• South Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces

James Burns

T: 803.255.9586
F: 803.255.5936
Meridian, 17th Floor
1320 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201

James Burns is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP's Columbia office. He practices in the areas of consumer financial services litigation, business litigation, and government relations.


  • Representation of consumer financial services institutions and loan servicers in a variety of actions involving alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), as well as state statutes and state unfair and deceptive trade practices acts
  • Focuses on government relations, legislative issues, and administrative law
  • Trial experience in federal court, state court and arbitration proceedings

Previous Professional Experience

  • Chief of Staff, S.C. Governor Nikki Haley (2014-2015)
  • Deputy Legal Counsel, Office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, The Pentagon (2006-2008)
    • Provided time-sensitive legal opinions on ethics, complex investigations, and military justice matters to senior Navy executives
  • Assistant Force Judge Advocate, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (2005-2006)
    • Served as operational law attorney and provided advice regarding rules of engagement, international law, and rule of law
  • Prosecutor, Trial Service Office Southeast (2002-2005)
    • Served as trial counsel prosecuting violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice

Professional Activities

  • Former Chairman, South Carolina State Ethics Commission
    • Appointed by Governor Nikki Haley
  • Former Counsel, South Carolina Ethics Reform Commission