, and guardianship matters.


What are you most proud of with respect to your career?

I am most proud in that I have been able to serve both the indigent and wealthy with the highest level of competence, courtesy, and empathy (in English and Spanish).


Why did you become a Neutral?

Becoming a neutral is an integral part of my natural professional evolution. I am most naturally able to understand “both sides” of any issue or argument, and I have a natural ability to relate with people regardless of their socio-economic status, race, religion, gender, or any other aspect about people that too often separates us as opposed to unites us. I have a genuine and natural curiosity and interest in our differences as opposed to fear or disdain for them. Those attributes, coupled with my nearly 26 years of practicing law, make serving as a neutral natural for me.


What does ADR look like in 10 years?

In 10 years, ADR will most likely be the preferred and most sought-after way of resolving legal disputes. The judiciary sees the immense value in ADR, and litigants increasingly are seeing the value as well.


What is your conflict resolution style/approach?

My approach is to gain the trust of the litigants and their attorneys as a competent and genuine neutral.  When interacting with the parties, I am determined to make sure that they believe that I “hear them”, and that I am committed fully to the process.


How would your clients describe you?

Kind, competent, relatable, and professional.


Where did you grow up?

My hometown is Cumberland, Maryland.


What characteristics do you admire most in others?

Humility, honesty, and kindness.


What do you do in your spare time? How do you unwind?

I enjoy spending my free time visiting Asheville, traveling internationally, reading, and spending time with my wife and two sons. 


What was your first law job?

I practiced law with my father for a few years.


How did you decide to branch out into ADR?

Down through the years, several colleagues often told me that I would be “great at it.”  I resisted the encouragement to become a neutral for a few years, but it became clear to me that being a neutral is one of my gifts.  At that point, I sought certification.


If you had to identify a passion for a particular area of the law, what would it be?

Honestly, I don’t have a passion for any particular area of the law.  But if I had to choose, perhaps it would be civil rights law.


How does your experience help you add value to conflict resolution clients and their disputes?

My experience includes traveling to, studying, and spending a significant amount of time in other countries. The value it brings is an appreciation and respect for everyone… regardless of their native language, their country of origin, their religion, or their socio-economic status. Additionally, I have represented clients from all over the world, I have taught business law, and I have served as a Civil District Court arbitrator. My experience is vast and the totality of the same serves me well as a neutral.


What is the importance of alternative dispute resolution?

The importance of ADR is significant in that it provides a viable alternative to resolve legal disputes. This method of dispute resolution is not based on the adversarial system (which has its flaws), and it is not confined by the traditional rules of evidence and procedure. The importance includes, but is not limited to, aiding the courts in clearing back-logged dockets and allowing parties to maintain more “control” of their cases, and it often saves them time and money by avoiding the expense of litigation.


What do you hope to accomplish through your ADR Practice?

I enjoy helping litigants resolve their disputes in a mutually satisfactory way.

In your estimation, why do clients like working with you?

Because I treat them with dignity and respect, and I offer them the best of my service.

If you had to teach a subject, what would it be?

Business Law and ADR.


What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. I love when my family comes together (stress-free), and I absolutely enjoy seeing my in-laws enjoy their grandchildren.


What is something your clients would never guess about you?

Some have no idea that I speak fluent Spanish, and that I travel to central and southern Africa annually to aid in humanitarian concerns.  Also, some have no idea that I have a crazy sense of humor.


What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

To be brutally honest with clients about the likelihood of them prevailing in their cases, and obey that “gut feeling” about others.  Maya Angelou said: “When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”


If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?

I would definitely be a professor.


If you could have dinner with any one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

My grandmother Rebecca.  She passed away one month after my first son was born, and I still miss her dearly.  I have so many questions to ask her about her life and about life as I have experienced it. I wish heaven had visiting hours.


What is your favorite book? Why?

The Bible. I read it often for wisdom, comfort, and direction.


Do you have a favorite quote?

“I never lose. I either win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela


To learn more about James or view his online calendar, click here.