Skip to main content
Wayne J. Payne

Wayne J. Payne

also known as W. James Payne, W. J. Payne, Colonel

Practice areas:

Criminal Defense, Federal Crime, Military Law

About Me

W. James Payne is a fearless criminal trial lawyer.  Mr. Payne is also a retired Colonel of United States Marines, serving his country for over 30 years as a Reserve Officer and very active trial lawyer. 

Mr. Payne's practice is defending the criminally accused in the following venues:  State Court, Federal Court, and Courts-Martial (Military Justice).  Criminal charges include Felonies, Misdemeanors, DUI/DWI, murder, sex crimes, robbery, rape, larceny, computer crimes, military offenses, drug trafficking, drug conspiracy, white collar offenses.

Mr. Payne has such experience in defending the criminally accused that he is one of a very select group of attorneys in North Carolina that are qualified to defend capital (death penalty) murder cases.  Further, Mr. Payne is also qualified to represent defendants in United States District Court that are unable to afford the services of a private attorney.

In the Marine Corps, W. James Payne served as a judge advocate.  He defended Marines and officers from the rank of Private through General on a multitude of differing military justice offense.  Colonel Payne also served five years on the bench as a military judge and several years as the Staff Judge Advocate for the 4th Marine Logistics Group.

An avid Crossfitter, Mr. Payne prides himself on keeping in top physical shape to have the stamina to represent his clients with drive, energy, and enthusiasm.


Photos and Videos

1745606 1316896408

1745606 1319404313

Practice Areas

Licensed since 1984

  1. Criminal Defense: 40%
    31 years
  2. Military Law: 30%
    30 years
  3. Federal Crime: 30%
    26 years



Hourly ($250-300/hour), Fixed (Sometimes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

3 total 

  • Samuel J. Randall

    James is an Excellent Attorney. If you are charged with a crime call James.


    Samuel Randall Federal Crime Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Dustin R. T. Sullivan

    One of the finest attorneys in our area who is willing to fight for his client's rights.


    Dustin Sullivan Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

W. James Payne, Attorney-At-Law

P. O. Box 2308
4434 Main St.
Shallotte, NC, 28459


NCAuthorized to practice law198404/08/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
OwnerW. James Payne, Attorney-At-Law2010 - Present
PartnerPowell & Payne, Attorneys-At-Law1990 - 2010
PartnerPowell, Gore, & Payne, Attorneys-At-Law1989 - 1990
AssociatePowell & Gore, Attorneys-At-Law1988 - 1989
AssociateMurchison, Taylor, Kendrick, Gibson, and Davenport1987 - 1988
Judge AdvocateUnited States Marine Corps1984 - 2009

Association NamePosition NameDuration
United States District Court for the Middle District of North CarolinaMember1995 - Present
Rotary Club of the South Brunswick IslandsPast-President1993 - 1995
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North CarolinaMember1989 - Present
Rotary Club of the South Brunswick IslandsMember1989 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMemberN/A
North Carolina Advocates for JusticeMemberN/A
North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Criminal Law SectionMemberN/A
Brunswick County North Carolina Criminal Indigent Appointment CommitteeMemberN/A

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
State of North Carolina vs. Danny L. Thomas, capital murder chargeLife Without Parole
State of North Carolina v. CaudleFull Acquittal
State of North Carolina v. Larry RobinsonLife

See all Legal Cases 

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Campbell University, Norman Adrian Wiggins School of LawN/AJuris Doctor1984
Campbell UniversityGovernment-Pre LawBachelor of Science1981

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Capital Murder CollegeClosing Arguments in the Penalty Phase of a Capital Muder Case2011
Capital Murder CollegeLogistics in a Capital Murder Case2011
Capital Defense CollegeJury Selection in Capital Murder Cases2011