John E. Cuttino



John E. Cuttino is a partner in the firm’s Columbia, South Carolina, office. He has 40 years of experience as a trial attorney in the state and federal courts of South Carolina. John has handled cases in 42 of 46 South Carolina counties and in all divisions of U.S. District Court in South Carolina. He has tried more than 100 cases to verdict. His litigation practice includes the defense of personal injury, design and construction defects, toxic and mass torts, insurance coverages, intellectual property, products liability and professional negligence matters.

John is regularly retained by insurers, self-insureds, risk management entities, corporations and individuals in the defense of matters related but not limited to:

  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Residential and Commercial Construction Defects
  • Insurance Bad Faith and Coverage
  • Asbestos Personal Injury and Property Damage
  • Building Products

John approaches each case with an experienced understanding of the many nuances and variables of the litigation process. His litigation skills were developed over decades of trying cases in both state and federal courts throughout South Carolina. He has handled significant litigation for a diverse range of clients litigated in jury trials, bench trials, arbitration forums and mediation. He understands that litigation is a difficult and unsettling experience for individuals and businesses. As a result of this understanding, he works closely with clients to accommodate their needs and objectives, determining the most effective and efficient ways to resolve a case.

“The effectiveness of our country’s civil legal system depends on the effectiveness of the adversarial process. Having an experienced, aggressive and well-prepared advocate is in my clients’ best interest throughout the litigation process, even if their dispute never reaches the courtroom. In fact, it may be the best way to avoid the courtroom.”


Wofford College

B.A., Government (1979)

University of South Carolina School of Law

J.D. (1982)

Bar Admissions

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

Associations & Professional Memberships

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • ABOTA American Civil Trial Bar Roundtable
    • National Co-Facilitator (2018 – present)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • Immediate Past President (2017– 2018)
    • President (2016 – 2017)
    • President-Elect (2015 – 2016)
    • First Vice President (2014 – 2015)
    • Second Vice President (2013 – 2014)
    • Secretary-Treasurer (2012 – 2013)
    • Board of Directors (2009 – 2012)
    • Construction Law Committee, Chair (2007 – 2009)
  • Eagle International Associates Inc.
    • Board of Directors, Chairman (2011-2013)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ)
    • Board of Directors ( 2016-2018)            
  • National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE)
    • Vice President (2023-24)
    • Board of Directors (2018 – 2022)
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association (1983 – 2022)
  • United States Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient, Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award (Defense Research Institute – DRI) (2022)
  • Best Lawyers In America (2008 – 2024)
    • Litigation: Construction
      • Lawyer of the Year (2020)
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
      • Lawyer of the Year (2018)
  • Columbia Business Magazine
    • Legal Elite: Personal Injury (2021)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated – AV Preeminent
  • South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Leadership in Law Honoree (2016)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers, Civil Litigation: Defense (2008 – 2024)

Community Involvement

  • Columbia World Affairs Council, Former Chair of the Board
  • Huguenot Society of South Carolina, President (2012-2014)
  • Society of First Families of South Carolina 1670-1700
  • South Carolina Historical Society
  • Wofford College National Alumni Association
    • Board of Directors (2018 – 2020)

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