H. Mills Gallivan

Partner

  • 864.271.5341
  • mgallivan@gwblawfirm.com
  • @millsgallivan
  • Pdf

Biography

It is not unusual for someone to ask me, “Why did you become a lawyer and would you do it again?” The answer is easy, I became a lawyer to help solve serious legal problems that people and businesses have been unable to resolve on their own. Over the past 45 years I have aggressively applied my knowledge, skill and energy to providing clients with creative legal solutions.

Law school refined my ability to solve legal problems using the analytical side of my brain to gather and organize facts, apply the law, and use the legal process in pursuit of solutions. Over the years I realized that what I really love about legal problem-solving is using the creative side of my brain to design a unique, elegant and strategic solution to a problem. The most satisfying days for me are when I can offer a previously unthought-of solution, which is the essence of being a counselor at law.

I have also learned over my career that my clients deserve an aggressive advocate, willing to push for a speedy and efficient resolution of their disputes through negotiation when possible and trial when necessary. The creative resolution of legal issues requires intentional and strategic goals along with implementation of properly timed tactics. This begins with a plan for the strategic resolution of the issue at hand.

I tell people I am in the problem-solving business. My current Strategic Dispute Resolution practice allows me to focus my four-plus decades of negotiation, litigation and trial experiences in the pursuit of elegant and creative legal solutions. I currently provide negotiation counseling; as well as, mediation, arbitration and Special Referee services to parties seeking timely, effective and efficient resolution of legal and business problems.

My experiences as a litigator and trial attorney have given me a strong foundation in the law with the South Carolina Court System and strong relationships with the members of the South Carolina Bar. These perspectives give me the opportunity to highlight for parties the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and to guide them through a rigorous cost/benefit analysis on the relative merits of resolving high stakes litigation before trial.

I view the law as a calling and a true profession. I have been extraordinarily blessed in my career and feel a profound duty to give back to the legal profession. I have dedicated significant time and talent to improving the profession and mentoring young lawyers. My passion for the law and helping younger lawyers has led me to a number of leadership roles in legal organizations that advance the rule of law and work to preserve the civil justice system. My proudest career accomplishments have been receiving the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association Robert W. Hemphill Award in 2019 and the University of South Carolina Law School Platinum Compleat Lawyer Award in 2018.

Would I be a lawyer again? Absolutely, it has been a wonderful privilege and an honor to practice law. I would recommend a legal career to anyone who is intellectually curious and who seeks to serve in a unique profession which resolves societal problems through the rule of law.

Education

Vanderbilt University

B.A. (1973)

University of South Carolina School of Law

J.D. (1976)

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina Bar
  • United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • United States Court o Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Associations & Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
    • Chairman of the Board (2017 – 2018)
    • President (2016 – 2017)
    • Treasurer/Secretary (2014 – 2015)
    • Senior Director (2013 – 2014)
  • Greenville County Bar Association
  • Haynsworth Perry American Inn of Court, Past President & Founder
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice
    • President-Elect (2020 – 2021)
  • National Foundation for Judicial Excellence
    • Past Chairman of the Board
    • Past President (2012 – 2013)
    • Chairman of the Board
  • South Carolina Bar
    • Dispute Resolution Council, Member (2014 – Present)
      • Chair (2016)
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (2017)
    • Senior Lawyers Division
      • Executive Committee (2018 – Present)
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association (SCDTAA)
    • Past President (2001 – 2002)
  • South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA)

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America (1995 – 2021)
    • Arbitration
    • Mediation
    • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
      • Lawyer of the Year (2010) (2013)
  • DRI Exceptional Performance Citation (2002)
  • Greenville Business Magazine
    • Legal Elite: Alternative Dispute Resolution (2020)
    • Legal Elite: Workers’ Compensation (2015-2016) (2020)
  • National Registry of Who’s Who, Lifetime Member
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association Robert W. Hemphill Award (2010)
  • South Carolina Weekly Magazine, Leaders in Law (2013)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution (2008-2013, 2015-2020)
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, Platinum Compleat Lawyer (2018)

Community Involvement

  • Bon Secours Mercy, St. Francis Hospital Board of Trustees (2015 – Present)
    • Chair (2020)
    • Chairman-Elect (2019)
  • City of Greenville Planning Commission (2007-2012)
    • Vice Chair (2011)
  • Rotary Club of Greenville, Past President and Past Chairman of Rotary Charities Inc.
  • St. Francis Hospital Foundation, Former Member
  • St. Francis Forum Fellow (2013)
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Finance Council Member (2008 – 2017)
  • South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee (2008 – Present)

News & Articles

  • VII Crimes of Virtual Mediation
  • FDCC Flyer, August 2020
  • Court Funding Shortfalls are a Shameful Injustice
  • Law Day: The Great Equalizers
  • All In Mediation
  • Abnormal Use: An Unreasonably Dangerous Products Liability Blog, Guest Author
  • FDCC Leadership Compendium
  • FDCC Speakers Compendium

Capabilities

Support Staff

Patrice Hoerster

Executive Assistant

864.271.5437

phoerster@gwblawfirm.com

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