About Our Firm

Serving clients for over 45 years

We strive to deliver what our clients deserve – dedicated service, legal knowledge, and zealous advocacy. We are problem-solvers and we are committed to meeting the legal needs of the communities we serve.

We trace our roots to 1975, when we began as a general civil practice in Charleston, South Carolina. Our firm expanded into new practice areas and adopted a focus on litigation in 1980.

We now have offices in Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach. The firm continues to grow and remains grounded by the philosophy of providing high quality legal services in a timely and efficient manner.

What We Do

Practice Areas

We serve clients throughout South Carolina and North Carolina in a variety of practice areas.

Practice area description populates here.

Litigation

Clawson & Staubes has a deep bench of seasoned litigators. Our litigation team has litigated thousands of cases across the Carolinas since 1975. We have developed a reputation in the legal community of properly evaluating and litigating cases. Our litigation team practices in a variety of practice areas, including: abuse of process, daycare abuse and neglect, defamation, dram shop and liquor liability, false imprisonment, governmental liability, insurance coverage and bad faith, malicious prosecution, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, products liability, retail and hospitality, and wrongful death.

Litigation

Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties attempt to settle a controversy by meeting with a neutral mediator with experience in various types of disputes. Mediation offers the parties the opportunity to conduct a structured negotiation in a confidential setting. In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory in both State and Federal courts.

Clawson & Staubes believes the key to a successful mediation is early and active involvement by the mediator, who encourages the parties to engage in pre-mediation discussions that help develop momentum towards settlement. If both sides understand the positions of the other in advance of the mediation, the chances for surprise are reduced and the opportunity for settlement increases.  Pre-mediation disclosures by a plaintiff often drive value with the defendant, whereas pre-mediation disclosures by the defendant often help manage the expectations of the plaintiff.

Clawson & Staubes has a number of experienced attorneys who are South Carolina Circuit Court Certified Mediators and North Carolina Superior Court Certified Mediators. Our Mediators are able to mediate virtually, at our offices, or to travel statewide to assist you with your mediation needs. For a list of our firm’s Mediators, click here.

Mediation

Admiralty & Maritime

Clawson & Staubes has represented individuals, vessel owners, captains, maritime businesses, and major insurance carriers in state and federal court. Our firm’s largest office is located in Charleston, South Carolina, a major hub for commercial and recreational boating industries.

When injuries happen on navigable waters, a special set of rules and laws can apply. Litigants often file cases in federal court when injuries arise from accidents on navigable waters. A judge may hear your case without the right to a jury trial. Our attorneys assist local, national, and international businesses and individuals with maritime issues including Jones Act claims, Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Act claims, cargo claims, collision claims, and personal injury matters.

Admiralty & Maritime

Appellate Litigation

We handle appeals involving individuals, businesses, insurance carriers, and governmental entities. Our appellate team has extensive experience representing both appellants and respondents. We handle appeals involving a wide variety of issues, including, but not limited to, insurance coverage, workers compensation, tort law, business disputes, premises liability, and construction claims.

Our appellate team combines written and oral advocacy skills with a thorough knowledge of substantive and procedural law. These skills are necessary to analyze the complex issues involved in appeals, conduct detailed research, draft appellate briefs, and successfully argue your case at the appellate level.

Our attorneys provide the following appellate services: conducting the legal research necessary to evaluate and litigate the appeal, drafting appellate briefs, advising trial counsel of legal considerations for appeals, conducting oral arguments, filing interlocutory appeals, filing petitions for opposing certiorari, and drafting amicus briefs.

Appellate Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Clawson & Staubes is committed to the timely and efficient resolution of legal matters by all available means. It is important to consider the various ways that legal disputes may be resolved short of lengthy pre-trial discovery and trial. We offer the following methods of alternate dispute resolution:  mediation, arbitration, and fast track jury trials. In addition, Clawson & Staubes offers Focus Groups, which are excellent tools to educate parties and counsel as to the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.

Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties attempt to settle a controversy by meeting with a neutral mediator with experience in various types of disputes. Mediation offers the parties the opportunity to conduct a structured negotiation in a confidential setting. In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory in both State and Federal courts.

Clawson & Staubes believes the key to a successful mediation is early and active involvement by the mediator, who encourages the parties to engage in pre-mediation discussions that help develop momentum towards settlement. If both sides understand the positions of the other in advance of the mediation, the chances for surprise are reduced and the opportunity for settlement increases.  Pre-mediation disclosures by a plaintiff often drive value with the defendant, whereas pre-mediation disclosures by the defendant often help manage the expectations of the plaintiff.

Clawson & Staubes has a number of experienced attorneys who are South Carolina Circuit Court Certified Mediators and North Carolina Superior Court Certified Mediators. Our Mediators are able to mediate virtually, at our offices, or to travel statewide to assist you with your mediation needs. For a list of our firm’s Mediators, click here.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the final determination of a dispute is entrusted to one or more independent third parties rather than the court. Arbitration allows for the parties to present a case to a neutral arbitrator, who will render a binding decision. While not as favored as other forms of dispute resolution, arbitration does have its advantages. Arbitration brings cases to a conclusion without the necessity of a public trial.

Clawson & Staubes recognizes that parties win or lose in arbitration based upon the evidence presented and the applicable law. We do not believe arbitration should be a way of “splitting the baby,” where neither side wins or loses. Clawson & Staubes has a number of experienced attorneys who are available in South Carolina and North Carolina to assist you with your arbitration needs.

Fast Track Jury Trials

Fast Track Jury Trials, also sometimes called Summary Jury Trials, offer parties a method of obtaining a binding jury verdict before a special hearing officer and a reduced jury panel with modified rules allowing for the efficient presentation of the case.

Fast Track Jury Trials have a number of unique rules. Cases are exempt from mediation and arbitration. The parties often stipulate the admissibility of the evidence to be presented. The trial is presided over by a lawyer who serves as the special hearing officer and whose role is not unlike that of a judge. The jury is comprised of just 6 jurors. Parties are limited to just 5 witnesses and the trial is not to last more than one day. The results are generally not appealable.

Clawson & Staubes was a pioneer in developing and participating in Fast Track Jury Trials. Our attorneys have represented parties in Fast Track Jury Trials and presided over them as special hearing officers as well. Clawson & Staubes offers experienced litigators who have tried hundreds of cases in a variety of practice areas to serve as special hearing officers for South Carolina Fast Track Jury Trials.

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about key issues in current or future litigation. Focus Groups allow a party to present their case to one or more mock jury panels from qualified residents of the relevant counties. Focus groups are completely confidential.

Clawson & Staubes will help structure your case for presentation and, either by an adversarial method or facilitator led method, present your case to a panel of 12-15 qualified jurors, who will give you valuable feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your case necessary for you to better prepare your case for settlement and/or trial.  Clawson & Staubes offers a state-of-the-art facility for your focus group to be observed privately and videotaped during all phases of the process.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Construction Contract Review

We provide contract review services to both trade subcontractors and general contractors. Our attorneys routinely review construction contracts and point out areas of concern, traps, and unfair terms. It is not enough for the contract to be reviewed by only one party’s lawyer. You should have the contract reviewed by your lawyer to protect your interests.

One of the most important benefits of legal services available to you is good legal advice aimed at avoiding litigation all together. A good contract can be an important part of a construction project. The peace of mind you have knowing your contract protects you and your business is worth making the extra effort upfront to ensure it is worded properly and complies with applicable laws.

Construction Contract Review

Construction Defect

The construction defect attorneys at Clawson & Staubes are well-versed in handling all types of construction defect litigation. Our lawyers have an established track record of success in representing engineers, architects, general contractors, and specialty subcontractors in state and federal courts across South Carolina and North Carolina. We have successfully litigated claims of negligent construction, defective workmanship, and professional negligence by blending architectural, engineering, construction, and legal concepts. We also regularly provide commercial general liability coverage interpretation.

Construction Defect Litigation

Construction defects in residential and commercial structures include a wide variety of deficiencies, including structural integrity, mechanical, electrical, water intrusion, thermal and moisture protection, doors, windows, and finishes. These deficiencies can originate from failures with the design, materials, or deficiencies within the construction process itself. Our primary goal is to resolve these cases in the most efficient manner, be it through alternative dispute resolution or informal negotiation. However, our attorneys are trial ready and have a track record of successfully litigating construction defect cases.

Our construction defect attorneys routinely review plans, specifications, building codes, product manuals, and industry standards to determine whether the problems alleged are a result of product failures, design deficiencies, or true construction defect. In so doing, we are able to provide meaningful guidance to our clients with the assistance of industry professionals on potential exposure and resolution

Professional Negligence

Architects, engineers, and other design professionals are oftentimes exposed to liability on projects on which they provide design services or have construction administration or draw request review duties and responsibilities. In these cases, the design professional is compared with like professionals in the industry to determine whether he or she has acted reasonably in the performance of his or her duties. Our attorneys have successfully defended and litigated design professional cases on the State and Federal level for over 30 years.

Commercial General Liability Insurance Coverage

With the rise in the number of construction defect cases, an emerging area of the law involves the interpretation of commercial general liability (CGL) policies and the coverage they provide. The CGL policy and its endorsements are complex documents. Our attorneys provide analysis in the form of coverage opinions and litigate on behalf of carriers in declaratory judgment actions in both State and Federal Court. As construction defect litigation continues to grow, more and more insurance companies seek to limit or eliminate their overall exposure and benefit from competent representation to properly advise them as to potential problem areas. Our attorneys are experienced in coverage matters and are able to provide meaningful guidance in this area of the law.

Construction Defect

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

This statewide practice area focuses on all matters involving lawyer and judicial ethics, including grievance defense, law firm compliance and general counsel services, ethics opinions, and assistance with bar admission and reinstatement from our centrally-located office in Columbia.

Discipline Defense

Responding to an allegation of misconduct can be the most difficult and challenging experience in the professional life of a lawyer or judge. We help our clients navigate the discipline system and work towards a favorable outcome. If we can’t secure a dismissal, we will work with the disciplinary authorities to craft a resolution that is appropriate for the client’s circumstances. If the allegations of misconduct are disputed, we are prepared to litigate formal charges and defend our clients before the Commission on Lawyer Conduct, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, and the Supreme Court of South Carolina. We also accept cases involving out-of-state lawyers engaged in multi-jurisdictional practices that subject them to the jurisdiction of South Carolina disciplinary authorities. The Discipline Defense Practice includes: Lawyer Discipline, Judicial Discipline, and Unauthorized Practice of Law Charges.

Law Firm Compliance and General Counsel Services

We provide lawyers and law firms with confidential and effective assistance in ensuring ethical compliance to help avoid disciplinary complaints and malpractice claims.  We work to customize a package of services that suits the unique needs of each of our law firm clients.  Law Firm Compliance and General Counsel Services include: Ethics Counseling, Conflicts Analysis, Advertising Review, Risk Management Assessments and Site Visits, Trust Account Set-Up and Management Training, In-House Continuing Legal Education and Staff Training Programs, Law Firm Departures and Dissolutions, and Drafting Law Firm Practice Manuals.

Ethics Opinions

We provide professional opinions to law firms, legal departments, and malpractice litigants on a variety of issues including conflicts of interest, negligence, law firm marketing, supervision of subordinates, trust accounting practices, fee setting and fee sharing, disclosure of confidential information, and the unauthorized practice of law. Access to Ethics Opinions and advice is available through a variety of methods: On-Call Services, Written Opinion Letters, Pre-Litigation Review, and Professional Opinion Affidavits and Testimony.

Bar Admissions and Reinstatement

It is essential to the function of our legal system that lawyers are held to a high standard of professional and personal conduct. Yet, we recognize that people sometimes make mistakes. We assist lawyers and law students in overcoming past missteps in order to join or rejoin the legal profession. We work closely with bar applicants and lawyers to develop an action plan to establish that they have the character and fitness necessary to practice law. The Bar Admission and Reinstatement Practice focuses on preparing the client for the rigors of Character and Fitness review and advocating for the client’s admission or reinstatement before the Committee and the Supreme Court.

Consult with an Ethics and Professional Responsibility Attorney

If you are in need of a South Carolina ethics and professional responsibility attorney, our legal team at Clawson & Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843) 577-2026 to learn more about our services.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Governmental

Clawson & Staubes handles cases involving local and state governments. These can be actions for or against cities, towns, counties, police departments, or other government entities, such as public service districts. These lawsuits are often governed by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

Governmental entities have to follow special rules including those relating to how citizens are treated, how meetings are conducted, and the procedure for enacting laws. Sometimes we will defend a city or police department in connection with a matter that a citizen thinks is unlawful. For example, we have defended governmental entities in actions involving allegations of police misconduct, improper procedures in enacting laws, enacting unconstitutional laws, and zoning disputes.

At other times, we may help individuals who wish to have their rights protected. For example, the government may be attempting to take property to build a road or building and the property owner requires assistance in securing fair compensation from the government.

Governmental

Estate Planning

Estate planning and probate administration have long been areas in which the firm has vast experience. We offer guidance and advice to clients who need appropriate estate plans and want to ensure that property is passed to their desired beneficiaries at death. We also provide advice to clients seeking to maximize the eventual distribution of their families’ wealth.

The estate planning process begins with a comprehensive review of a client’s personal situation and assets. Recommendations are made to advance a client’s estate planning objectives. Our attorneys make every effort to assist a client in meeting the client’s goals, which can be as diverse as each client’s family situation and existing assets might be.

Our attorneys work with clients to prepare the appropriate documents to accomplish their estate planning goals. Examples of such end of life documents include wills, durable powers of attorney, living wills, health care powers of attorney, special needs trusts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.

Estate Planning

Personal Injury

Clawson & Staubes has represented both plaintiffs and defendants since the founding of the firm more than 45 years ago. Our personal injury practice represents clients across a wide variety of practice areas, including assault and battery, abuse of process, bar and restaurant liability, boating accidents, brain injuries, complex business litigation, construction accidents, day care abuse and neglect, defamation, malicious prosecution, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, premises liability, products liability, trucking accidents, workers’ compensation, wrongful arrest, and wrongful death.

It is important for our clients to understand that Clawson & Staubes represents both plaintiffs and defendants. As such, Clawson & Staubes has ongoing business relationships with a number of insurance companies. The firm conducts a conflict-of-interest review to determine whether the case involves a conflict with any of the firm’s clients, including insurance companies represented by the firm, before undertaking representation of a client on a personal injury case. Pursuant to rules of ethics governing attorneys, the firm does not accept representation of a case on behalf of a plaintiff adverse to one of the firm’s clients, including an insurance company we represent. If a conflict of interest develops or is discovered by Clawson & Staubes after undertaking representation, the firm may withdraw from the representation pursuant to the terms of its engagement agreement.

Personal Injury

Immigration

Clawson & Staubes provides businesses, families, and individuals with goal-oriented representation and accessible immigration law services. Our Immigration Group is dedicated to achieving the results our clients seek. Our firm represents clients before U.S. immigration agencies and courts, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of State, and Executive Office for Immigration Review (Immigration Court). We represent clients in immigration law matters in North Carolina, South Carolina, across the United States, and around the world. We offer free initial consultations by telephone or by video conference. 

Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-based immigration laws are complex and require efficient and effective legal representation. We leverage years of immigration law experience and cutting-edge technology to provide employers with comprehensive case management solutions and reduce the stress associated with the immigration process. We represent businesses in applications for nonimmigrant visas and lawful permanent residence for foreign nationals. We represent businesses and individuals in applying for B-1 visas, E-1 visas, E-2 visas, E-3 visas, H-1B visas, L-1A visas, L-1B visas, O-1 visas, P-1 visas, R-1 visas, TN visas, and INA § 212(d)(3) waivers. We also represent businesses in preparing EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 PERM and I-140 applications. We advise employers on worksite compliance with immigration laws, including I-9 compliance matters.

Investor Visas

Investors in a U.S. business may qualify for an E-2 visa. The investor must be a national of a country with which the U.S. has a requisite treaty, have invested or be actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise, and be seeking to enter the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. We represent clients throughout the application process and assist clients in applying for E-2 visas in the U.S. or at U.S. consulates abroad.

Family-Based Immigration

We help families achieve their U.S. immigration goals. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may petition for lawful permanent residence for eligible family members. Our firm prepares I-130 petitions for qualifying family members, adjustment of status (“green card”) applications, I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver applications, I-601 and I-212 inadmissibility waiver applications, and immigrant visa applications. We represent clients in consular processing matters at consulates around the world. We also represent clients in naturalization applications, U visa applications, T visa applications, asylum applications, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applications, parole in place applications, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) applications, and travel document applications (“advance parole” or “reentry permit”).

Deportation/Removal Defense

Clients in deportation or removal proceedings often face complicated immigration law issues. We value serving clients with perseverance and determination. Our Immigration Group represents clients in applying for adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, asylum, and waivers before Immigration Courts. In addition, we represent clients in motions to reopen their deportation or removal proceedings and motions to dismiss their proceedings. We represent clients in appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). We also advise clients and other attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

If you are in need of an immigration attorney, Doug Thie, Grayson Gibson, and their team at Clawson & Staubes are available to assist you. Contact our Immigration Group at (704) 940-9128 to learn more about our services.

Immigration

Workers’ Compensation

The Clawson & Staubes workers’ compensation team offers experience handling all levels of workers’ compensation claims. We represent individuals, insurance carriers, employers, businesses, self-insured funds, and TPAs in every type of workers’ compensation related matter. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of experience and are here to assist you in bringing your case to a favorable result.

South Carolina, like most states, offers a statutory system designed to provide financial protection for workers who are injured or killed on the job. This system is called “workers’ compensation.” Pursuant to South Carolina’s workers’ compensation statutes, an injured worker can recover medical expenses, lost earnings, and disability benefits if injured on the job – even if the employer did nothing wrong to cause or contribute to the workplace accident. Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complex. You need an attorney with the background, experience, and knowledge necessary to understand the intricacies of workers’ compensation law, which is constantly evolving and changing. Thus, it is important to retain an attorney with extensive experience in the workers’ compensation system.

Workers’ Compensation

Litigation

Mediation

Admiralty & Maritime

Appellate Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Construction Contract Review

Construction Defect

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Governmental

Estate Planning

Personal Injury

Immigration

Workers’ Compensation

Locations

Serving the Carolinas and beyond

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

126 Seven Farms Dr.
 
#200
Charleston
SC
 
29492
(800) 774-8242
Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC

7400 Carmel Executive Park Dr
 
Suite 300
Charlotte
NC
 
28226
(704) 940-9128
Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC

1612 Marion St.
 
#200
Columbia
SC
 
29201
(800) 774-8242
Greenville, SC

Greenville, SC

200 E. Broad St.
 
#450
Greenville
SC
 
29601
(864) 331-8940
Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

1039 44th Ave. N.
 
Suite 104
Myrtle Beach
SC
 
29577
(800) 774-8242

Dedicated service. Trusted advocates.

Contact Us
Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC
Charlotte, NC skyline
Columbia, SC capital building
Greenville, SC mountains
Myrtle Beach