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James J. McGuire

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I originally went to law school as a stepping stone to follow in my late father’s footsteps with the goal of becoming an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When I graduated from law school, however, there was a hiring freeze in the federal government. While in law school, I was drawn to the human/personal side of practicing law and as a third year, I enjoyed volunteering at the civil law clinic where I represented client’s pro bono in a variety of matters. Being able to make a positive difference in a client’s life is why I now practice family law.

It is hard to pinpoint a defining moment in my roughly 27-year career. I choose to define my career by the positive impact I have had on the lives and families of my clients. Having a parent offer their thanks for protecting their child or receiving a letter at the end of a case expressing gratitude makes it all worthwhile. I am proud of all the cases I have litigated or settled but there have also been many times when I was not retained where I provided advice that did not match up with the client’s expectations. The satisfaction comes from when I later hear from the client who apologizes for not taking my advice and shares that the outcome of their case turned out exactly as I predicted months or years earlier and thousands of dollars later.

My Approach to a Case

When it comes to my family law cases, which is the majority of my practice, I try to be a problem solver. It is often not in a client’s best interests to be litigious when a favorable outcome can be reached through negotiation. However, when a cooperative resolution cannot be reached, I am always prepared to vigorously represent my client’s interests in court.

I approach each case the same way, with my client’s best interests and goals in mind. Some cases are more complicated than others, but the approach does not change. I am dedicated to being prepared, being focused, being goal oriented, and making certain to explain likely outcomes and set reasonable expectations based on my years of experience. Our firm also takes a team approach to all of our cases. If you retain Buchbauer & McGuire, P.C., you have the collective experience of all of our attorneys and staff. Being able to provide advice based on the decades of experience of all the litigators at our firm is priceless. Our cases can often be resolved quickly and at a reasonable cost because our firm understands and can accurately advise of the likely outcome should the case be litigated.

I try to be a trusted guide through what is likely the worst time in my clients’ lives by listening to and validating their concerns and then explaining which points that they have shared will impact the case and those that will not. I strive to help my clients understand the law as it pertains to their situation and set reasonable expectations based on my experience. Often, this concept is lost on opposing counsel. As a parent of four children, I am also able to look at the situation from a child’s perspective to offer that insight to my clients when they are often blinded by emotion.

Background and Current Practice

I have called the Northern Shenandoah Valley home since 1993. I was born in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 1967. After growing up in Arlington and Reston, Virginia, I attended Radford University, in Radford, Virginia, where I studied criminal justice. I attended the Widener University - Delaware Law School in Wilmington, Delaware. I graduated cum laude in 1993. I was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, a membership that recognizes students having attained excellence in the art of appellate advocacy.

In 1994, I began practicing law in Winchester, Virginia as an associate with the firm Swift and Buchbauer, P.C. The following year, Peter W. Buchbauer and I formed the law offices of Buchbauer & McGuire, P.C. My practice focuses on all aspects of family law cases at all levels of the Virginia judicial system from custody and support cases in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts to divorce cases in the Circuit Courts to appeals to the Virginia Court of Appeals. These cases include adoption, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, property division, and divorce.

My practice includes defending injured clients in personal injury matters and those clients involved in civil litigation, real estate, and contract disputes. 

I try to provide clients with well-reasoned creative solutions to their legal problems based upon my years of litigation experience. I regularly participate in professional development seminars and conferences to keep abreast of the most recent changes in the law.

Family Life

I have strong ties to the Winchester-Frederick County community. I have participated in many local service organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester, Frederick & Clarke Counties, United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, where I served as a Board Member, volunteered at the Knights of Columbus Soup Kitchen, and coached soccer and baseball. I have four children – three boys and a girl. My oldest son is proudly serving our Country in the United States Army. He recently concluded service in South Korea and is now stationed in upstate New York. My second son graduated from the University of Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic. My third son is a rising senior and my daughter is a rising sophomore both at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Virginia. My wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage on July 14, 2020.


  • B.S. in Criminal Justice from Radford University, Radford, Virginia, 1989
  • J.D., cum laude from Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware, 1993

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia (1993)

Professional Associations

  • Virginia State Bar
  • Shenandoah Valley Family Law Bar Association (2007 - present)
  • Winchester-Frederick County Bar Association (1994 - present)

Other Affiliations & Community Activities

  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Parishioner
  • Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity
  • Best Lawyers 2024
    Best Lawyers 2024
  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers
  • 2024 LawDragon 500 Leading Family Lawyers
    2024 LawDragon 500 Leading Family Lawyers

What Sets Us Apart?

High-Quality Representation from Start to Finish
  • Industry Leading Attorneys

    Our attorneys are actively involved in updating and writing the law through our participation with the Virginia Bar Association’s Family Law Coalition. They are recognized for their family law experience, internationally, nationally and in Virginia.

  • Creative Solutions

    We look at the law differently to achieve your goals and the best outcome.

  • A Team You Can Trust

    We provide guidance and communication throughout the process to keep you informed.

  • Decades of Experience

    Our skilled litigators have over 75 years of combined legal experience.

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