Former Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James U. Downs, announced his return to the practice of law after a lengthy and successful career as a North Carolina Superior Court Judge. Judge Downs was first appointed to the bench by then Governor James B. Hunt and ran for election four times without opposition. During his time in office, Downs presided over numerous capital murder trials and hundreds of complex civil trials across the state.
Recognized throughout North Carolina as a competent, hard working trial judge, Downs is known for his fairness and integrity. “I am happy to return to the law practice after a career as a judge. I look forward to representing individuals and small businesses in western North Carolina,” said Downs.
Downs has joined the Hickory law firm of Sigmon, Clark, Mackie, Hanvey, and Ferrell, P.A. a general practice firm. He will maintain an office in Franklin and participate in law suits with the firm and other law firms and single practitioners.
Downs has a vast understanding of the judicial process and brings to the practice of law the rare ability to identify legal issues in every fact based case. He offers the ability to represent people in the court system before juries and judges with the view of reaching fair and just resolutions for his clients.
Jud, as he is generally known, will focus on eminent domain cases representing landowners who have had their property condemned by governmental agencies such as the Department of Transportation. Likewise, he will be involved in Will and Trust litigation, property disputes, employment matters, and other issues requiring litigation.
In the courtroom today it is important to understand and be familiar with “dispute resolution,” that is to say mediation and arbitration. Downs brings a great deal of experience to this field, and will serve as a mediator or arbitrator in civil law suits.
Downs was born in Shreveport, La., where he attended public schools. Thereafter, he attended V.M.I. - graduating in 1963, then attended and graduated from Loyola University School of Law in 1966. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, 1966 to 1968, and was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain.