Three McKay Firm Attorneys Selected for Midlands Legal Elite

The McKay Firm is pleased to announce that three of our attorneys have been selected for the 2017 Midlands Legal Elite.

Kelli Sullivan (1996): Healthcare Law; medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, insurance coverage, and professional liability defense 

Brandon Jones (2010): Insurance Law; trucking and commercial transportation, construction defect litigation, automobile liability, employment liability, and general insurance defense. 

Charles Kinney (2008): Insurance Law; government defense, general insurance defense, trucking and transportation law, commercial and business litigation, civil litigation defense, and products liability defense.

Common values, shared passions led to formation of law firm

Malissa Burnette (1977) said she had been contemplating retirement when a team of attorneys with whom she worked at a Columbia law firm began thinking about out on their own.

The process began March 13, and by June 1 the firm of Burnette Shutt & McDaniel P.A. opened for business on the second floor of a historic warehouse building at 912 Lady St. in the Congaree Vista neighborhood.

Burnette and partners Nekki Shutt (1995) and Kathleen McDaniel (2007) had practiced together for nearly seven years at Callison Tighe & Robinson LLC before forming the new firm.

They’ve since been joined by associates Janet Rhodes and Jacqueline “Jax” Pavlicek (2012), who also were at Callison Tighe. The firm has 10 staff members.

“The opportunity to build a unique law practice with people who are both colleagues and friends doesn’t arise too often in life,” Burnette said of her decision to postpone a retirement party. Another bonus is that her daughter, Grant Burnette LeFever (2018), plans to join the firm in June after graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

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Alumni make Best Lawyers in America list

Several alumni of the University of South Carolina School of Law were selected as a part of the Best Lawyers in America list. Selection to Best Lawyers is based on more than 5.5 million confidential evaluations by the country’s top attorneys. The guide, first published in 1983, has been described by Corporate Counsel magazine as “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.

Adam and Reese:

John F. Beach (1982): Commercial Litigation
Robert P. Bethea, Jr. (1996): Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Tax Law
Earl Ellis (1975): Insurance Law, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
Ernest G. Lawhorne (1979): Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
William P. McElveen, Jr. (1984): Banking and Finance Law, Real Estate Law
Cliff Moore, III (1983): Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Litigation – Real Estate
Louis T. Runge, Jr. (1992): Real Estate Law
Kirby D. Shealy, III (1996): Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
Lana H. Sims, Jr. (1982): Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd:

James Y. (Jamie) Becker (1992): Litigation – Banking and Finance
William C. (Bill) Boyd (1965): Antitrust Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law
Joseph D. (Joe) Clark (1995): Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law
Suzanne H. (Suzi) Clawson (1983): Corporate Compliance Law; Corporate Governance Law; Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law; Securities Regulation
Clarke W. DuBose (1980): Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
Theodore B. DuBose (1984): Public Finance Law
Randolph B. (Randy) Epting (1980): Corporate Law
Manton M. Grier (1970): Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Antitrust
William R. (Will) Johnson (2005): Tax Law
Robert Y. (Bob) Knowlton (1982): Litigation – Securities
John B. McArthur (1981): Real Estate Law
Stanley H. (Stan) McGuffin (1979): Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Litigation – Bankruptcy
Gary W. Morris (1979): Corporate Law; Real Estate Law
Carlisle Roberts, Jr. (1982): Environmental Law

Callison Tighe & Robinson:

Edward D. “Butch” Barnhill (1973): Commercial Transactions/UCC Law; Real Estate Law
Wm. Bert Brannon (1991): Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Trusts and Estates
Sherwood M. Cleveland (1971): Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Richard C. Detwiler (1985): Workers’ Compensation Law
Andrew C. English, III (1998): Real Estate Law
Demetri “Jim” K. Koutrakos (1996): Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Insurance; Litigation – Real Estate
Louis H. Lang (1982): Litigation – Insurance; Litigation – Real Estate
Ralph C. Robinson, Jr. (1966): Real Estate Law
Michael W. Tighe (1964): Litigation – Real Estate; Real Estate Law
D. Reece Williams III (1964): Litigation – Insurance; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs

Fisher Phillips:

Mason Alexander (1985): Labor and Employment Law

Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte

Frank Ellerbe (1982): Administrative/Regulatory Law, Energy Regulatory Law, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (Telecom, Energy), Utilities Law
Kevin Garrison (1999): Real Estate Law
Betsy Gray (1976): Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation
Becky Laffitte (1983): Insurance Law, Litigation – Construction, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Transportation Law
Wilson McDonald (1990): Real Estate Law
Bill Metzger (1989): Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
Biff Sowell (1976): Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation
Kerk Spong (1985): Real Estate Law
Monty Todd (1982): Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
Cal Watson(1987): Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants

Burnette Shutt & McDaniel

M. Malissa Burnette (1977): Mediation,Civil Rights Law, Employment Law – Individuals, Litigation – Labor and Employment
Nekki Shutt (1995): Employment Law – Individuals, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – ERISA, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law – Individuals, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment

Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms

M. Dawes Cooke, Jr. (1979): Commercial Litigation, Mediation, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Bet-the-Company Litigation
B.C. Killough (1979): Corporate Law, Litigation – Intellectual Property


The “Lawyers of the Year” distinction by Best Lawyers®, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal industry. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.

2018 “Lawyers of the Year” in Columbia, SC:

M. Malissa Burnette (1977): Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, Mediation,Civil Rights Law, Employment Law – Individuals, Litigation – Labor and Employment
Joseph D. (Joe) Clark (1995): Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Securities / Capital Markets Law
M. Dawes Cooke, Jr. (1979): Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, Commercial Litigation, Mediation, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Bet-the-Company Litigation
Frank Ellerbe (1982): Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, Administrative/Regulatory Law, Energy Regulatory Law, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (Telecom, Energy), Utilities Law
Randolph B. (Randy) Epting (1980): Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Corporate Law
Robert Y. (Bob) Knowlton (1982): Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Litigation – Securities
William P. McElveen, Jr. (1984): Adam and Reese LLP, Banking and Finance Law, Real Estate Law
Nekki Shutt (1995): Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, Employment Law – Individuals, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – ERISA, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law – Individuals, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment

President Donald Trump nominates Quattlebaum, Coggins as federal judges for SC

A Greenville law partner was one of two Upstate men nominated by President Donald Trump to fill two vacant judgeships in South Carolina, the White House announced Thursday.

A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr. (1989) is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Greenville where he serves on the firm’s executive board. Quattlebaum specializes in product liability litigation, business litigation, and other civil litigation.

He served as president of the South Carolina Bar Association in 2011-12 and is a graduate of the South Carolina School of Law where he served as a member of the South Carolina Law Review.

Donald C. Coggins, Jr. (1984), an attorney at  Harrison, White, Smith and Associates, P. C., based in Spartanburg, was also nominated Thursday. Coggins received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and is a graduate of the South Carolina School of Law.

The pair would fill two vacancies on the roster of 15 judges.