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About me

Jim is a Baltimore native, married and father of three sons and a step-son. Jim graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School. He has worked in private practice since 1981 and has also been an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. Since 1983 he has served as the Managing Partner for the law firm of Motsay and Lay, Attorney’s at Law. In 1986 he was appointed by Mayor Schaefer to conduct hearings for the City of Baltimore and continues to serve as Administrative Law Judge still today.

In an effort to continue to provide the best possible services to his clients, Jim trained as a mediator in 2000. He serves as a mediator for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Circuit Court for Baltimore County, the Orphan’s Court for Baltimore City and the Orphan’s Court for Baltimore County.

In 2003 Jim began guest lecturing at the University of Maryland School of Social Work on the topic of ethics.  In 2006, Jim joined the faculty of the University of Phoenix as an instructor in the Master's in Business Administration program.

Jim is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Maryland Collaborative Law Association, Inc. He received his training for collaborative law in Dallas, Texas in 2006.

Jim’s goal is to provide the best quality of legal service for his clients and he has furthered this commitment by seeking continued education and training from the top educational institutions.  In pursuit of the goal, he has been trained at Harvard Law School.  He attended the Program of Instruction for Lawyers/Program on Negotiation.  As a Harvard Trained Negotiator, Jim is part of an elite group of attorneys across the country that carries this distinction.

In addition to his family and law activities, Jim has served his community in a number of capacities and on various boards. He received his certification as a Little League Umpire in 1977, and has coached youth and adult soccer since 1971. He also co-founded and served as Co-Commissioner of the Catonsville Indoor Soccer Program. He is a past member and president of the Board for the Catholic Community Schools of South Baltimore. He has served as president of the American Society of Italians and Friends. He was Chairman of the Maryland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was honored by the Maryland Chapter as Volunteer of the Year and by the National Society for his volunteer activities and for training other trustees. In 2003, Jim was honored with the “Medal of Honor” by the Baltimore County Fire Department for rescuing a neighbor from her burning house.

Jim began his association with the University of Maryland as a student at UMBC; he continued his association as a member of the University’s Board of Regents and currently he is a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a member of the Alumni Board at UMBC.

Jim and his family are well-known in the legal community.  His father is a retired judge from the District Court of Maryland.  He has two sisters and a brother that are all attorneys actively practicing law in the State of Maryland.  Jim has spent most of his life in and around the law.  His career can be traced to the days as a child going to work at the courthouse with his father.   He has also served as a deputy clerk in the old Criminal Court for Baltimore City, a law clerk, an intern, an Assistant State’s Attorney, a solo practitioner and now partner. 

Jim’s areas of professional interest include collaborative law, family law, estates, will and trusts, collections, contracts and real estate, personal injury and worker’s compensation, traffic and criminal matters.

He resides in Baltimore City and enjoys golf, soccer and spending time with his wife and family.



Admitted to practice law in:

Maryland State Bar Association

Supreme Court of the United States of America

Baltimore City Bar Association

United States Federal Courts

Baltimore County Bar Association

United States Bankruptcy Courts

Maryland Trial Lawyers Association

All Maryland Appellate and Trial Courts

Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals


Practice areas


  1. Workers Compensation: 25%
    35 years
  2. Personal Injury: 25%
    35 years
  3. Bankruptcy: 10%
    35 years
  4. Wills: 10%
    35 years
  5. Other: 30%
  6. More 


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • James T Heise

    James was opposing counsel on a real estate matter in which I was involved. I found his approach to resolving the matter to be reasonable and thoughtful. It is always great to work with another attorney that works to build bridges while still acting in his client's best interests.


    James Heise Real estate Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

  • Jac E Knust

    I endorse this lawyer. James is highly skilled and hard working and will do a great job for you.


    Jac Knust Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Motsay and Lay, Attorneys at Law

200 E 25th St
Baltimore, MD, 21218


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Medal Of HonorBaltimore County2003
"Hero"Towson Times2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
MediatorCircuit Court for Baltimore City2000 - Present
Administrative Law JudgeBaltimore City1986 - Present
Managing PartnerMotsay and Lay, Attorney's at Law1983 - Present
Appeals Counsel - Liquor BoardBaltimore City Council1987 - 1991
Assistant States AttorneyBaltimore City State's Attorney's Office1981 - 1983
Association namePosition nameDuration
Maryland Program for Mediator ExcellenceMediator2013 - Present
Maryland Collaborative Law AssociationTreasurer2006 - Present
Maryland State Bar AssociationMember1981 - Present
Bar Association of Baltimore CityMember1981 - Present
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Baltimore School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1981
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Region 2 and 4 Regional CompetionsMock Trial Judge 2008 to present2008
Multiple Sclerosis Society National ConferenceBoard Trustees1996