Legal issues face most of us at some point — whether it’s a need for real estate, family, personal injury, estate, or criminal representation. When you need a lawyer, you want someone who has the experience, resources, and professional reputation to help resolve your situation. Talk Greenville is here to help.
To help you find the right counsel, TALK Greenville partnered with Boulder, CO-based research company DataJoe to produce a directory of the top lawyers in Greenville. The researchers identified attorneys held in the highest esteem by their peers and then vetted them to produce the list you see on the following pages.
While any such list is subjective, this one has been researched diligently to determine that the attorneys on the following pages are considered among the best in their fields by their fellow lawyers.
This inaugural class of Talk Greenville’s Top Lawyers includes about 250 lawyers, representing 112 different firms or practices, across 35 areas of law.
How did the selection process work?
DataJoe sent printed and electronic ballots to all the licensed lawyers in Greenville, based on information from the South Carolina Bar Association, thus allowing virtually every practicing lawyer the opportunity to participate. Lawyers were asked who they would recommend to someone in need of representation — their preferred lawyers in a variety of practice categories. Lawyers were permitted to vote for themselves, but were asked to recommend two other lawyers as well.
When ballots were returned, they were tallied and entered in a database. The most-recommended lawyers were then qualified, to make sure they are actively practicing and in good standing. Once this qualification was complete, the resulting listing is what you see.
We realize that there are many good lawyers who may not be shown on this list. Inclusion is based on the opinions of those lawyers in Greenville who responded to the invitation to vote. DataJoe uses care to ensure fair and accurate voting, although the company understands that the results of this survey and research campaign are, by their nature, subjective.
With those necessary disclaimers out of the way – we bring you Talk Greenville’s Top Lawyers of 2022. Our congratulations to those selected. We invite you to spend time going over the list, and also getting to know more about some of Greenville’s best legal representatives.
Practice Established: 2014
Practice Area: Criminal Defense, Employment (Plaintiff), Personal Injury, Civil Rights
What is the cornerstone of your practice? Caring about my clients and always keeping in mind that they have entrusted me with an important issue that will have a significant impact on their lives and the lives of their families.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? Fighting for justice and fair treatment under the law. Very few things are more infuriating to a person than suffering an injustice and not having the tools to stand up and fight. Without a lawyer, the “little guy” hardly stands a chance against the government, an employer or a big insurance company. I revel in standing up for the “little guy” when they can’t stand up for themselves.
Community: At St. Mary’s Catholic Church, I am honored to assist in the liturgy during the Easter season and at other times when needed. I also serve on the School Board at St. Mary’s Catholic School where several of my children attend. I also really enjoy coaching basketball and soccer for St. Mary’s and the YMCA.
Education: D, University of South Carolina School of Law, 2007 BS, International Affairs, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy, 2001
415 W. Washington St., Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 214-5483
Practice Established: 2022
Practice Area: Criminal and DUI Defense
What is the cornerstone of your practice? It is our mission to provide outstanding representation, without exception. It is an enormously good fortune to hold the job we feel best fit to work in and enjoy.
Navigating the accused through a complex legal system and fighting for the most just outcome for them are responsibilities we take very seriously. While we have had the privilege to earn the trust of many clients and, in turn, have built a healthy book of business, we never lose sight of the fact that our clients’ legal issues are their highest priority. Accordingly, it is an honor to provide strong and diligent legal service, no matter the client or the legal matter involved, so that they may move on with the next chapter of their lives.
Education: BA, History, College of Charleston, 2008 JD, Charleston School of Law, 2012
WATSON & FOWLER, ATTORNEYS
416 E. North St., 2nd Floor Greenville, SC 29601
JOHN M. MUSSETTO
As a native of Greenville, SC, I’m amazed how our town has grown. I remember walking down Main Street as a kid and all development stopped after the old Army Navy store. Falls Park wasn’t a thing. All events were held at the old (and now demolished) Memorial Auditorium.
Today, we enjoy all that downtown has to offer. From dining, shopping and entertainment,
I’m proud to host out of town visitors and show them my city.
The love for my city far exceeds the places and things to do. The love for my city is first and foremost the people that reside herein.
Most of my law practice is serving some of these people who are going through very difficult times in their lives. Whether it’s a divorce case or a DUI, I am honored to serve the upstate community.
I can only imagine what my city will look like in twenty years. And lord willing, I will still be serving clients in the family and criminal law arena.
Law Offices of John M. Mussetto
401 Pettigru Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Practice Established: 2008
Practice Area: Litigation, with primary focus on personal injury, construction law, and business litigation
What sets you and your practice apart from others? I am intimately involved with every case. A client meets with me, not an army of paralegals. I do the work on all of my cases and am willing to file suit and take cases to trial. I have a fairly general practice that gives me the ability to see all angles of a case when others might not. I also have a strong appellate practice, which allows me to handle a case from the first meeting all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? I love that I have a tool to use to stand up for people who are being pushed around.
Honors and Awards: Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Rising Star; Member, Haynsworth-Perry Inn of Court; Fellow, Riley Institute; Greenville Business Magazine Best & Brightest Under 35
Community: Past board chair, The Family Effect; Leadership Greenville; Furman Diversity Leadership Initiative; past chair, Families Forever Committee of the SC Young Lawyers Division
Education: JD, University of South Carolina School of Law, 2008 BA, Furman University, 2005
ANTHONY LAW, LLC
650 E. Washington St., Greenville, SC 29601
Jackson Lewis’ Greenville team is proud to work together to offer end-to-end employment and labor law representation to organizations in South Carolina and nationwide. It is our privilege to represent the communities we serve, and we are honored to be named among the Talk – Greenville 2022 Top Lawyers!
15 South Main Street, Suite 700
Greenville, SC 29601
STEVEN EDWARD BUCKINGHAM
Practice Area: Business Law
What is the cornerstone of your practice? I focus on: Contentious partnership disputes and business divorces; business fraud; disputes involving fiduciary duties; sophisticated commercial disputes arising under the Uniform Commercial Code; matters affecting business that have a constitutional dimension; and appeals.
What sets you and your practice apart? There are relatively few lawyers in the Upstate who practice in these areas, and far fewer who do so outside of a large, institutional law firm. A few of my guiding principles:
— Life is short; litigation is not — We must be wise about the battles before us and understand that not all are worth the fight.
— More is accomplished through civility than combativeness — A lawyer who “sweats the small stuff” and prefers to fight over issues that do not ultimately matter rather than cooperate, even with opposing counsel, wastes his time and your money.
— Focus and discipline are essential — Litigation will present many opportunities to become distracted from what ultimately matters. Keep strategy simple, act with purpose, speak concisely, and follow through.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? I find the most satisfaction in helping folks with seemingly intractable legal problems find a path toward resolution, preferably by mutual agreement, but, if necessary, through the judicial process, all the way through trial and beyond.
Community Service: I formerly served as general counsel to the board of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and am a past board member of Leadership South Carolina and past chairman of the selection committee for Leadership Greenville.
I also serve on the board of the Warehouse Theater and am a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.
Education: JD, University of Richmond School of Law, 2006. BA, Political Science, Furman University 2003. Advanced Negotiation Strategies program, Harvard University 2018.
THE LAW OFFICE OF STEVEN EDWARD BUCKINGHAM
16 Wellington Street, Greenville, SC 29609
Practice Established: 2018, licensed since 2010
Practice Area: Criminal Defense
What is the cornerstone of your practice? Honesty, transparency, and dedication to our client’s best interest are indispensable to our practice.
What sets you and your practice apart from others? I worked as a prosecutor for nearly a decade in three different counties in South Carolina. I prosecuted every type of criminal case, from DUI’s, to Domestic Violence to drug charges, to Murder, and various crimes in between. By having such a variety of experiences, I can help find a creative way to resolve your case.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? I entered the legal field to help people. Some of my most rewarding cases have been when I assisted a client with an underlying drug or alcohol addiction get clean.
Honors and Awards: 2020-2022 Elite Layer- Criminal Law; 2021-22 National Trial Lawyers Top 100; 2018 National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers Top 10 under 40; Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent rating
Community: Member, First Presbyterian Church, Greenville. Mentor youth with local non-profit Fostering Great Ideas.
Education: JD, Charleston School of Law, 2010
BA, Philosophy and Religion, Presbyterian College 2007
CHRISTOPHER L. JONES ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLC
650 E Washington St., Greenville, SC 29601
ADAM WALKER BREAUX
Breaux & Callahan embraces the future with the same substance and style that has made our beautiful city a hidden jewel of the South. Our approach to providing high quality legal services is based on the quality of relationships we build.
Breaux & Callahan
100 Whitsett Street, Greenville, SC 29601
PARHAM, SMITH & ARCHENHOLD, LLC
Practice Established: 1986
Practice Area: Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Nursing Home Abuse / Neglect, and Other Significant Personal Injury Claims
What is the cornerstone of your firm? Since founding partner Michael Parham opened the doors to our firm, we have focused on representing individuals who have been significantly harmed through no fault of their own. Partners Blake Smith, Brooke Archenhold and Ashlee Edwards Aughtry strive to continue that dedication to each client and work together to protect the “little guy” from even the toughest of opponents.
What sets you apart from others? Unlike larger corporate firms, Parham Smith & Archenhold focuses on ensuring every client feels like a part of our firm’s family. Through focused representation, dedication, and teamwork and collaboration, we make sure each client knows how much we care. At the end of the day, our main concern is the protection of their rights and needs as if they were our own.
What is the most rewarding thing about practicing law in Greenville? Having the opportunity to help and serve fellow members of this community that we love.
Community: Among our efforts, we participate with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, The Blood Connection, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Meyer Center for Special Children, Coaches 4 Character, the Thomas Few Memorial Tournament, Loaves and Fishes, and local legal aid groups.
PARHAM, SMITH & ARCHENHOLD, LLC
115 Washington Park, Greenville, SC 29601
The skill and experience to get the results you want.
– IRS Problems
– Estate Planning
– Tax Preparation
– Trust Settlement Services
A Member of South Carolina Bar, SC Association for Justice.
11 McGee Street, Greenville
TOATES LAW FIRM
Annah Toates and Katherine Brooks believe good lawyers should be approachable and personally invested in the success of their clients. Each client deserves our best: both the first-time homebuyer and the home developer, as well as those working through their estate plans or formulating a new business. Your needs are important and should be treated as a priority.
The Mission of Toates Law Firm is to provide top-notch legal representation. For us, practicing law effectively means listening to our clients and quickly getting matters resolved. We seek to put our clients first and diligently get the job done.
Our vision is to make a mark on the legal industry and real estate community by executing our mission and being “notably different,” impacting those we interact with through impeccable service and forging lasting relationships along the way.
Toates Law Firm
105 N. Spring Street, Suite 109
Greenville, SC 29601
Practice Established: 2007
Practice Area: Legal Defense
What is the cornerstone of your practice? Proactive legal defense is at the core of Ryan Bea- sley Law. From initial client contact to a complete resolution of their situation, we are highly motivat- ed, outcome-driven, and strategic. Our experience and the time we’ve invested in establishing and maintaining relationships within the court system enable us to generate rapid results for our clients. By combining our extensive knowledge of various practice areas with a personalized, client-focused approach, we’re able to execute a comprehensive defense plan of action.
What sets you and your practice apart? I know how the justice system in South Carolina works, and I’ve had influential mentors that have grown – and continue to grow – my outlook as a lawyer and as a community member. More importantly, I know the network of professionals within our court system — prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, and court staff – which allows me to best navigate the legal process to ensure the desired outcome for my clients.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? The confidence that my clients have in my firm to navigate some of the most difficult times in their lives inspires me to help them in every way I can. Whether a client is facing a misdemeanor or seeking to recoup a loss in business or reputation: I treat each client equally and employ methodical tactics to clearly understand the nuances of their particular situation. It is rewarding to work to solve their problems and achieve the best possible resolution.
Community involvement: I serve on the board of the South Carolina Bar Foundation and support its mission of providing access to and education about legal services. I am a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, a devoted alumnus of Wofford College, and a proud supporter of Clemson athletics.
Honors and Awards: AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 10 Best in Client Satisfaction American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers – 2014 Top 75 DUI Attorneys in South Carolina, National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC – 2013
Top 40 Under 40 – National Trial Lawyers – 2012
Education: JD, University of South Carolina School of Law, 2000, BA, Wofford College, 1996
RYAN BEASLEY LAW
416 E. North Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Having served as the Chair of Greenville Events and related committees, and even meeting his wife, Jacque, through the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greenville program, Bill Foster is both a resident and an active participant in the Greenville community. With four young children, his time outside of the office is mostly spent on soccer and football fields, at swim meets, school events and family dinners, though he still finds time to serve on the Think Tank Committee at Five Oaks Academy: A Montessori School, which is both a client and where his children are educated.
Bill left another leading firm in 2018 to open the South Carolina office of Littler Mendelson PC, the world’s largest labor and employment defense firm. “What brought me to Littler was the opportunity to offer my clients the firm’s unmatched innovation, depth of knowledge and experience, and to join an incredibly diverse group of labor and employment attorneys across the world in delivering real value to our clients. From everyday questions to complex litigation, from managing local to global issues, we have those solutions.”
“We all know Greenville is a great place to live and work, and I’ve found that especially true of our legal community. As attorneys, we all fight hard to represent our clients’ best interests and, let’s be honest, to win; but never at the expense of treating our peers with anything but the utmost respect. With a positive, open and collaborative attitude throughout our legal community, there’s no better place than Greenville to do what we do.”
LITTLER MENDELSON, PC
110 East Court Street, Suite 201
Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 775-3190
Practice Established: 1941
Practice Area: Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Administration, Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Medicaid Planning, Elder Law and General Business Planning
What is the cornerstone of your practice? To provide a full range of estate planning for individuals and families to insure the proper transfer of assets at death, with minimal tax consequences. To protect elderly or vulnerable per- sons’ safety and/or assets by providing litigation support.
What sets you and your practice apart? We are a small law firm which specializes in a very specific area of law. Our lawyers provide personal service while maintaining high levels of expertise.
What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney? I have had the privilege in over 25 years of practicing in the Upstate, of meeting many wonderful people who have shared their most difficult times with me, whether personal illness or death of a loved-one. It is an honor to be involved in helping people through tough times.
Community Service: I moved to Greenville in 1994 and have been involved in many worthy organizations through the years, including the March of Dimes, Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, School Improvement Council for Beck Academy and J.L. Mann High School, multiple booster clubs and my neighborhood association. I have been a frequent speaker on the topic of estate planning for local business, civic and professional organizations.
DOBSON LAW GROUP
220 Howe Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Congratulations on being a Talk-Greenville 2022 Top Lawyer!
104 South Main Street, Suite 900
Greenville, SC 29601
Jim Warren | Office Managing Partner
J. Stephen Welch
Steve Welch joined McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, in 2009 and has nearly 40 years of experience in litigation.
Steve is a certified civil and family court mediator and a certified circuit court arbitrator who has presented at various legal seminars, including a seminar on obtaining the best settlements for personal injury clients. His experience as a litigator, speaker and instructor give him the edge he needs to help his clients obtain compensation. Steve and the firm have also developed litigation to assist the victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
• Awarded, National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
• Member, South Carolina Association for Justice
• Member, American Association for Justice
• Founding Member, South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
• American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
• Regional litigation: We can handle any case anywhere in the U.S. through association of council.
Offices in all major South Carolina cities.
McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC
135 Edinburgh Court, Suite 202
Greenville, South Carolina 29607