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Lawyers In The News: April 4, 2011

The University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association has named attorney Joe Rice a 2011 recipient of its platinum Compleat Lawyer Award.

A 1979 graduate of the USC School of Law, Rice has been recognized by the plaintiffs’ and defense bar as a skillful and innovative negotiator of complex litigation settlements, according to a press release. He began his legal career in asbestos, litigating one of the first mass personal injury class-action cases won by plaintiffs, and has since structured significant resolutions of asbestos cases.

In the 1990s, Rice served as lead negotiator in the tobacco litigation Master Settlement Agreement, still the largest civil settlement in U.S. history. He continues to litigate on behalf of those suffering as a result of corporate negligence and wrongdoing, from cases involving asbestos exposure and 9/11 aviation and security liability to those involving securities fraud and the recent BP oil spill.

Rice serves as a speaker at seminars around the country and has lectured on the art of negotiating at Duke University School of Law, the USC School of Law and the Charleston School of Law. Additionally, he serves as a founding member of the International Mesothelioma Program Leadership Council at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and is a supporter of local charities, including the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, the Center for Birds of Prey, First Tee of Charleston and MUSC Children’s Hospital.

Charles S. Gwynne Jr. and Steven T. Moon now are shareholders of Rogers Townsend & Thomas.

Also at the recent shareholders meeting, Michael Graham was re-elected to the board and executive committee.

The recent vote brings the number of Rogers Townsend & Thomas shareholders to 29. The firm employs more than 55 attorneys, as well as over 350 title abstractors, paralegals and other staff in its offices in Columbia, Charleston, Charlotte and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Gwynne concentrates his practice in the firm’s litigation department, where he focuses on tax sales, real estate, civil, commercial and foreclosure litigation. He’s a cum laude graduate of Ithaca College and holds a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He practices in the firm’s Columbia headquarters.

Moon also works in the firm’s litigation department, concentrating on health care and environmental litigation; nursing and long-term care facilities; and construction litigation. He serves as South Carolina counsel for a number of health-care entities. A certified mediator, he’s past chairman of the Lawyer-Physician Relationship and Continuing Legal Education committees of the South Carolina Bar. A graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Law, he works in the firm’s Columbia office.

Graham heads the firm’s title services department. He works with more than 50 title professionals in South and North Carolina. He formerly served as assistant solicitor for South Carolina’s 3rd Judicial Circuit. A veteran of the Iraq war, he continues to serve as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Army Reserve. He holds a bachelor’s degree from USC, a master’s in public administration from Troy State University and a juris doctor from Campbell University. He’s based in the firm’s Columbia office.


The law firm of Gallivan, White & Boyd announced that attorney Howard Boyd has been elected as chairman of the Greenville County United Way Board of Trustees. Boyd has a history of leadership with the United Way of Greenville County, including serving as vice chair of the board in 2010 and campaign chair in 2009. He also serves as chair of the Upcountry History Museum Board of Directors and as a member of the board of trustees of the Blue Ridge Council of Boy Scouts.

Boyd, a shareholder with the firm, has 33 years of experience managing complex litigation for the firm’s clients, from advising on strategy before litigation ensues through trial, appeal or alternative dispute resolution. Boyd has handled a variety of civil litigation during his career, including over 200 jury trials and numerous appeals.


Danny Agresta, president of the Carolinas Wireless Association announced that Gary C. Pennington, managing member of Pennington Law Firm, has been named general counsel for the Carolinas Wireless Association. In this role, he will provide legal advice as it pertains to matters concerning the telecommunications and wireless industry nationwide.

Pennington’s primary practice area is the representation of wireless communications carriers and related industries. This work involves the many legal components associated with the organized deployment of wireless infrastructure and technology across the United States on an expedited basis, as well as the legal support necessary for the continued evolution of that infrastructure and technology.

His expertise includes the acquisitions and dispositions of wireless assets, negotiating master lease agreements for both tower companies and wireless communications carriers for national use and application. He has also written and negotiated zoning ordinances that impact wireless communications companies as well as represented companies that provide fiber related services and in negotiating broadband contracts for implementation of broadband networks.

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