Knicely & Associates

Attorneys at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

Courthouse, Williamsburg, VA Credit: Bradley Jones


Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg

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Royal Crest, WIlliamsburg

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Colonial Courthouse, Williamsburg

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Governors Palace, Williamsburg, VA Credit: Larry Pieniazek


James J. Knicely

Mr. Knicely received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1972 where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal. After law school, Mr. Knicely served as a law clerk to U. S. Circuit Judge Roger Robb of the U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit and to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U. S. Supreme Court. He served three years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U. S. Navy and later as an associate and partner at Kutak Rock & Huie, Omaha, Nebraska, and as an associate at Hunton & Williams, Richmond, Virginia. He has practiced in Williamsburg since 1984.

Mr. Knicely is admitted to the Virginia Bar and the Nebraska Bar (inactive)and to the Bars of the U. S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Virginia, the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; the U. S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Federal and D. C. Circuits; the U. S. Court of Claims and the U. S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Knicely’s practice is primarily directed to civil litigation in state and federal courts, corporate and business law, (including tax-exempt organizations), and real estate law. Mr. Knicely’s litigation practice includes real estate, commercial, eminent domain, First Amendment and Section 1983 litigation.  Read more at the following hyperlink about notables cases in which Mr. Knicely has served as counsel.

Since 1981, Mr. Knicely authored twenty-five amicus curiae briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court on issues of Federal constititutional and statutory significance, from landmark cases such as Widmar v. Vincent to more recent cases such as Snyder v. Phelps. He has also authored numerous articles on the First Amendment Free Speech, Establishment and Free Execise Clauses. Read more at the following hyperlink about publications/presentations in which Mr. Knicely has served as counsel.

Mr. Knicely was born and raised in Nebraska and after living in New Zealand as an exchange student, went on to George Washington University where he received his B. A., with distinction, after serving as Student Body President and election to Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Mr. Knicely is active in his church and serves, or has served in the past, as an officer and/or director of The Rutherford Institute, International Nepal Fellowship (North America), Housing Partnerships, Inc.; Housing Partnerships Funding Group, Inc., the Virginia Peninsula Swimming Union, the Aquatic Center Development Commission; the Williamsburg Aquatic Club, and the James City Rotary Club. Mr. Knicely has been certified as a USA Swimming Referee, Starter, and Stroke and Turn Judge, and served on the Officials Committee of Virginia Swimming, Inc.

Mr. Knicely and his wife, Leslie, have four children. The Knicelys chose Williamsburg as a place to settle and raise a family because of its natural beauty and history, its small town feel and its big city amenities, including the College of William & Mary.

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