Consumers needing legal help in the Midlands now have an additional, proven resource to call upon.
Five attorneys with decades of experience have formed the new law firm of Richardson, Thomas, Haltiwanger, Moore & Lewis, led by veteran litigation attorney Terry Richardson. The firm will focus on product liability, vehicle accidents, serious injury and wrongful death, medical malpractice, class actions and whistleblower litigation.
Richardson is joined by firm co-founder Brady Thomas, Chris Moore, Dan Haltiwanger and Will Lewis.
“The four of us have been together for a long time,” Chris Moore said. “We were part of a bigger firm and we just kind of looked around and said we liked working with each other and the time was right to do our own thing, and so we did. … We help people harmed by medical malpractice. We help people harmed by financial advisors who stole money. We help people injured in boat fires, car wrecks, heavy truck cases, just a wide variety. When people are harmed, we like to help them.”
Richardson, who has been named the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center’s Advocate of the Year as well as a Compleat Lawyer by the University of South Carolina School of Law, pioneered asbestos litigation. His cases also include a settlement in a train derailment that was the largest single tort case in South Carolina history.
“Terry has been a nationally recognized lawyer for many, many decades now and is well-known in South Carolina and outside of South Carolina,” Moore said. “Terry’s been around forever. Dan’s been with him for over 20 years, I’ve been with him over a dozen years, Brady’s been with him about the same. So that’s our collective experience. Will is kind of our newest partner and he’s had very diverse experience. He just hasn’t been doing it quite as long as we have. You wouldn’t know that by his confidence.”
The four attorneys were formerly of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, which is now Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman.
“Luckily, we were able to do it in a way that’s mutually beneficial to both firms. Everybody’s getting along post our departure, which is rare, I think,” Moore said. “We still have cases that we’re working on with them and vice versa. It was just more a desire to have our own thing and a smaller thing and have a little bit more control over marketing and things like that.”
Thomas has been a part of consumer product action including “false park” cases involving vehicle transmission flaws, cases that changed the formulas used in plastics and wraps on tire treads, and more than 60 cases involving exploding gas cans “that really horrifically injured people,” he said. “That led to, in 2017, the industry adopting the safety devices that we said should have been in the cans.”
While such cases can be difficult and complex, Thomas said they are also rewarding.
“Our law firm, because of that, gets a lot of cases from other law firms,” he said. “We routinely work with firms from all over the country who encounter a strange product, like a gas can case. It’s complicated and expensive, but when you’re doing a bunch of them, economies of scale make it easier for us to help people.”
Richardson Thomas has office in Columbia, Aiken, Barnwell and Florence.
“We love working with each other,” Thomas said “We’ve got a group of energetic optimists who all have a common goal of helping people. We love what we do.”
This article first appeared in the April 26 print edition of the Columbia Regional Business Report.