Terry Richardson


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Widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent plaintiff attorneys in the southeastern United States, Terry E. Richardson Jr. is a consummate litigator who represents individuals, groups, governments, and businesses in a wide range of matters.

Often honored by colleagues and a leader in professional organizations, Terry’s legal career has included cases involving catastrophic injuries, product liability, securities fraud, and class actions. He has tried, and won, some of the largest cases in South Carolina.

His more-notable cases include a $500 million settlement in a train derailment that was the largest single tort case in South Carolina history. He also represented a young construction worker who lost all four limbs in an electrocution in what is thought to be the largest personal-injury settlement in the state’s history. He was a pioneer in asbestos litigation, and he has represented many people in lawsuits against manufacturers and national retailers who were burned by defective products.

Terry grew up helping his father raise and harvest crops on the family farm, an experience that taught him business skills at a very early age. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics at Clemson and completed a master’s in management and operations research in only one additional semester.

He served as a systems engineer for IBM before being directly commissioned into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War to work on computerized logistical systems stateside and in Thailand. After returning to civilian life, he worked at Wilbur Smith & Associates, where he helped governments with financing bonds for airports and toll roads.

He left the consulting firm to attend the University of South Carolina School of Law, graduating in 1974 after serving as editor-in-chief of the South Carolina Law Review.

Throughout the 70s, Terry and his firm worked extensively on asbestos products liability litigation, pursuing thousands of cases throughout the country. By the early 2000s, he was overseeing dramatic growth and expansion of a firm that achieved the multi-billion-dollar Tobacco Master Settlement. That case, against the four largest cigarette manufacturers in America, required the tobacco industry to pay states billions of dollars annually forever and restricted sales and marketing of cigarettes.

Terry has won numerous professional accolades over the course of his career, including the Compleat Lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Council, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association War Horse Award and President’s Award for service to the South Carolina Trial Lawyers.

He has twice been a Lawyer of the Year in the annual “Best Lawyers in America” publication, and he has consistently maintained a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating.

Terry and his wife, Gail, still live in the Barnwell home they bought at the beginning of his legal career. They enjoy spending time at Edisto Beach with their three children and 10 grandchildren. Terry also enjoys ski trips with friends.

Disclaimer: Any information posted about cases is intended only to be representative of the firm’s practice. These examples are not intended to, and cannot be relied upon, to predict the results in any other case.

  • University of South Carolina, J.D., 1974
  • Clemson University, B.A., 1967
  • Clemson University, M.S., 1967

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • South Carolina

    • South Carolina Bar Association
      • Judiciary Committee, 1992 – 1993
      • Chairman, Section on Negligence, Insurance and Compensation, 1976 – 1977
    • South Carolina Association for Justice
    • American Association for Justice
    • South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Executive Committee
    • Society of Wig & Robe, University of South Carolina School of Law
    • South Carolina Alliance for Legislative Education
    • University of South Carolina School of Law Association, chairman, 1977 – 1978
    • South Carolina Commission on Grievances, 1980 – 1982
    • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, South Carolina Chairman, 1990 – 1993
    • Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the District of South Carolina, 1991
    • George Washington University Center for Health Policy Research, Washington, D.C., consultant, 1992
    • Judicial Qualification Committee of the South Carolina Bar Association, 1993
    • South Carolina Trial Lawyers Convention, Program Chairman, 1994
    • American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation, 1997 – Present
    • American Board of Trial Advocates, Charleston Chapter
      • Treasurer, 1998 – 1999
      • Secretary, 1999 – 2000
      • Vice President, 2000 – 2001
      • President, 2001 – 2002
    • South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association
      • Capitol Committee, 1999
      • Legislative Steering Committee, 2000
      • Product Liability Legislative Committee, 2001
      • Auto Torts Seminar, chairman, 1993
    • Tulane University, Adjunct Professor, Toxic Torts, Spring Semester 2001
  • Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession, 2004-2005
  • United States District Court Magistrate Screening Committee, Chair, 2006
  • Access to Justice Commission, member, 2007
  • Dean Search Committee for Charleston School of Law, Chairman, 2008
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Member
    • Complex Litigation Committee, 2012-2015
  • Supreme Court Historical Society, Member, 2010
  • SC Bar Foundation, Sy Pres Committee, 2011
  • Charleston School of Law, Advisory Committee, 2011
  • State Committee of SC Chapter of ACTL, 2013

  • Compleat Lawyer Award, University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
  • “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for:
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, Augusta, Ga. (2022)
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Augusta-GA (2017)
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Aiken (2014)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for work in:
    • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
    • Consumer Protection Law
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
    • Railroad Law
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2021-present
    • Top Ten Attorneys, 2014, 2015, 2018
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association – Warhorse Award, 2020
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, 2018
  • SC Lawyers Weekly – Leadership in Law award, 2014
  • Founder’s Award, South Carolina Association for Justice, August 2008
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law, Charleston School of Law, May 2008
  • Outstanding Lawyers of America, 2003
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Fritz Hollings Public Service Award from the Student Chapter of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
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