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A very special day

It’s good to be a mayor. You get to kiss babies, wield giant scissors to cut ribbons, hang out with visiting celebrities and dignitaries, and sign all manner of proclamations. In Chicago, you can even raise people from the dead on election day.

Greenville Mayor Knox White (above) exercised the privileges of his office recently to declare that Dec. 12 was “Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd Day” in Greenville. Did we mention that the mayor’s middle name is Haynsworth? Did we also mention that he’s a partner in the firm?

We asked White if it’s a problem for the mayor to honor his own firm. White explained that he has “proudly presented proclamations for other law firms in Greenville,” specifically mentioning the Wyche firm, which he said he once honored during its anniversary.

It turns out Greenville isn’t the only city where law firms feel the love from mayor/lawyers. Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, one of the largest in the state, is also getting a day in Columbia on Dec. 13 to celebrate its 125 years in existence. Steve K. Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, is special counsel at the Parker Poe law firm. We were curious to know whether Columbia has ever honored Parker Poe with its own day, but Benjamin didn’t return our call. We think that means the answer is “no.”

A spokeswoman for HSB said the firm also wanted to be honored with a day in Charleston and Florence, but hadn’t received a response. The mayors of both cities are lawyers, though Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. doesn’t have an active law practice.

Even though he’s faced off against the firm’s attorneys in court on occasion, Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela, a trial lawyer, said he wouldn’t be opposed to declaring an HSB day, as long as the city council is on board.

“I like the folks over at Haynsworth,” he said. “They represent us [the city] as bond counsel and I’ve got some friends over at that firm.”

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