J. K. “Jay” Coward

Practice Focus: Real Estate & Transactions, Real Property Law, Construction Law, General Civil Litigation, Business & Corporate Law, Municipal & County Government Law (Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Eminent Domain & Condemnation, Annexation, Municipal Counsel), Estate Planning & Estate Settlements, Guardianships, Native Peoples & Indian Law, Minor Traffic Law

James Kent (“Jay”) Coward, Jr. was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and has been practicing law in Sylva since 1984. He attended the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, received his B.A.with honors in English from Davidson College in 1977, and earned his law degree from Campbell University in 1984, where he was a member of the Campbell Law Observer.

Mr. Coward was admitted to the North Carolina Bar Association in 1984 and is licensed to practice in United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (1986), United States Supreme Court (1986, The Cherokee Supreme Court (2002), and United States Tax Court (2007). His areas of practice include Real Estate, Business, Government, Eminent Domain, and Civil Litigation. He has represented clients such as Smoky Mountain Area Mental Health, Duke Energy, Village of Forest Hills (1999-2006), County of Jackson (2010–), and the Town of Highlands (2013–).

Mr. Coward focuses part of his practice on Native American Indian Law and works to successfully represent both enrolled members and non-Indians in matters occurring on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lands. He studied the Cherokee language at Kituwah Language Academy.

Mr. Coward has been active in civic affairs his entire career and has served on the boards of Southwestern Community College Foundation, Jackson County Arts Council, the Economic Development Commission, the Westcare Regional Hospital, the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Baptist Childrens’ Home of North Carolina. He has chaired the boards of Webster Enterprises, Jackson County Board of Elections, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, The Pinnacle Park Foundation and the Sylva First Baptist Church Board of Deacons. In 1994, he was elected to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and served until 1998.

Office: Sylva | Phone: 828-586-2147 | Facsimile: 828-586-2605 | Email: jkcoward@chspa.com

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EDUCATION

Campbell University School of Law

  • Juris Doctor, 1984
  • Campbell Law Observer

Davidson College

  • Bachelor of Arts, Honors in English, 1978

University of East Anglia, Norwich, England

  • 1975 – 1976

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Coward, Hicks & Siler, P.A.

  • Partner, Sylva, North Carolina, 1984 – Present

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

North Carolina Bar Association

  • Member, 1984 – Present

North Carolina Bar Association, Real Property Section

  • Member, 1984 – Present

ADMISSIONS

  • The State of North Carolina, 1984
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 1986
  • United States Supreme Court, 1987
  • The Cherokee Supreme Court, 2002
  • United States Tax Court, 2007


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT


Western Carolina Community Chorus

  • Member, 1970 – Present

Jackson County Rescue Squad

  • Member, 1978 – 1981

Southwestern Community College Foundation

  • Member, 1984 – 1986

Jackson County Arts Council

  • Member, 1986 – 1988

Jackson County Board of Commissioners

  • Member, 1994 – 1998

Harris Regional Hospital Board of Directors

  • Board Member, 1995 – 1997


North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching Foundation

  • Board Member, 1998 – 2010

Jackson County Economic Development Commission

  • Member, 2000 – 2009

Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina

  • Member, 2004 – 2012

Sylva First Baptist Church Board of Deacons/Trustees

  • Board Member, 1990 – Present

Jackson County Board of Elections

  • Chairman, 1990 – 1994


Pinnacle Park Foundation

  • Chairman, 1992 – Present

Webster Enterprises (Sheltered Workshop)

  • Chairman, 1998 – 2000

Sylva Rotary Club

  • Chairman, 2001

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce

  • Chairman, 2002

Sylva First Baptist Church Board of Deacons

  • Chairman, 1992, 1995, 1996

Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail Foundation

  • Member, 2012-Present

We Want to Know You. Let’s Work Together!

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FRANKLIN

43 West Main Street
Franklin, NC 28734
Phone: 828-524-6475
Facsimile: 828-524-9833

SYLVA

705 West Main Street
Sylva, NC 28779
Phone: 828-586-2147
Facsimile: 828-586-2605

CASHIERS

211 Cashiers School Road
P.O. Box 1918
Cashiers, NC 28717
Phone: 828-743-2401
Facsimile: 828-743-2403

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  • Contact Information

    High Performance Law

    Big Firm Representation. Small Firm Experience.

    Sylva

    705 W. Main Street
    Sylva, NC 28779
    Phone: 828-586-2147
    Facsimile: 828-586-2605

    Cashiers

    211 Cashiers School Road
    P.O. Box 1918
    Cashiers, NC 28717
    Phone: 828-743-2401
    Facsimile: 828-743-2403

    Franklin

    43 West Main Street
    Franklin, NC 28734
    Phone: ]828-524-6475
    Facsimile: 828-524-9833