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Columbia Business Monthly

Legal Elite of the Midlands 2019

Since 2010, Columbia Business Monthly has honored Midlands attorneys by publishing our Legal Elite feature. This year we highlight the top vote-getters in 24 categories—all voted on by area lawyers—and provide a brief list of other attorneys who were recognized by their peers.

Legal Elite is the only award program in the region that gives every active attorney the opportunity to participate. The methodology is that while attorneys are allowed to nominate members of their own firm, for each in-firm nomination made, there had to be an out-of-firm nomination. 

The lists are determined solely by lawyers’ votes from our legal elite nomination form online; places on the list are not for sale. Ballots were tallied and names verified by Columbia Business Monthly staff. Attorneys are not allowed to vote for themselves. 

The selections for Legal Elite for 2019 are presented within the following pages and we are pleased to honor them.
Antitrust Law
Marguerite S. Willis
Nexsen Pruet, LLC 

Marguerite Willis loves a good challenge. And no issue is too big or too small for her to handle--whether she's defending clients in complex commercial litigation or doing her part to build the next generation of women business leaders. 

In 2018, Willis ran for South Carolina's Democratic nomination for governor, joining the historic surge in women running for office. Though she had never previously run for office, she felt like the time was "up" for her to sit back and watch problems continue in the State of South Carolina.

In the courtroom, she's established a reputation for delivering highly effective and highly successful litigation strategies. As the co-Chair of Nexsen Pruet's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Practice, she leads a team of attorneys in developing proactive solutions to help clients achieve business objectives while avoiding issues with federal and state antitrust and trade regulation laws. 

With a track-record that spans decades, Willis has been involved in some of the firm's biggest verdicts. She has served as national counsel for a number of cases, including federal and state class actions, and prosecuted major antitrust matters involving a wide range of claims, from unfair trade practices and false advertising to monopolization and vicarious corporate liability. 

Willis is listed in South Carolina Super Lawyers for Antitrust Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts, and Business Litigation. Additionally, Marguerite is an American Bar Foundation Fellow.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Manton Grier | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Dennis Lynch | Nexsen Pruet

Travis Wheeler | Nexsen Pruet

Banking and Finance Law
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
Kathleen M. Muthig

Kathleen Muthig is an experienced bankruptcy and creditors' rights attorney. She represents national and regional banks, loan servicers, credit unions, and other creditors in bankruptcy actions. She has experience representing clients with consumer and commercial bankruptcies in Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 matters. She also represents lenders and businesses in state court litigation

Muthig is a member of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, J. Bratton Davis Bankruptcy American Inn of Court, South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, S.C. Bankruptcy Law Association, and S.C. Women Lawyers Association. She serves as a board member of Prisma Health Cancer Center and on the Advisory Committee of the Richland County Bar Association. She received her juris doctor. from the University of South Carolina and graduated from Furman University.  

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Bill McElveen | Adams and Reese, LLP

Cliff Moore | Adams and Reese, LLP

Amy Hill | Gallivan White Boyd

Mary Caskey | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Benton Williamson | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Joe Clark | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

John Moore | Nelson Mullins

Laurie Becker | Nexsen Pruet

Ray Jones | Parker Poe

Todd Haynie | Parker Poe

Lawrence Flynn | Pope Flynn

Paul Hoefer | Robinson Gray

Reggie Corley | Scott & Corley

Ian McVey | Turner Padget

Bankruptcy/Creditor's Rights Law
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
Mary Caskey

Mary Caskey is a certified bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law specialist and leads Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd's Recovery practice group. She is an experienced litigator who concentrates her practice in disputes involving financial service providers and creditors' rights for consumer and commercial debts. Caskey represents national and regional banks, loan servicers, and other financial service providers in a variety of issues including foreclosures, collections, adversary proceedings, workouts and loss mitigation, judgment collection, and alleged violations of state and federal consumer law.

She also represents motor vehicle dealers and other industries regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs and defends businesses in class actions. She has a bachelor of arts from the College of William & Mary and a juris doctor from Valparaiso University, where she graduated summa cum laude. 

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Michael Weaver | Burr Forman McNair

Eric Hale | Clarkson and Hale, LLC

Theodore von Keller | Crawford & von Keller, LLC

Kathleen Muthig | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Bill McCarthy | McCarthy Law Firm

Michael Beal | Michael Beal

Jane Downey | Moore Taylor

George Cauthen | Nelson Mullins

Bill Metzger | Robinson Gray

John McCants | Rogers Lewis

Ian McVey | Turner Padget

Business Litigation Law
McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC
Thomas E. Lydon

Tommy Lydon's practice focuses on probate litigation, business litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Lydon is also a certified mediator. He regularly appears in state and federal courts representing individuals, financial institutions, and other corporate clients.

Lydon earned his degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and has received numerous awards for his work, including Best Lawyers in America five years in a row, Lawyer of the Year in banking and finance, and South Carolina Super Lawyers for the past 10 years.

McAngus Goudelock & Courie is a metrics-driven law firm built specifically to meet the needs of insurance companies and their customers.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Lyndey Bryant | Adams and Reese, LLP

Matthew Gerrald | Barnes Alford

Eric Bland | Bland Richter

Lindsay Joyner | Gallivan White and Boyd

John T. Lay | Gallivan White and Boyd

Keith Babcock | Lewis Babcock

Betsy Gray | Robinson Gray

Benjamin Gooding | Robinson Gray

Drew Walker | Rogers Lewis

Derrick Jackson | Tobias G. Ward, Jr., P.A.

Mark Goddard | Turner Padget

Commercial Real Estate Law
David Wolff
Barnes Alford Stork & Johnson, LLP

David Wolff is a founding member of Barnes Alford Stork & Johnson, LLP and has served as a co-managing partner of the firm for several years. His primary practice area is commercial real estate, with an emphasis on shopping centers, mixed-use centers, apartments, offices, and warehouse buildings. His responsibilities typically include property acquisitions, development, financing, title matters, environmental issues, opinion letters, contracts, leases, and sales. He is frequently asked to serve as local counsel for borrowers and lenders in connection with multi-state real estate transactions. 

Wolff received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina. He has also devoted time to church leadership activities and has served as a board member for several local nonprofit organizations. He also authored the South Carolina chapter of the State-by-State Guide to Commercial Real Estate Leases.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Matt Hill | Adams and Reese, LLP

Joel Gottlieb | Burr Forman McNair

Drew English | Callison Tighe

Bryan Caskey | Caskey & Imgrund

Bill Higgins | Graybill Lansche

Ryan Newton | Graybill Lansche

Foster Girard | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Benton Williamson | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Lisa Hostetler-Brown | LawyerLisa

Leighton Lord, III | Nexsen Pruet

Simpson Fant | Parker Poe

Matthew Rupert | Scott & Corley

Mark Thomas | Thomas Law Firm

Jennifer Stone | Turner Padget

Lanny Lambert | Turner Padget

Tricia Wharton | Whitener & Wharton, P.A.

Construction Law
McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC
Sterling Davies

Sterling Davies has practiced law since 1994 with a focus on general litigation, including construction litigation, products liability, premises liability, insurance litigation, professional liability, coverage, bad faith, transportation, and major loss cases. 

Davies is a past president of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association and a past chair of the National DRI Construction Law Conference. Davies is also a member of the S.C. Bar Association, Richland County Bar Association, and National Academy of Jurisprudence. He has been recognized by the Best Lawyers in America and holds an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. 

He earned a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Virginia.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Robert Strickland | Barnes Alford

Hank Wall | Bruner Powell

Ben Bruner | Bruner Powell

Wade Mullins | Bruner Powell

Benjamin (Ned) Nicholson | Burr Forman McNair

Shelley Montague | Gallivan White Boyd

Ross Shealy | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Joshua Shaw | Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP

Brent Boyd | Murphy & Grantand, P.A.

Katon Dawson | Parker Poe

Jared Garraux | Richardson Plowden

Franklin Smith | Richardson Plowden

Chuck McDonald | Robinson Gray

Bryan Barnes | Rogers Townsend

Mark Cauthen | The McKay Firm

Consumer Products/Retail Law
J. Kenneth Carter, Jr.
Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A. 

Ken Carter serves as the leader of the firm's Litigation Practice Group and specializes in defending complex/high exposure cases in the fields of product liability, construction defect, and trucking and transportation. He currently serves as a member of the firm's governing Executive Committee and has done so for the past five years. 

In his 30-plus years with Turner Padget, Carter has often been recognized within and outside of the firm for his leadership skills and his abilities in the courtroom. He has been recognized by Benchmark, Chambers, and Best Lawyers for excellent delivery in legal services. 

In addition to an active trial schedule, he has served as chair of the Board of Directors for an international legal networking organization--Business Counsel, Inc.--for the past six years and has been a member of BCI for the last 20 years.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Ashleigh Wilson | Bowman & Brooke, LLP

Robert Goings | Goings Law Firm, LLC

Theile McVey | Kassell McVey

Dave Maxfield | Law Office of Dave Maxfield

Ray Moore | Murphy & Grantand, P.A.

Patrick Quinn | Nelson Mullins

Steven Pugh | Richardson Plowden

Sam Sammataro | Turner Padget

Laura W. Robinson | Vernis & Bowling

Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions Law (TIE)
Adams & Reese, LLC
William M. Umbach

William M. Umbach advises businesses on a full range of legal matters, including commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, entity formation, governance, restructuring, business planning, corporate divisions, recapitalizations, and divestitures. With advanced training in taxation, Umbach is able to help his clients organize, manage and reorganize their businesses to adapt to the changing business climate and to structure transactions in a tax-advantageous manner. He also advises on lending transactions, including setting up new entities and representing borrowers when financing and refinancing credit facilities.

Umbach has advised clients in a variety of industries, including textiles, marine and other types of manufacturing, automobile and boat dealerships, and health care entities of various types, including large physician medical practices and hospital trust services companies. His clients range in size from individuals navigating local markets to Fortune 100 companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and he currently serves as outside general counsel for a leading manufacturer with locations in four U.S. states, China, and India, as well as other companies in the manufacturing, fitness amenities, and appraisal services industries.

Will Johnson
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.

Will Johnson leads Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd's Economic Development practice group and concentrates his practice on economic development, corporate law, and tax matters. His work has helped facilitate more than $5 billion in domestic and foreign investment in South Carolina.

Johnson received a master of law in taxation from New York University, juris doctor from the University of South Carolina, and undergraduate degree from Wofford College. He is very active in the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and was named a Top 40 Young Lawyers and Star of the Year by the YLD in 2016. 

Johnson is an enthusiastic advocate for the Special Olympics, creating a partnership between the S.C. Bar Young Lawyers Division and Special Olympics South Carolina in 2010. He serves on the Special Olympics South Carolina board of directors and has spoken publicly on the End the R Word, Project Unify, and Law Enforcement Torch Run campaigns. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Original Six Foundation, which Ambassador Nikki Haley formed in 2011 to improve education for underserved communities in South Carolina.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Robert P. Bethea, Jr. | Adams and Reese, LLP

Randy Epting | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

James McCutchen | Mac Law, LLC

John Bruton | Nexsen Pruet

Jones DuBose, Jr. | Nexsen Pruet

Emily Luther | Parker Poe

Frederick Crawford | Richardson Plowden

Criminal Law
Greg Harris
Harris & Gasser, LLC

Greg Harris is an accomplished Columbia lawyer with a successful track record of resolving difficult criminal cases in courts throughout the Southeast. He is also a successful appellate advocate having successfully argued cases before the state Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. HIs federal criminal defense practice extends beyond South Carolina to several other states where he has helped his clients successfully resolve complex federal prosecutions.

In 1998, Harris became a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina. After this appointment, he was named deputy chief of the Criminal Division, where he specialized in the prosecution of white-collar crimes including a multimillion dollar bank fraud/money laundering case and a multi-district intrastate chop shop case, as well as multi-kilo narcotics violations. He views his tenure as a prosecutor as a life experience that now assists him in obtaining the best results possible for all of his state and federal clients.

Harris has represented and actively counseled individuals and corporations that have been investigated and/or prosecuted for alleged federal racketeering, securities violations, tax evasion, fraud, corruption, obstruction of justice, money laundering, environmental offenses, and customs violations. He has also represented attorneys and judges on ethical issues and in disciplinary proceedings in a number of jurisdictions in South Carolina.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Chris Leonard | Kendrick & Leonard, P.C

Marion  Moses | Law Offices of Marion Moses

Dayne Phillips | Price Benowitz

Richard Harpootlian | Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A.

Jack Swerling | Swerling Law Firm

Neil Truslow | Truslow & Truslow

Education Law
Joseph D. Dickey, Jr.
Dickey Law Group, LLC

Joseph D. Dickey, Jr. is a partner with Dickey Law Group, LLC where he practices labor and employment and education law. A native of Wellford, Dickey attended college at Clemson University, where he earned a bachelor of science in Management with an International Management Concentration and a bachelor of arts in Japanese and International Trade. Prior to attending law school, he worked in the area of economic development in Fukuoka, Japan which assisted him in learning Japanese business practices and improving his Japanese language ability. 

Dickey earned his juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served as associate student works editor for the S.C. Journal of International Law and Business, and was president of the International Law Society and manager of the Black Law Students' Association's Moot Court Bar. During law school, he was a member of the in-house legal department of SCANA Corporation where he began working in the area of labor and employment law.

In 2014, he founded Dickey Law Group, LLC to provide cost-effective legal services to individuals, businesses, and the government with a focus on labor and employment and education law. 

Since 2016, he has been recognized by the National Black Lawyers as a member of their Top 40 attorneys under 40. In addition, he is recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction and has been selected as a rising star in the area of labor and employment law by Super Lawyers since 2018. Most recently, he served as a co-author of the latest edition of Labor and Employment Law for South Carolina Lawyers. He will serve as lead author in the South Carolina Bar's forthcoming Education Law treatise.  

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Malissa Burnette | Burnette Shutt & McDaniel

Kathy Mahoney | Halligan, Mahoney & Williams

Elizabeth Hyatt | Hyatt Law, LLC

Montrio Belton | Montrio Belton Law Firm

Allen Nickles | Nickles Law Firm

Jennifer Rainville | SC Legal Services

Mary-Allison Caudell | Turner & Caudell

Energy & Utilities Law
Jack Pringle
Adams & Reese, LLP

Jack Pringle is a partner with Adams & Reese in Columbia and focuses his practice on privacy, information security, and information governance; administrative and regulatory law; public utilities; land-use litigation; and class action litigation.

He helps businesses protect, manage, and communicate information lawfully and effectively, and has received the Information Privacy Professional (CIPP-US) designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Pringle is a regular speaker and writer on the topics of wellness and well-being, especially in the context of evolving technology tools and a changing law practice and economy.

Also Recognized for 2019:

Richard Whitt | Austin & Rogers

Kathleen McDaniel | Burnette Shutt & McDaniel

Benjamin Nicholson | Burr Forman McNair

John Fantry | Fantry Law

Steven Pugh | Richardson Plowden

Kevin Bell | Robinson Gray

Belton Zeigler | Womble Bond Dickinson

John Boyd | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Environmental Law
Kathleen McDaniel
Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, P.A.

A founding partner of Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, Kathleen focuses her practice on environmental law, helping businesses large and small obtain the permits they need to get their projects under way.

No matter the case, the client benefits from McDaniel's combination of legal know-how and a scientific background. She holds a bachelor's in aquaculture, fisheries, and wildlife from Clemson University, plus a master's in forestry with a focus on stream ecology from the University of Georgia.

Public service is the third part of her diverse skill set. She's a past member of the Richland County Planning Commission and past town attorney for Richburg. Through those experiences, she gained insight into how agencies balance often-competing interests. Clients with business before similar agencies benefit from that knowledge.

McDaniel represents clients in court and before administrative agencies, including the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the state Department of Insurance and more. She also has represented clients before state licensing boards.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Pam Martin | Burr Forman McNair

John Boyd | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Thomas Lavender | Nexsen Pruet

Joan Hartley | Nexsen Pruet

Frank Ellberbe | Robinson Gray

Roy Shelley | Rogers Townsend

Ryan Trail | Williams Mullen

Jessica King | Williams Mullen

Family Law
Peter Currence
McDougall Self Currence & McLeod, LLP

Pete Currence is a partner with the firm of McDougall Self Currence & McLeod, LLP. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1985 with a bachelor of arts in economics and business management and with a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1996. He has been licensed to practice law in the state of South Carolina since May 1997. 

Currence is a member of the S.C. Bar Association, the S.C. Association for Justice, and the S.C. Bar's Family Law Division. He has attended the American Bar Association Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute in Houston and the American Academy of Matrimonial Trial Lawyers Family Law Institute in Chicago.

He devotes 100 percent of his time to the practice of domestic litigation and has lectured at numerous continuing legal education seminars concerning family law. He served on the Board of Directors for Sandhills School in 2008. As a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, he served on the Building Committee from 2007 to 2010 and on the Parish Council from 2008 through 2010. He has been listed in Strathmore's Who's Who for several years and has a Peer Review.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Rebecca Creel | Creel Law Firm

Stephanie Fajardo | Fajardo Law firm

Amber Fulmer | Moore Taylor

C. Vance Stricklin, Jr. | Moore Taylor

Olivia Jones | Olivia Jones Law

Sandra R. Parise | Parise & Noë Law Firm, P.A.

Susan Strom | Strom Family Law

Government Law
Theodore D. Riley
Riley Pope & Laney, LLC

Theodore D. Riley provides strategic counsel and legislative representation for clients before the South Carolina General Assembly, Governor's office, state agencies, and local governments. Riley earned his bachelor of arts in political science and juris doctor at the University of South Carolina and served as an international affairs analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Riley began his legal career with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP and was an associate with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., providing government relations services to clients on both the state and federal level. In July 2001, Riley and business partners Lowndes Pope and Roy Laney formed Riley Pope & Laney, LLC. 

An avid runner who shares a love of sports and travel with his family, Riley's community involvement includes serving on the Boards of the National Dropout Prevention Network, Palmetto Project, and Winston's Wish. Riley, his wife Nancy, and their four children reside in Columbia.

Also Recognized for 2019:

Jay Bender | Baker, Ravenel & Bender, L.L.P.

Danny Crowe | Crowe LaFave, LLC

Will Johnson | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Jamey Goldin | Nelson Mullins

Richele Taylor | SC Medical Association

Cassidy Evans | South Carolina Farm Bureau

Health Care Law
David Summer
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP

In the late 1980s, David Summer began helping clients in the health care industry address their legal needs. Nearly three decades later, he is proud of the relationships he has built with hospital executives and other providers all across the country. He believes that developing relationships of trust with clients is the most important aspect of what a true counselor does, and he thoroughly enjoys building those relationships today. 

Summer knows firsthand about the challenges that hospital executives and other providers face in running their operations while following complex federal and state regulations--he is a past business owner and hospital board member himself. That experience, combined with his extensive legal career, enables him to serve as a trusted advisor, helping clients navigate day-to-day compliance. His business acumen is recognized by his partners as well, as he leads Parker Poe's multi-state health care practice.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Weldon Johnson | Barnes Alford

Kelli L. Sullivan | Clawson and Staubes, LLC

Charles Henshaw | Furr & Henshaw

Jim Parham | Jim Parham & Associates

Kelly Jolley | Jolley Law Group, LLC

Jones Andrews | McGowan Hood & Felder

Will Thomas | Parker Poe

Walt Cartin | Parker Poe

George Beighley | Richardson Plowden

Wes Jackson | Rogers Lewis

Charles Whetstone | Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, LLC

Hospitality & Tourism Law
Christian Stegmaier
Collins & Lacy, P.C.

Shareholder Christian Stegmaier is a member of the Management Committee and chair of the firm's Retail & Hospitality Practice Group. He defends national and regional leaders in the retail, hospitality, and entertainment sectors doing business in South Carolina in claims involving premises liability, loss prevention, food adulteration, third party torts, and alcohol liability. He is also involved in matters pertaining to Americans With Disabilities Act issues and licensure and other administrative decisions of state regulatory agencies.

He is founder and contributor of the S.C. Retail & Hospitality Law Blog, a resource for retailers and hospitality-related entities doing business in the state. In addition to his practice, Christian is a Professor of Hotel & Restaurant Law at the University of South Carolina's nationally acclaimed College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management. 

In addition to his practice focus in retail and hospitality, Stegmaier is skilled in appellate advocacy and complex litigation. Prior to joining Collins & Lacy, Christian served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ralph King Anderson, Jr., judge of the S.C. Court of Appeals.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Joseph Thoensen | Richardson Plowden

Insurance Law
Brett H. Bayne
McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC

Brett Bayne's practice focuses on general civil litigation defense, including automobile negligence, premises liability, products liability, and construction defects. He specializes in trial litigation and seeing cases through to verdict. Prior to joining MGC, he served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable G. Thomas Cooper, Jr. Bayne is also a Certified Circuit Court Arbitrator.

In his spare time, he teaches Trial Advocacy at the University of South Carolina School of Law and has served as the faculty advisor and head coach of the UofSC School of Law Mock Trial Bar since 2013. During that time the Mock Trial Bar has won 10 regional and national championships, repeatedly placed as finalists or semifinalists in numerous competitions across the country, and his students have won multiple outstanding advocate awards. The Mock Trial Bar is currently ranked third in the nation, out of 237 law schools in the country.

Outside of the office, Bayne can be found spending time with his wife Laura and three daughters, Molly, Lucy, and Annie . A Texas native, he believes the only proper barbecue is brisket.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Kirby Shealy III | Adams and Reese, LLP

Curtis Dowling | Barnes Alford

Austin Hood | Clawson and Staubes, LLC

Breon C.M. Walker | Gallivan White & Boyd

John T. Lay | Gallivan White & Boyd, PA

John Cuttino | Gallivan, White & Boyd

Ron Diegel | Murphy & Grantand, P.A.

JR Murphy | Murphy & Grantand, P.A.

Kerri Rupert | Murphy & Grantand, P.A.

Amy Geddes | Nexsen Pruet

Becky Lafitte | Robinson Gray

Mark Barrow | Sweeny, Wingate and Barrow

Charlie Moore | Turner Padget

Laura W. Robinson | Vernis & Bowling Attorneys At Law

Joseph Bias | Vernis & Bowling Attorneys At Law

International Law
Sam C. Moses
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP

Sam Moses is a corporate and economic development attorney who represents U.S. and international companies, including manufacturers, distributors, industrial developers, and renewable energy businesses. He advises on a variety of transactions and coordinates business expansion and incentives projects for companies throughout the United States.

Prior to joining Parker Poe, he served as managing director of the State of South Carolina's European Office in Germany, advising European investors on U.S. site location projects. He also managed South Carolina's export development program for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, advising U.S. companies on international trade and market entry strategies. 

Moses joined Parker Poe in 2007, and now serves as chair of the manufacturing and distribution industry team and chair of the economic development team. He has a law degree and international MBA from the University of South Carolina, as well as an International Trade Specialist Certificate from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. 

Since 2010, Moses has been involved in business expansion and incentives projects resulting in more than $6 billion in capital investment, as well as the creation of more than 6,000 jobs in various industries, including food processing, automotive, powertrain, metalworking, advanced materials, electronics, renewable energy, chemicals, agribusiness, and aerospace.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Claire Hall | Parker Poe

Intellectual Property & Innovation Law
Tom Moses
Southeast IP Group, LLC

Tom Moses is a registered United States Patent Attorney and member of the State Bar of South Carolina. He received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1994, and has practiced in the field of intellectual property law during his entire career. Mr. Moses has worked in both private and corporate practice, routinely representing clients with diverse backgrounds, including individuals, small businesses, and large corporations.

Mr. Moses holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Wofford College, and his practice encompasses all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent and trademark prosecution, administrative proceedings at the USPTO, litigation, licensing, trade secrets, opinion work, and client counseling.

Outside of the legal profession, Moses has a wide range of interests, including fishing, scuba diving, camping, outdoor cooking, snow-boarding, and occasionally serves as a wilderness guide in Alaska.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Jack Pringle | Adams and Reese, LLP

Jason Pittman | Dority & Manning

Steve Matthews | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Todd Serbin | Nexsen Pruet

Reb Thomas | Thomas Law Firm

Labor & Employment Law
Sheila M. Willis
Fisher & Phillips, LLP

Sheila Willis practices management-side employment law. She is committed to finding practical, real world solutions to her clients' employment law needs. She frequently advises clients regarding hiring, discipline, investigations, and other related issues. 

Willis has extensive experience working on collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under wage and hour state laws. She also handles matters related to employment discrimination, wage and hour litigation, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs compliance, unemployment proceedings, as well as providing training for supervisors and managers on harassment, equal employment opportunity compliance, the Family Medical Leave Act, and many other areas.

Willis is a past president and is on the Board of Directors for the S.C. Women Lawyers' Association and is very active in the S.C. Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, serving as its president-elect. 

Sheila is a 2019 recipient of the Silver Compleat Lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association, recognizing alumni who have made significant contributions to the legal profession and who exemplify the highest standard of professional competence, ethics, and integrity. She has also been named to the Columbia Regional Business Report's list of 2018 Women of Influence, Columbia Business Monthly's 2018 Best & Brightest 35 and Under and the American Bar Association's On the Rise Top 40 under 40 in 2018.  She is also a 2018 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star and a 2019 recipient of the Leadership in the Law award.  

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Kris Cato | Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC

Malissa Burnette | Burnette Shutt & McDaniel

Jay Babb | Cromer Babb Porter & Hicks

Joseph Dickey | Dickey Law Firm

Trevor Eddy | The Eddy Law Firm, LLC

C. Fredrick Manning, II | Fisher Phillips

Vance Bettis | Gignilliat Savitz & Bettis, LLP

Stephen Savitz | Gignilliat Savitz & Bettis, LLP

Angus Macaulay | Nexsen Pruet

David Dubberly | Nexsen Pruet

Katherine Helms | Ogletree Deakins

Reggie Belcher | Turner Padget

Hannah Stetson | Turner Padget

Personal Injury Law
Goings Law Firm, LLC
Robert F. Goings

After starting his legal career as a civil defense attorney, Robert F. Goings opened his own civil litigation practice, Goings Law Firm, in July 2011. He found he could make the greatest impact when he was representing victims that were injured by the wrongful and negligent acts of others. His practice centers around the fields of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and workers' compensation. Goings believes his lifelong passion of performing onstage and his love of acting naturally segued into his legal career because he sees the courtroom as a stage and the jury as his audience. It is also why Goings is regarded by his peers as a strong courtroom advocate.

Goings graduated summa cum laude from Wofford College in 2003 and earned his juris doctorate in 2006 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In 2011, the S.C. Lawyers Weekly Magazine selected Goings as an Emerging Legal Leader from a distinguished group of South Carolina lawyers. In 2012, he was elected by his colleagues to serve as a member of the S.C. Bar Association's House of Delegates for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, where he still currently serves as a delegate. The S.C. School of Law honored Goings with the prestigious Compleat Lawyer Award in 2016, and he was appointed to the Law School's Alumni Board in 2017.  

Goings currently serves as the president-elect of the S.C. Chapter of the National Board of Trial Advocates. ABOTA is considered one of the nation's premier legal organizations and is comprised of both members of the plaintiff's and defense bar.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Richard Thomas | Barnes Alford

Kenneth Berger | Law Offices of Kenneth Berger

Clarke Newton | Bluestein Attorneys

Allison Sullivan | Bluestein Attorneys

Jessica Gooding | Goings Law Firm, LLC

John Kassell | Kassell McVey

Amanda Pittman | McWhirter Bellinger & Associates

Mike Kelly | Mike Kelly Law Group

Residential Real Estate Law
David Ross
McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC

David Ross represents clients in a variety of residential and commercial real estate transactions. He joined McAngus Goudelock & Courie in 2007 and has taken the firm's real estate practice from a small localized group to a full-servicing state-wide practice. 

Ross is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, Columbia Homebuilders Association, Central Carolina Association of Realtors, S.C. Bankers Association, and Mortgage Bankers Association of the Carolinas. He has been recognized by S.C. Super Lawyers  and The State's 20 Under 40. Ross also serves as the varsity boys basketball coach at Hammond School. 

He earned a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UofSC.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Gary Pickren | Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC

Michelle Carimi | Carimi Law Firm

Bryan Caskey | Caskey & Imgrund

Hugh Cooper | Cooper Law Firm

Gary Daves | Daves Law Firm

Jason Gainer | Gainey and Gainer, LLP

Gregory Williams | Gregory G. Williams, Attorney, LLC

Bobby Kneece | Kneece Law Firm

Jim Hindersman | Law Office of James B. Hindersman, LLC

Lisa Hostetler-Brown | LawyerLisa

Kimberly Thompson | McAngus Goudelock & Courie

George R. McElveen, III | McElveen & McElveen

Charles Webb | Richardson Plowden

Matthew Rupert | Scott & Corley

Mark Thomas | Thomas Law Firm

Ashtin Kilpatrick | Whitener & Wharton, P.A

Kristen Washburn | Wylie & Washburn

Tax & Estate Planning Law
Jonathan P. Lee
Sojourner Caughman & Thomas, LLC

Jonathan P. Lee is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a certified specialist in estate planning and probate law by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. He advises clients regarding the transition of wealth to beneficiaries and helps clients achieve their personal, business, and charitable planning objectives. He also advises clients regarding gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes and tax returns.

In addition to handling probate court hearings for estate and trust matters, Lee advises fiduciaries and beneficiaries on issues and disputes that arise in the trust and estate administration context, on distributions from qualified plans, and the administration of trusts.

Lee is one of 10 winners of the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly 2011 Emerging Legal Leaders Award, was selected as a South Carolina Rising Star by Super Lawyers every year since 2013, and is a 2010 graduate of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Columbia program.

He has served as chairman of the Columbia Taxation Study Group, president of the Richland Library Friends and Foundation, and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Kappa Alpha Order Rho Chapter Housing Corporation, and is the vice-chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. From 2014-2016, he was one of six Trust and Estate Fellows of the Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association.

He received his bachelor of science cum laude in economics and management from the University of South Carolina in 2002, his juris doctor from the UofSC School of Law in 2005, and his master of laws in estate planning from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. in 2006.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Alan Reyner | Barnes Alford

Brian Dumas | Brian Dumas Law Firm

Alexander Imgrund | Caskey & Imgrund

Will Johnson | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Angela Kirby | Kirby Law, LLC

Lisa Hostetler-Brown | LawyerLisa

James McCutchen | Mac Law Firm, LLC

W. Verne McGough | Merline & Meacham, P.A., Columbia Office

Joy Middleton | Middleton Law Firm

Rick Reames | Nexsen Pruet

Jim Rourke | Nexsen Pruet

Emily Luther | Parker Poe

Scott Schmidt | Schmidt Law Firm

David Siddons | Siddons Law Firm, PC

George Bailey | Sojourner Caughman & Thomas

David C. Sojourner, Jr. | Sojourner Caughman & Thomas

Jennifer MacLeod | Sojourner Caughman Thomas

Matthew Myers | Sweeny, Wingate and Barrow

Jeff Brooker | The Brooker Law Firm, P.A.

Thomas Kilpatrick | The Murphy Law Group, P.A.

Jonathan Spitz | Todd & Johnson, LLP

Workers' Compensation Law
A. Mundi George
McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC

A. Mundi George's practice focuses on workers' compensation defense in the firm's Columbia office, where she has represented carriers, employers, and self-insured employers for over 19 years. 

Prior to joining MGC, George served as a law clerk to the Honorable E. S. Swearingen, United States magistrate judge. She is highly involved in a number of legal organizations, including the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association, where she served on the Workers' Compensation Substantive Law Committee, and the S.C. Workers' Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA). 

George is the past treasurer for the SCWCEA and has served on the Board of Directors of that organization, as well as on the Nominating Committee. In the past, she has twice chaired the SCWCEA's One-Day Seminar and co-chaired the Medical Seminar. She is also a certified civil court mediator.

She builds relationships with her clients, and they trust her practical advice and timely response. She strives to be upfront about exposure, which allows for the most cost-effective and best outcome for her client.

Outside of the office, George is often found rooting for her kids at Saturday soccer games, art class, tennis, gymnastics and other activities, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys cheering on the Gamecocks.

Also Recognized for 2019: 

Lana H. Sims, Jr. | Adams and Reese, LLP

Kay Crowe | Barnes Alford

Kenny Berger | Berger Law Firm

Allison Sullivan | Bluestein Attorneys

Marti Bluestein | Bluestein Attorneys

Rick Detwiler | Callison Tighe

George Taylor | Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.

Andrew Fajardo | Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.

Ashley Kirkham | Collins & Lacy

Jessica Gooding | Goings Law Firm, LLC

Jamie Newman | Howser Newman & Besley

Stuart Moore | McAngus Goudelock & Courie

J. Russell Goudelock | McAngus Goudelock & Courie

Jason Lockhart | McAngus Goudelock & Courie

Preston McDaniel | McDaniel Law Firm

Tyler Lee | McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates

Derrick Williams | Mickle and Bass

Stephen Stubley | Speed, Seta, Martin, Trivett & Stubley, LLC

Laura W. Robinson | Vernis & Bowling Attorneys At Law

Candace Hindersman | Willson, Jones, Carter & Baxley