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James L. Joyce

Fax +1.919.743.7358

Jim Joyce’s practice focuses on pursuing results for clients through the application of expertise, timely advice, and problem-solving to clients in the energy, biotechnology, chemical, real estate development, manufacturing, and banking industries.

Mr. Joyce’s practice includes a broad spectrum of environmental, energy, and land use matters, including the following:

  • Advising clients in the acquisition, cleanup, and redevelopment of contaminated properties;
  • Preventing and resolving regulatory compliance issues under federal, state, and local laws;
  • Supporting business and real estate transactions with advice and due diligence on land use, zoning, and environmental issues;
  • Representing clients in land use and environmental permitting and litigation matters, from zoning entitlement hearings to permit and enforcement defense matters; and
  • Negotiating with state and local agencies to drive successful outcomes in land use, real estate, and environmental matters.

Professional Background

 Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Joyce was a fellow at the University of North Carolina School of Government, where he co-authored a book on inclusionary zoning. His education in law and land use planning makes him well versed in zoning and land use related law.


  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2015-2018.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Triangle Community Coalition, 2013-2017 Board of Directors
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Section, Cleanup & Waste Programs Committee Chair and Section Council Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section
  • Urban Land Institute

Speaking Engagements

  • “2016-17 North Carolina Case Law Update,” NC Bar Association, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section 2017 Annual Meeting, May 2017.
  • “How Companies Manage State Energy Regulatory Issues,” presentations to E4 Carolinas Emerging Leaders program (April 2015, 2016, and 2017) and E4 Carolinas Leadership Energy Carolinas program (August 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017).
  • “Shale Gas Development in North Carolina,” presented to Professional Engineers of North Carolina with Stanford D. Baird, December 2015.
  • “North Carolina Legislative and Case Law Update,” NC Bar Association, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section 2014 Annual Meeting, May 2014.
  • “Zoning, Planning, and Land Use Issues,” at Legal Issues Involving Local Governments, National Business Institute Seminar, September 2013
  • “U.S. Environmental Law: A Primer,” with Stanford D. Baird, April 2013.
  • “Ethics in Quasi-Judicial Practice,” with Craigie Sanders, NC Bar Association Zoning, Planning, and Land Use Annual Meeting and CLE, April 2013.
  • “Potential Economic Impact of Shale Gas Development in North Carolina,” keynote panel, Manufacturers and Chemical Industry Council of North Carolina [now North Carolina Manufacturer’s Alliance], 11th Annual Environment, Energy, Health and Safety School, August 2012.
  • “2012 Legislative & Case Law Update,” presentation to North Carolina Chapter, American Planning Association, August 2012.
  • “North Carolina Shale: Regulations and Resources,” presentation to Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, July 2012.
  • Basic Zoning Law Regulations and Principles,” presentation at The Real Estate Development Approval Process CLE, November 2011.
  • “The Shifting Line of Beachfront Property Rights,” North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association 2010 Local Governments Annual Meeting, March 2010.
Focused transactional support
  • Environmental due diligence, advising, and contract drafting for seven-, eight-, and nine-figure corporate and real estate transactions, including analysis of regulatory and permitting compliance
  • Land use and zoning due diligence for shopping center developers and managers, as well as research and development laboratories
Permitting and compliance
  • Defense of air permit issued to building materials manufacturer for major new facility against local and regional environmental groups
  • Advice to national food manufacturing company on progress and findings of company-wide environmental compliance audits
  • Advice on regulatory compliance and potential self-disclosures, particularly those involving Toxic Substances Control Act and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
Contaminated properties
  • Analysis and negotiation of eligibility and agreement terms for redevelopment of contaminated property through North Carolina Brownfields and Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup programs
  • Advice to a pharmaceutical company regarding the purchase of a contaminated site with an open voluntary cleanup project
  • Advice to nationwide real estate investment manager in matter involving tenant with radioactive materials on site
Land use and zoning
  • Advice to buyers and purchasers of real estate projects in varying stages of development regarding regulatory processes, options, and timelines
  • Zoning text change and map change matters in Triangle-area municipalities
  • Advising major retail client and real estate development client through comprehensive local rezoning procedure
Renewable energy
  • Advice and due diligence regarding acquisition or financing of renewable energy projects, including site due diligence issues, advice regarding regulatory processes, and transfer of key site control documents
Procurement and public policy
  • Tracking and reporting of environmental and energy legislation, including extensive monitoring of and reporting on development of new oil and gas regulatory program for nationwide industry group
  • Advice to global retailers regarding compliance with public contracting statutes and implications of public records statutes