James Webb Jones

4705 Columbus Street, Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462-6749
DirectLine: (757) 552-6034
jjones@pbp-attorneys.com

Mr. Jones began his practice of law in 1966. He has concentrated on land use law and development in the private sector as well as government land use, planning and acquisition for transportation projects, port development, parks and school sites. After completing his military service his civilian career began in the City Attorney’s Office of the City of Portsmouth in 1968. In 1970 he entered private practice for a period of thirty years first in Portsmouth and later moved his office to Western Branch in Chesapeake. He became outside counsel to the Department of Transportation in 1993. As outside counsel and later as a Staff Attorney he served the administrations of Virginia Attorneys General Gilmore, Earley, Kilgore, McDonnell and Cuccinelli. In 2000 he became Assistant Attorney General and Counsel for VDOT’s Right of Way Manager and staff while overseeing the certification of all real estate titles, eminent domain litigation and supervision of outside counsel to VDOT. He rose to the level of Senior Assistant Attorney General for the VDOT Southeast Region as the Region’s Staff Counsel. He has been repeatedly selected by his peers to be included in Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite in the category of Real Estate/Land Use. Mr. Jones has an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Affiliations

  • Virginia State Bar (Real Property Section)
  • Chesapeake Bar Association
  • Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
  • Regent University Adjunct Professor
  • Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified Lay Minister

MajorProjectsHandled

  • Accomack, Virginia (Eastern Shore). New Chincoteague Bridge over Black Narrows and Lewis Creek Channel. Successfully managed and led defense of project against claims by local watermen alleging negative impacts to oyster & clam grounds due to construction;
  • Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk Light Rail. Cooperative assistance in the early months of the project to right of way consultant from Florida that was not familiar with Virginia's right of way acquisition laws and procedures. Preparation of initial draft agreement for resource sharing between VDOT and Hampton Roads Transit for placement & maintenance of Light Rail tracks and catenary within existing VDOT right of way;
  • Suffolk, Virginia. Devolution of public street maintenance. At request of VDOT District Administrator & State Director of Right of Way served as chief negotiator for VDOT with City of Suffolk for accomplishing devolution under Virginia Code to transfer street & bridge ownership and maintenance from VDOT to the City; coordinated and managed preparation of Final Devolution Agreement executed between VDOT and the City;
  • Eastern Shore of Virginia. Managed and led litigation successfully to acquire right of way along Highway 13;
  • Norfolk, Virginia. Church Street Project. Tried a number of cases acquiring right of way in a commercial corridor as either outside counsel for VDOT or as an Assistant Attorney General;
  • Williamsburg, Virginia. Route 199. Assisted with successfully funding project under the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) instead of relying upon federal funding, to speed project completion prior to 400th Anniversary of Jamestown Settlement. Managed and led investigation of contractor oversight by VDOT during construction. Managed and led litigation defending against takings’ claims regarding sound barrier;
  • Chesterfield & Richmond, Virginia. Route 288 (35 miles connecting I-95 to I-64). Successfully managed legal trial work and title certification for right of way acquisition for project funded under the Public-Private Transportation Act;
  • Virginia Beach & Chesapeake, Virginia. Kempsville Road. Successfully managed and led litigation to acquire right of way;
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia. Shore Drive. Successfully managed and led litigation to acquire right of way; successfully defended Advertising Sign lawsuits against VDOT as part of VDOT Outdoor Advertising Task Force;
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia. Laskin Road. Successfully managed and led litigation to acquire right of way against claims filed on behalf of luxury apartments, commercial buildings and shopping centers. Successfully defended appeals to the Supreme Court of Virginia;
  • Hampton, Virginia. Commander Shepard Boulevard. Successfully managed legal work for consultants negotiating acquisition of right of way without litigation being required; successfully prepared City of Hampton for audit of title & acquisition procedures under the Urban Construction Initiative Projects Program for project funded jointly by VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA);
  • Newport News, Virginia. Warwick Boulevard (Route 60). Successfully managed and led acquisition of major right of way through intensely commercial corridor. This matter involved extremely complex negotiations and litigation;
  • Portsmouth, Virginia. Sleepy Hole Park. Successfully managed and led acquisition by the City of Portsmouth;
  • Portsmouth, Virginia. Portsmouth Marine Terminal. Successfully managed and led land acquisition in Port Norfolk section of Portsmouth on behalf of the City of Portsmouth;
  • Portsmouth, Virginia. Successfully managed acquisition of school sites in Portsmouth on behalf of the City of Portsmouth.
Not only is Mr. Jones an experienced litigator, deeply familiar with the process of land acquisition, but he is also trained in the procedures of transportation project planning and the funding of transportation projects.  His extensive litigation experience has included personal injury and death cases, will contests, construction law matters, partition of land and divorce. His practice has also traditionally  involved legal work needed  in estate administration and administrative law matters involving state licensing of various kinds of facilities. He began his career as a junior commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps and he is a veteran of the Viet Nam War. He also served a term as an Assistant City Attorney and as a Substitute District Court Judge in Portsmouth, Virginia. He is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States Supreme Court. Sample Cases:
  • Curtis Bois v. Huntington Blizzard and Uninsured Employer's Fund, 39 Va. App. 216; 571 S.E. 2d 924; 2002 Va. App. LEXIS 683 (2002)
  • Legum Furniture Corporation, et als, etc. v. David I. Levine; David I. Levine v. Robert M. Stein, Executor, etc. 217 Va. 782, 232 S.E. 2d 782 (1977)

Seminars

  • Pay Equity for Women and STEM programs - April 21, 2014
  • Mediation in Eminent Domain - April 29, 2010
  • Eminent Domain and The New Constitutional Amendment - April 26, 2013
  • The New Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment - March 27, 2013

Articles

Education

  • University of Virginia (B.A. 1962)
  • University of Virginia (J.D. 1965)
  • George Mason University (Graduate Certificate in Transportation Policy, Operations & Logistics 2007)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Public Policy (VDOT Executive Institute Certificate 2004)


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