Ron Wray is a partner in GWB’s Greenville office and leader of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Ron’s practice focuses on commercial transportation and complex litigation with an emphasis on railroad law, products liability, class actions, and appellate work.
Ron has been at the center of significant defense litigation in South Carolina for over 24 years. He has served as lead counsel for Norfolk Southern in litigation arising from the Graniteville train derailment, including serving as trial counsel and assisting in negotiating two class actions arising from the derailment. Additionally, he served as trial and appellate counsel in Whaley v. CSX Tranportation, a decision which clarified South Carolina’s venue laws and helped end abusive forum shopping.
Ron also represented the defendants in Wyatt v. Fowler, in which the South Carolina Supreme Court adopted the “public duty rule” that shields police officers and governmental agencies from certain negligence claims. He also represented the State of South Carolina in two multi-million dollar claims brought by the video poker industry.
A significant portion of Ron’s current practice focuses on the defense of the railroad industry. He provides statewide, regional, and national representation to Class 1 railroads and shortlines. Ron’s litigation experience in this area is far reaching, from emergency response, mediations, trials, appellate practice, and class actions. Examples of his experience include:
- Served as lead counsel for hundreds of claims arising from the Graniteville train derailment
- Selected as system-wide counsel by two Class 1 railroads to handle locomotive camera issues
- Retained by a Class 1 railroad to handle a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into a train derailment that occurred in Paulsboro, New Jersey
Ron is as well known for his service to clients as he is for his legal skills. Ron is always willing to take the steps necessary to exceed the expectations of his clients. He makes the effort to truly understand the client’s business and is timely in his response to inquiries from clients. Ron’s professionalism is unquestioned.
Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- South Carolina Bar Association
- Greenville County Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
– President, 2015
– President-Elect, 2014
- Leadership Greenville, Class 28
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
Honors and Awards
- 2015 Legal Elite – Civil Litigation, Greenville Business Magazine
- Best Lawyers in America
– Commercial Litigation, 2006 to Present
– Railroad Law, 2006 to Present
– Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2016
- South Carolina Super Lawyers, 2009-2010, 2018 to Present
- Articles Editor, American Bar Association Real Property, Probate & Trust Journal
- American Jurisprudence Award, Legal Writing
- Phi Beta Kappa
- City of Cayce v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co., 391 S.C. 395, 706 S.E.2d 6 (2011)
- Avondale Mills v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, C.A. No. 1:05-cv-2817-MBS (DSC 2005)
- Willie Homer Stephens, Guardian ad Litem for Lillian Colvin, a minor v. CSX Transportation, Inc., C.A. No. 04-CP-25-267.
- Whaley v. CSX Transp., Inc., 609 S.E.2d 286 (S.C. 2005)
- Greenville County v. Kenwood Enter., Inc., 577 S.E.2d 428 (S.C. 2003)
- Harkins v. Greenville County, 533 S.E.2d 886 (S.C. 2000)
- Mibbs, Inc. v. S.C. Dep’t of Revenue, 524 S.E.2d 626 (S.C. 1999)
- Wyatt v. Fowler, 484 S.E.2d 590 (S.C. 1997)
- Diamonds v. Greenville County, 480 S.E.2d 718 (S.C. Sup. Ct. 1997)
- United Way of Greenville County, Palmetto Society
- Greer Jaycees, Former Jaycee of the Year
- Camp Opportunity, Past Board Member
- Easter Seals, Past Board Member
- South Carolina, 1992
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1993
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
- J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law, 1992 (Order of the Coif, Order of Wig and Robe)
- B.A., University of South Carolina (Honors College), 1988
Love mercy and do justice.
Testimonial - Person