James L.  Johnson

James L. Johnson

100 South Mason Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

James L. Johnson


Experienced in the field real estate and finance law, James (Jim) Lewis Johnson has spent his entire legal career amassing the knowledge and aptitude that will meet your needs.  A native of Hillsboro, Virginia, he represents businesses and individuals, with an emphasis on commercial real estate, creditor’s rights, zoning and land use, commercial law, construction law, entity formations, collections and bankruptcy in the Valley and beyond.  Admitted to the practice of law in 2004, he began practicing at a residential real estate law firm in the Northern Shenandoah Valley performing hundreds of real estate transactions each year.  In 2007, James joined Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC and is admitted to practice in federal and state courts, including the Virginia and West Virginia state courts, the United States Bankruptcy Courts of the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia as well as the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.

Jim is an instructor of real estate law and ethics, teaching agents and brokers in Virginia and West Virginia.  He is also an avid volunteer and has served on the boards of several community organizations and taught civics and law-related education at elementary schools.

James L. Johnson’s real estate and creditor’s rights experience include participating in contested land use and zoning disputes, negotiation of leases, secured financing both on debtor and lender side, representation of seller and purchaser in complex real estate transaction, representation of creditors in loan work-outs and foreclosures, as well as various bankruptcy proceedings.  Specific examples of experience include:

  • Representation of purchasers and sellers in acquisition of numerous types of large acquisitions, including Chevrolet dealership, gas stations, working farms, commercial buildings;
  • Representation of parties in ground leases, financing, and construction of commercial projects, including construction of national chain restaurants, telecommunications facilities and towers, residential subdivisions;
  • Advise and assist in representation of banks on various deals large and small, including 8-figure hotel financing, and a foreclosure of multiple houses in subdivision upon builder bankruptcy;
  • Successful resolution of numerous partition disputes with multiple parties involved;
  • Representation of numerous Common Interest Community Associations, including handling collections, amendments to Declaration and Corporate By-Laws, and advice and assistance on numerous matters;
  • Representation of creditors and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings both large and small, including national banks, tech companies, and manufacturers.  Matters include filing of an involuntary and voluntary bankruptcy petitions, numerous contested lift stay and cash collateral motions, objections to claims, claims administration and objections to discharge;
  • Successfully defending and prosecuting dozens of creditors in avoidance actions, including several 7 figure preference and fraudulent transfer claims in bankruptcy court.
  • Common Interest Community Law, including general representation of Associations, as well as communities, community members, and others in enforcement actions and resolution of disputes.

Prior to graduation from law school, James was a legal intern in a title and escrow firm, a law clerk to the chief counsel for the Pennsylvania State Police and an Intake and Juvenile Probation Officer in Loudoun County, Virginia. He has presented or published the following material:

The Administrative Law Journal for Pennsylvania, 2003-2004

PSP Counselor, 2003-2004

A Tale of Two Real Estate Contracts

Ethics for Real Estate Ethics

Estate Planning Issues for Farmers

1031 Exchanges as well as other Tax Issues related to Real Estate Acquisitions

And many others…

Widener School of Law (J.D., 2004)

University of Virginia (B.A., Government, 2000)

North Carolina State University


Admitted to Practice

Virginia (2004)

West Virginia (2007)

Northern and Southern District of West Virginia (Federal & Bankruptcy)

Eastern and Western District of Virginia (Bankruptcy)

Virginia State Bar

West Virginia State Bar

Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Bar Association

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

Trail Advocacy Honor Society, Widener University School of Law

Virginia's Legal Elite, Virginia Business Magazine (Every year since 2010)

University of Virginia Alumni Association

Related Resources

Download 01/10/2018

New Landlord-Tenant Rules

Some of the most significant changes to Virginia landlord-tenant law in years became effective in the second half of 2017. If you are a landlord that rents three or fewer units, or a tenant that rents from such a landlord, you are most affected. James L. Johnson of Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC further explains the potential impact of these changes in this article.

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