NEWS & COMMENTARY

In an effort to protect the health, safety and welfare of our clients, guests and employees, Gallivan White Boyd has established the following guidelines for all business visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Visitors are required to wear a protective mask at all times in all office areas except the conference rooms. Visitors should specifically wear a protective mask while entering or leaving the building and while walking to or from conference rooms and restrooms. We recommend that visitors wear a protective mask while in conference rooms, but masks in conference rooms are not mandatory. Visitors should provide their own protective masks.
  • All visitors will be required to sanitize their hands upon arrival at...

Gray T. Culbreath has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. The induction ceremony at which Culbreath became a Fellow took place online before an audience of 670 Fellows during the recent Induction Ceremony at the 2020 Annual Meeting and 70th Anniversary Celebration of the College. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by...

Twenty-five attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. With an almost 40-year history of highlighting top legal talent in America, Best Lawyers has become an important resource for finding experienced lawyers nationwide. Peer-reviewed listings by Best Lawyers are now published in almost 75 countries around the world. Gallivan White Boyd congratulates the following attorneys included on the 2021 Best Lawyers list.

CHARLESTON

  • Grayson Smith Personal Injury Litigation–Defendants

CHARLOTTE

  • Christopher M. Kelly Railroad Law

COLUMBIA

  •  Johnston Cox Insurance Law Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Gray T. Culbreath Bet-the-Company...

Partners Gray T. Culbreath, T. David Rheney and Ronald K. Wray II were named 2021 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers in America. Each year, only one lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the Lawyer of the Year. These lawyers are selected based on voting averages received from peer-review assessments. Gray T. Culbreath was named Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation - Defendants in the Columbia area. Culbreath was also listed in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following practice areas: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants and Product...

The U.S. News & World Report released Ones to Watch in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Gallivan White Boyd attorneys Drew Bradshaw, Jordan Crapps and Jessica W. Laffitte were recognized as Ones to Watch. This recognition is given to attorneys who are early in their careers and provide outstanding professional excellence in private practice within the United States. Drew Bradshaw (Greenville) was named Ones to Watch for Transportation Law. Jordan Crapps (Columbia) was named Ones to Watch for Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Securities. Jessica W. Laffitte (Columbia) was named Ones to Watch for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants.

A ‘Black Box’ for the Human Body

Michael W. Rabb | South Carolina Young Lawyer Magazine

Civil Discovery of Wearable Technology Data in Personal Injury Cases On September 13, 2018, in Santa Clara County, California, a 67-year-old woman was discovered dead in her home, slouched in a dining room chair with lacerations on her head and neck, clutching a large knife. Two weeks later, her stepfather was arrested for her murder based in part on evidence obtained from a silent observer—her Fitbit. The fitness tracker she was wearing at the time recorded a spike in her heart rate followed by a slow decline in her heart rate until it completely stopped, all during a time when her stepfather—the last person to see her alive—admitted he was at her home.1 The advent of wearable technology, expected to...

Twenty-three attorneys were nominated and voted to Greenville Business Magazine’s 2020 Legal Elite,the only regional awards program that allows every active attorney to nominate and vote for their peers across 26 categories. Duffie Powers and Phil Reeves were recognized as Top Voted recipients. Duffie Powers centers his legal practice on the areas of design and construction and creditors’ rights in the firm’s Greenville, South Carolina, office. Having previously worked in the construction industry, Duffie has a unique insight into the challenges faced by those in the industry.  Duffie routinely represents contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment rental companies, architects, engineers...

Eight attorneys, Johnston Cox, Will Harbison, Amy Hill, Laura Jordan, Lindsay Joyner, John T. Lay, Shelley Montague and Breon Walker were recognized as the 2020 Legal Elite by Columbia Business Monthly. Legal Elite is the only regional awards program that allows every active attorney to nominate and vote for their peers in 26 categories. Columbia Business Monthly's list of Legal Elite includes:

  • A. Johnston Cox – Insurance, Personal Injury
  • William R. Harbison – Workers’ Compensation
  • Amy L.B. Hill – Business Litigation, Banking & Finance
  • Laura Jordan – Labor & Employment
  • Lindsay A. Joyner – Business Litigation
  • John T. Lay Jr. – Business Litigation
  • Shelley Sunderman Montague –...

Jennifer E. Johnsen has been elected senior director for the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) board of directors.  The FDCC is a professional trade association of peer-reviewed, premier defense and corporate counsel and industry executives. The organization is dedicated to leading the profession by advancing the principles of civil justice, actionable knowledge, and fostering the trust and value of fellowship. Johnsen has been an active member of the FDCC since 2008. She has chaired numerous substantive law committees, served as program chair for the 2019 winter meeting and is Convention Chair for the upcoming 2021 annual meeting. She has served on the board since 2018. Johnsen has played an active...

T. David Rheney Elected President of Insuralex

Greenville, S.C. – July 13, 2020

Gallivan White Boyd partner T. David Rheney was elected as president of Insuralex during its recent annual meeting. Insuralex is a worldwide network of independent law firms that practice insurance and reinsurance coverage, defense, litigation and related legal services. Its members work for a wide range of clients including insurance and reinsurance companies, Lloyd’s syndicates, insurance and reinsurance brokers as well as captives and self-insured companies. Each member firm of Insuralex is a leader in its national or state jurisdiction on issues related to insurance and reinsurance. Former president Neftali Garro stated:

"It has been my privilege to be at the helm of Insuralex this past year. I am in awe of...

VII Crimes of Virtual Mediation

H. Mills Gallivan | FDCC Publication

“The King is dead. Long live the King!” Over the past several years, I have seen, heard and participated in numerous discussions about the rise of online mediation. I have always believed that face to face mediation between litigants is the undisputed King of ADR. Yet I often mused whether I should be looking for a DeLorean with a flux capacitor for a trip back to the future of mediation. Little did I know that a global pandemic would force not just me, but the entire legal profession into the online world of virtual litigation and mediation. As a mediator, one of my favorite rhetorical questions is, “How’s that working out for you?” I now ask myself that question about virtual mediation and would like to...

The List of Eight: Coping with COVID-19

C. Stuart Mauney | For the Defense – June 2020

DRI for Life Does the COVID-19 pandemic have you bouncing off the walls at home? Compliance with a “stay-at- home” order. Social distancing. Inability to visit with family or friends. Restaurants closed. Yes, you do need a haircut! For me, cancellation of March Madness and postponement of The Masters golf tournament. The death, the hurt, the unemployment. We are all grieving in our own way—grieving the loss of normalcy, grieving the economic loss, grieving the loss of connection. How do we handle this discomfort, this grief? As a volunteer for the South Carolina Bar Lawyers Helping Lawyers program, and as a mental health advocate, I have read countless articles on lawyers and mental health. As a result, I...

Partner Breon C. M. Walker was elected President of the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association (SCBLA). The association is a professional organization committed to serve all lawyers in South Carolina and the community at large. SCBLA strives to be the voice of surrounding communities and to make legal assistance available – with supportive judges, lawyers, law students and many others who are committed to the diversification and progression  of the legal community. This esteemed organization has elected a qualified, outstanding leader to continue its initiatives of promoting professionalism, addressing injustice and providing advocacy statewide. Walker is a litigation attorney in the firm’s Columbia, South...

Gallivan White Boyd is pleased to announce its inclusion as a Leading Law Firm in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA. Chambers USA ranks the top lawyers and law firms across the United States. Out of 6,695 total firm rankings, Gallivan White Boyd is ranked as a Top Tier Law Firm in South Carolina for litigation. With four offices across the Carolinas, the firm frequently represents businesses and individual clients in business and commercial disputes, insurance matters, arbitration and litigation. Additionally, partners Gray T. Culbreath, John T. Lay Jr. and Daniel B. White were chosen as leading business attorneys practicing law in commercial litigation. Combined, Culbreath, Lay, and White have more than 75 years of...

Gallivan White Boyd celebrates another achievement for partner John T. Lay Jr. Over each of the past 13 years, he has been selected for inclusion in the annual edition of Super Lawyers®. This year, Lay has been further recognized on the Top 25: 2020 South Carolina Super Lawyers List, a list on which he has been included since 2018. He is a business litigator practicing in the firm’s Columbia, South Carolina office. Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. We believe John T. Lay has exceeded the expectation of superior, professional leadership. His achievements are...

SCWCC Advisory Notice

April 27, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has extended the suspension of live in-person hearings until May 15, 2020. At this time, Commissioners’ dockets will continue to be managed in the best manner possible using Court Call, telephone, and other electronic methods on a case-by-case basis and at the Commissioners’ discretion. All pleadings, motions, settlements, and other claim-related documents which cannot be submitted electronically must be submitted to the Commission by the US Postal Service. While it is our understanding all settlement conferences will continue to be held telephonically, the Commission plans to readdress its policies regarding how these...

Twenty-one attorneys from the firm’s Greenville, Charleston and Columbia offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers. Most notably, John T. Lay Jr., whose practice area is business litigation, has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Lawyers in South Carolina. Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, lists the top 5 percent of the attorneys in the state who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers utilizes a multiphased selection process that includes peer nominations, independent third-party research, and peer reviews by other attorneys in their primary practice area. The 14 attorneys listed as Super Lawyers...

Guide to South Carolina Liability and Property Insurance Law

by Janice Holmes | Available for purchase

The Guide is a comprehensive treatise analyzing South Carolina liability and property insurance coverage issues. It provides a balanced approach that will be helpful to lawyers for the insureds, insurers, or claimants.  The Guide provides in-depth coverage of South Carolina law related to issues regarding inception of insurance policies, analysis of issues arising in connection with property insurance policies, including issues related to insurable interest and all-risk and named perils policies and common exclusions; commercial general liability policies and common exclusions and conditions; professional liability policies and common issues; and excess insurance policies.  The Guide also provides practical and...

Understandably, our clients have questions and concerns regarding how COVID-19 would be viewed under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (SCWCA). We are learning more about COVID-19 on a moment-by moment basis, and our team is committed to staying abreast of the legal implications as this novel issue evolves. If you have specific COVID-19 questions, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a member of our team to discuss your claim individually. While COVID-19 is a novel and evolving issue, below are some general insights based on the information currently available.

What is Not an Occupational Disease

  • Chapter 11 of the SCWCA governs compensability as it relates to occupational diseases, as well as...

We hope that you, your colleagues and loved ones are well. If you are struggling with a legal, business, or personal problem that we can help with please let us know. Fear is the belief that the future is dismal, and faith is the belief in a bright future. Our Alternative Dispute Resolution attorneys understand that we are in uncharted and perilous waters. However, we believe that the future of ADR is bright and that our country and legal system will emerge from this crisis stronger from the lessons learned. In the meantime, we recognize that both lawyers and litigants need to have their cases resolved. We are also acutely aware of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking not only on our daily lives, but on this...

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Over the weekend, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission made the decision to suspend all live hearings until May 1, 2020 in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Further, in response to Governor McMaster’s Executive Order issued on March 19, 2020, the Commission will be closed to the public until further notice. The Commission will continue operating with minimal staff on-site and the remainder of the staff working from home. For your convenience, please click this Advisory Notice to be taken directly to the Commission’s latest Advisory Notice. Notably, the filing requirements outlined by the Commission will remain in place until further notice....

COVID-19 Action Plan

April 17, 2020

To Our Valued Clients & Business Partners: We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created questions and concerns for our colleagues and business partners around the world. We are writing today to assure you that Gallivan White Boyd (GWB) is committed to providing our clients with uninterrupted, high-quality legal service in a safe environment. In response to the evolving pandemic:

  • We established a COVID-19 Response Team, which includes the firm’s Executive Committee, the partners-in-charge of each GWB office, and senior leadership from the firm’s administrative departments (Operations, Finance, HR and IT).
  • We continue to monitor the latest information and guidance from the Centers for Disease...

Partner Breon Walker will be recognized as a 2020 Honoree of the South Carolina Leadership in Law award hosted by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. The Leadership in Law event recognizes attorneys from across the Palmetto State who have achieved success in their law practice, made contributions to society and had an impact on the legal profession. A top Lawyer of the Year award will be selected out of the class of honorees and revealed the night of the event - Friday, March 13, 2020. Walker has a diverse legal practice which includes the defense of personal injury claims, products liability defense, commercial litigation, and government relations. Breon has years of trial experience in state and appellate courts dating...

Gallivan White Boyd congratulates two partners of the firm on their selection to become Riley Fellows. Janice Holmes (Columbia, SC) and Stuart Mauney (Greenville, SC) join other leaders selected from across the state to participate in the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). Holmes is a member of the thirteenth DLI class in the Midlands, and Mauney will be a member of the twenty-ninth DLI class in the Upstate.

“Discovering ways in which differences can strengthen our organizations is of utmost importance as we seek to grow and support a thriving economy and rich culture,” said Dr. Donald Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.

DLI class members are identified through a rigorous...

Three Gallivan White Boyd Attorneys Elected Partner

Columbia, S.C. – January 30, 2020

Gallivan White Boyd is pleased to announce that three attorneys were chosen to become partners, Drew Bradshaw and Amity Edmonds in Greenville, South Carolina and Jessica Waller Laffitte in Columbia.

Drew Bradshaw

Bradshaw’s practice includes all aspects of civil litigation at both the state and federal level. He places a particular emphasis on transportation litigation in the railroad and trucking industries, products liability litigation, and toxic and mass torts.

Amity S. Edmonds

Edmonds focuses her practice on workers’ compensation defense. She represents employers, insurers, self-insured entities, and third-party administrators defending an array of workers’ compensation issues. Edmonds represents...

A Practical Guide to Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition

Christopher M. Kelly | The Transportation Lawyer

Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was envisioned to be a rule which empowered litigants to control the costs and time expended and litigation and messaging. Historically, the rule was developed to avoid unnecessary costs of litigation due to corporate witnesses who had some but not all information being sought. The cases which discuss the rule note that it was not uncommon for individual officers and employees to disclaim knowledge of facts “clearly” known to the corporation forcing litigants to depose a laundry list of corporate officials to obtain necessary information related to the dispute. The rule was intended to streamline the discovery process by allowing a unique and specialized form of...

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