Elizabeth “Libby” Johnstone James

Since 2005, Libby James has dedicated herself to assisting individuals with delicate, personal legal matters. Ms. James practices family law with an emphasis on alimony, post-separation support, equitable distribution, separation agreements, premarital agreements, child support, child custody, contempt motions, qualified domestic relations orders, name changes and domestic violence protective orders and appeals.

Ms. James is the co-author of the Lexis Nexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Family Law.

Ms. James is a Fellow of the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) and a Fellow of the IAFL (Internation Academy of Family Lawyers).

In addition to being certified as a family law specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, Ms. James is also certified by the Cooperative Parenting Institute as a Parent Coordinator.

Originally from East Tennessee, Libby now resides in Lake Norman with her husband, three children, one dog, two cats, and a bearded dragon. When away from the office, Libby is active at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, coaches youth sports, attends Girl Scout trips, watches swim meets, and listens to her children’s band concerts.

Practice Areas


  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D. (2005)
  • Honors Political Science, University of Tennessee, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude (2002)


  • Berens v. Berens, 818 S.E.2d 155 (N.C. Ct. App. 2018) (argued at Court of Appeals)
  • Comstock v. Comstock, 780 S.E.2d 183 (N.C. Ct. App. 2015) (as amicus curiae for North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Peeples v. Peeples, No. COA 14-1026, 2015 N.C. App. LEXIS 48 (N.C. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2015)
  • Hinshaw v. Kuntz, 760 S.E.2d 296 (2014)
  • In re J.D., 234 N.C. App. 342, 759 S.E.2d 375 (2014)
  • Belk v. Belk, 221 N.C. App. 1, 728 S.E.2d 356 (2012)
  • In re K.O., 223 N.C. App. 420, 735 S.E.2d 369 (2012)
  • Hibshman v. Hibshman, 212 N.C. App. 113, 710 S.E.2d 438 (2011)
  • Maxwell v. Maxwell, 212 N.C. App. 614, 713 S.E.2d 489 (2011)
  • Velasquez v. Ralls, 192 N.C. App. 505, 665 S.E.2d 825 (2008)

Honors + Activities

  • Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, 2013-2019, 2021,2023
  • Super Lawyers, North Carolina "Rising Stars," Family Law, 2013-2020
  • Super Lawyers, North Carolina, Family Law, 2021
  • Legal Elite, Family Law, Business North Carolina, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022
  • ATHENA Corporate Leadership Honoree, 2017
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers, July 2021
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Board Certified Family Law Specialist (2010-present), Family Law Council (2021-2024), Family Law Specialization Committee (2019-2024), Alimony Committee (Co-Chair 2019-2020), Domestic Violence Issues Committee, Co-Chair (2015-2016)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar: Board of Directors, Member (2018-2021), Mecklenburg County Bar: Executive Committee (2019-2020), Family Law Section (Chair 2019-2020, Co-Chair 2018-2019), Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee, Member (2017-2019), Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, Member (2014, 2015, 2016), Grievance Committee, Member (2011, 2012, 2013), Young Lawyer’s Division, Past Membership Committee Co-Chair


  • 2023 Family Case Law Update With Special Panel Discussion, Evidentiary Issues: The Digital Family World (2023 Family Law Section Spring Program), April 28–29, 2023
  • 2022 Family Law Case Law Update, Long Time, No See: Lessons From the Pandemic (2022 Family Law Section Spring Program) (April 29-30, 2022)
  • Violence in the Home, Advanced Family Law, National Business Institute (February 23, 2021)
  • Co-Planner, Practical Magic (2020 Essentials of Family Law), North Carolina Bar Association (November 2020)
  • Client Intake and Motions in Divorce, Handling Divorce Cases, National Business Institute (February 3, 2020)
  • Legal Ethics, Handling Divorce Cases, National Business Institute (February 3, 2020)
  • Effectively Arguing Contempt Issues, Advance Family Law forum hosted by the National Business Institute, Charlotte, NC (August 16, 2018), Panelist
  • Tools for Your Toolbox: Litigating a Family Law Case - Direct and Cross-Examinations, North Carolina Advocates for Justice (February 2018)
  • Case Law Update, Family Law Section Annual Meeting (2017)
  • Family Law Update, NCBA Annual Review (2015)
  • Case Law Update, Family Law Section Annual Meeting (2015)
  • Case Law Update, Family Law Section Annual Meeting (2014)