James Zisa

Born, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Preparatory Education:
Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1977;
North Carolina State University, 1981 (B.A. – Accounting and Economics).

Legal Education:
Campbell University School of Law, 1987 (J.D. magna cum laude);
New York University School of Law, 1988 (LL.M. summa cum laude, Taxation).

Admitted To Practice:
North Carolina, 1988; Washington, D.C., 1989.
Certified Public Accountant (inactive), North Carolina, 1981.
Admitted to practice before the United States District Court (all North Carolina districts) and the United States Tax Court.

About Jim:

With the exception of graduate school and a few work assignments, Jim has lived his entire life in North Carolina, making the permanent move to the coast in 2007. A profound animal lover, he has rescued dogs, cats, horses,  a goat named Florence, and an opossum named Martin (who turned out to be female). On the rare occasion he is not working, he spends his time watching Discovery Channel shows and planning his retirement, which will occur as soon as Privateering returns as a legal and valid career option.

Shannon Canady

Born in Atlanta, Georgia

Preparatory Education:
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 1992-1994 (B.A. in English)

Legal Certifications:
Superior Court Reporting, Atlanta, Georgia (Certification 1994)
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (Paralegal Certification 1998)

Professional Experience:
Freelance Court Reporter, Atlanta, Georgia
Litigation Team Lead, Atlanta, Georgia
Litigation Paralegal, Atlanta, Georgia & Wilmington, North Carolina

Our team

Giving Back

"Sursum corda" is a Latin phrase that commonly translated means "lift up your hearts." It is in this spirit that we work; it is in this spirit that we proudly tie our law firm legacy to our own community based charity devoted to supporting local agencies dedicated to mentoring, socializing, building self-esteem and removing barriers to personal, educational and career for girls of all ages: Like-A-Girl.org.

Read More About Like-A-Girl.org


I worked with Mr. Zisa on my divorce and property settlement. He responded immediately to my requests, returned all of my phone calls – even at nights and on the weekends – and took a great personal interest in my case.

He is professional, approachable and excellent to work with.

— A divorce client

Used this lawyer in a child custody case. He was very professional and worked long, hard hours to attempt to keep my grandchild safe. The case that we brought to him was very complex. It was not an normal, run of the mill child custody case. He fought like a bull-dog. He kept us informed throughout the entire process. Our phone calls were returned promptly.

— A child custody client

I used Mr. Zisa recently to resolve a difficult divorce case. He was my third lawyer and he succeeded where the first two failed. He immediately understood the issues in my case and made more progress in the first 3 months of the case than in 18 months with my other lawyers. He is calm and reassuring. Not only did I get everything I wanted out of my case, I stopped losing sleep worrying about what my former lawyers were doing while spending my money. Once, right before my child custody trial (that he won) I called him crying at 10:30 on a Saturday night, and he though nothing of talking with me until I felt more relaxed. He never even charged me for the call.

I hope I never need another lawyer, but if I do I’ll hire Jim at any price.

— A divorce client

Thank you for accommodating us at the last minute (Last Will & Testament).  I can now go on vacation with one less worry. You have been great, all the best!

— An adoption & estate planning client

Jim – Thank you!! You’re such a great lawyer and a super thoughtful and generous person!! Thank you for taking the time necessary and making me feel important. I’ll brag about how great you are – today and always! Thanks again!

— A child custody & divorce client