It is not unusual for someone to ask me, H. Mills Gallivan, “Why did you become a lawyer and would you do it again?” 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 42 years I have applied my knowledge, skill, energy and passion to providing clients with creative legal solutions.
Among other things, law school taught me to solve legal problems by using the left or analytical side of my brain to gather and organize facts, apply the law and follow precedent and the legal process in pursuit of solutions. I have learned during my career that what I really love about legal problem solving is using the right or 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 creative and previously unthought-of solution to a problem.
I have also learned over my career that my clients deserve an aggressive advocate who will 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 an intentional and strategic plan along with the implementation of properly timed tactics. I believe that this begins with a plan for the strategic resolution of the issue at hand.
My current Alternative Dispute Resolution practice allows me to maximize over four decades of negotiation, litigation and trial experiences into the focused pursuit of elegant and creative legal solutions. I provide negotiation counseling, mediation, arbitration and Special Referee services to parties seeking timely and efficient resolution of their problems.
My background and experiences as a litigator and trial attorney have given me a broad based knowledge of the law. I also have extensive knowledge of the South Carolina Court System and the personalities of many members of the South Carolina Bar. This perspective often gives me the opportunity to highlight for parties the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and to guide them to a more thorough cost/benefit analysis and the relative merits of resolving high-stakes litigation prior to trial.
I believe that the law is 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 a significant portion of my career 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 and work that advances the rule of law and preserves 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 Lawyer Award in 2018.
Would I be a lawyer again? Absolutely, it has been a wonderful privilege and an honor to practice law and I would recommend it to anyone who is intellectually curious and who seeks to serve a society in a unique profession that resolves society’s problems with the rule of law.
University of South Carolina School of Law
- South Carolina
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Associations & Professional Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
- President (2016-2017)
- President-Elect (2015-2016)
- Treasurer/Secretary (2014-2015)
- Senior Director (2013-2014)
- Greenville County Bar Association
- Haynsworth Perry American Inn of Court, Past President
- Lawyers for Civil Justice
- National Foundation for Judicial Excellence
- Past President
- Chairman of the Board
- South Carolina Bar Dispute Resolution Council
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association (SCDTAA), Past President
- South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA)
Honors & Awards
- Best Lawyers in America (1995 – 2021)
- 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 (2019)
- 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, Compleat Lawyer, Platinum (2018)
- City of Greenville Planning Commission (2007-2012)
- Vice Chair (2011)
- Rotary Club of Greenville, President and 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 – Present)
- South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee (2008 – Present)
News & Articles
VII Crimes of Virtual Mediation