James W. Barkley

James W. Barkley
Morin & Barkley LLP
455 Second Street, S.E., Suite 200
Post Office Box 240
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
E jwbarkley@morinandbarkley.com
P 434.293.1204
F 434.293.2135

Representative Experience

James W. Barkley is a seasoned and widely respected lawyer who has represented clients in the insurance, construction, and product manufacturing industries for nearly three decades.

He focuses a substantial portion of his practice on strategic counseling and risk management and complex litigation for clients, and he is frequently called on to solve his clients’ most challenging problems. He listens to his clients carefully and works closely with them to identify meaningful options that make sense in light of the clients’ current and long-term needs.

In 2016, Mr. Barkley expanded his practice to serve regularly as a mediator. Born out of the belief that resolution of complex disputes is about more than the end result, he is committed to a principled approach to mediation. He is uniquely positioned to draw from both his substantial subject matter expertise and his role as a conscientious advocate. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to solve challenging and high-risk problems and find creative solutions that are not evident to others. Learn more about his mediation practice.

Mr. Barkley’s complex litigation experience includes “front line” handling of cases from inception through trial. He also regularly provides management and oversight of cases in which he is not counsel of record.

Beyond the coverage and other insurance-related litigation he handles, Mr. Barkley has worked extensively with insurers in the review and development of policy wording and drafting. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the field of insurance law since 2009.

Mr. Barkley works closely with his construction industry clients on contract negotiation and preparation, review and evaluation of insurance programs, and project management issues for private and public projects. Mr. Barkley has been recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers in the field of construction law since 2008.

Mr. Barkley has counseled clients on matters in a number of jurisdictions across the country including North Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, California, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Practice Focus


  • George Washington University; Washington, DC
    • J.D., with Honors, 1989
    • Member of the George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics
  • University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • B.A., Spanish, 1986
  • La Universidad de Sevilla; Seville, Spain 1984-1985


  • Virginia, 1993
  • District of Columbia, 1992
  • North Carolina, 1989


  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association
    • President, 2016-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Insurance Law, 2009-2017
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, Construction Law, 2008-2018
  • Virginia Business, Legal Elite, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2017
  • Virginia State Bar
    • Construction Law and Public Contracts Section, Board of Governors, 2002-2008
  • The Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Board of Directors, 2002-2005
    • Policy Coverage Section, Chair, 2001-2002
  • Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Inc.
    • Legal Affairs Committee, 1999-2005
  • Defense Research Institute
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • District of Columbia


  • “Risk Transfer in Construction Contracts,” presented to the 37th Annual Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar, November 2016.
  • Guest Lecturer, Construction Law, University of Virginia School of Law (April 12, 2016, March 28, 2017, and February 5, 2018).
  • Co-Author, Chapter 20, “Insurance Coverage for Owners, General Contractors, Subcontractors, Architects and Engineers,” in Virginia Construction Law Deskbook (2015, 2008).
  • Co-Author, Chapter 16, “Commercial General Liability Insurance,” in Virginia Insurance Law Deskbook (2015, 2002). 
  • “Insurance Coverage for Insurance Projects,” presented to the Office of the Attorney General Education Section Retreat, October 2014.
  • Moderator, “Avoiding Trench E-Warfare:  Are There Ways to Make Electronic Discovery Effective and Affordable?”  Panel discussion presented at the 6th Annual Advanced Business Litigation Institute, June 2014.
  • “Risk Management For Contractors:  Construction Law Basics,” February 2013.
  • Moderator, “In-House Roundtable:  Managing Construction Disputes, Containing Costs and Formulating Litigation Strategies,” panel discussion presented at the National Construction Litigation Conference, February 29, 2012, Orlando, Florida.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Construction Projects: Builders’ Risk and Errors and Omissions Professional Liability Coverage,” presented at the 31st Annual Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar, November 2010.
  • “Claim Exposé: The Devil’s in the Details” presented at the XL Insurance Design Professionals Risk Control Group, October 2010.
  • “Allocation of Risk in Commercial Contracts,” presented at the Virginia Bar Association Corporate Counsel Fall Forum 2010, October 2010.
  • “Scheduling and Communication: Ten Rules to Follow on Every Project,” presented to Draper Aden Associates, June 2010
  • “Policy Coverage – Construction Defects Coverage Roundtable,” presented to the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys’ Spring Meeting, May 2010.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Construction Projects:  Mind the Gap,” presented to Virginia CLE’s 30th Annual construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar, November 2009.
  • Co-Authored National Business Institute’s 2007 desk reference, Insurance Coverage Law, “Establishing The Foundation:  Reviewing The Insurance Contract” presented to National Business Institute’s Insurance Coverage Law Seminar, October 2007.
  • “Current Insurance Issues and Concerns in Commercial Real Estate” presented to Virginia CLE’s 11th Annual Advanced Real Estate Seminar, February 2007.
  • Moderator, “The Perfect Storm: Practical Issues Raised in the Defense of a Complex Insurance Coverage Case,” panel discussion presented to The Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Annual Meeting, October 2006, Williamsburg, Virginia.