Spotlight: James Young, “The Professional Peacemaker”

By Kelly K. James

James YoungJames Young may be easily recognizable for his penchant for bow ties, but he’s also become known as a talented and dedicated mediator, arbitrator, and attorney.


James continues to run a law practice alongside his work as a neutral and enjoys the challenge his different roles present. “What I try to do is incorporate as much ADR [alternative dispute resolution] as I can into my law practice,” he says. “I’m doing more and more ADR, and in three or four years, I’d like to be able to focus on that full-time. ADR is a natural evolution for me.”


Curiosity About Conflict  

James, who is bilingual in Spanish, received his certification as a mediator in 2017, and currently mediates four to five cases a month, including workers’ compensation, workplace mediation, automotive injury cases, and cases involving estate disputes.


“I’ve always had a curiosity about other people’s way of thinking, and I’ve always been interested in knowing why people disagree and get caught in conflict without being able to resolve it and move forward” says James. “I’ve always been able to see two sides of an issue. As attorneys, we’re taught to argue our sides but to know the opposing side as well. It doesn’t matter what the issue — I can see at least a scintilla of the truth on all sides and that’s a skill I use as a mediator.”


Experience as an Arbitrator

James is also an experienced arbitrator who now arbitrates cases for Miles. Many courts are using court-ordered arbitration to help settle lawsuits without having to proceed to trial. “I’ve been working as an arbitrator of court-ordered cases for five years, and I have presided over hundreds of cases,” says James. “Those cases include automotive cases, personal injury cases, landlord/tenant cases, estate administration disputes, and breach of contract cases. I’ve also arbitrated cases involving mechanics’ liens, alienation of affection claims, and breach of the contract to marry.”


“I’m arbitrating two to three times a week at this point,” says James. I like the flexibility — I’m not strictly confined to the rules of evidence and procedure. I use that latitude and my mediation skills, when appropriate, to foster resolution.


Multiple Roles, Multiple Talents

“I have different titles — lawyer, mediator, arbitrator — but I consider myself a professional peacemaker,” he says. “That’s how I want people to think of me. I have legal training but also have training and desire to bring about peace.”


Away from his ADR and legal practice, James enjoys spending time with his family — his wife, Tiffany, and sons, Josiah, and Jameson. “I’ve been fortunate to travel to different continents and study in different countries, but my greatest joy is being with my wife and children, seeing my children develop their natural gifts, and helping them navigate the difficult spaces that life presents to young people these days. ”


His older son, Josiah, is a freshman and Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and he is a “direct admit” to the Kenan Flager Business School. He just finished his first semester, and he is adjusting well. In his “spare time” on Sunday afternoons, he teaches inner city kids how to swim.


James’ younger son, Jameson, started playing the trumpet right before the COVID-19 pandemic, and he has developed a love for jazz. In the eighth grade, he placed first chair in All State Jazz Band, and he is preparing to audition for their year’s competition. “Professionals are saying that he really has a gift,” says James. “To be part of Jameson’s musical development brings me great joy.” Jameson says that he is interested in studying engineering and music when he goes to college, and James encourages him to continue pursuing his interests, reassuring him there is no pressure to declare a major at the age of 14!


And as for the bow ties? We can thank his wife. “About ten years ago, my wife said, ‘you should start wearing bow ties. I think you would look nice in them,’” says James. “She bought me a bow tie and I went to YouTube and learned how to tie it. I’m addicted to them now! If I see bow ties, especially when they are on sale, I buy more. I just love them.”


James is looking forward to being a full-time mediator and arbitrator sooner rather than later. “I strongly believe I have an innate ability to bring about peace and resolution,” he says. “I feel that I’m able to find common ground with just about anyone and put people at ease and do the hard work of getting these cases resolved. It was important to learn how to try cases, and I’ve done criminal and civil work. But for me, it’s a natural evolution to mediate and arbitrate. I know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”




Miles Mediation & Arbitration is shaping the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry with our comprehensive professional services model that combines the expertise of our highly skilled, diverse panel of neutrals with an unparalleled level of client support to guide and empower parties to fair, timely, and cost-effective resolution regardless of case size, specialization, or complexity. For more information, please call 888-305-3553 or email