S.C. Association of Justice Names Charleston-based Attorney Jay Ward as New President

(Columbia, SC) – The South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ) has elected Lowcountry attorney James L. “Jay” Ward, Jr. of McGowan, Hood & Felder as its new President. Ward will serve for the 2019 – 2020 term as the leader of the State’s largest association of plaintiff lawyers. He will be replacing attorney Theile McVey, who just successfully completed her one-year term.

SCAJ has over 1300 members and is dedicated to promoting an equal opportunity justice system where everyone has access to fairness under the law. Ward’s life-long passion for legal education and strong record of success protecting victims in the courtroom make him an ideal fit for the position.

“SCAJ is clearly the most important statewide advocate we have to advance the cause of justice for all. I am truly honored to accept this challenge and look forward to helping continue the Association’s impact in the creation of sound, pro-justice policy,” Jay said.

A native of Saluda, South Carolina, Jay’s interest in law began as a child. His parents owned a store across from the town’s courthouse. He spent his formative years observing legal proceedings and speaking to the attorneys and staff who worked there. When he started school, there was little question he would one day end up practicing law. Ward graduated with honors from The Citadel and the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Jay is a veteran litigator with over 20 years of complex litigation experience. Throughout his career, he has played significant roles in complex class action and multidistrict litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare fraud, defective products, and consumer protection. Jay has also focused a large portion of his practice on the representation of states and local governments as special counsel in complex litigation. In addition, he has extensive experience handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases.

SCAJ has a new group of officers serving in leadership positions, including:

Richards McCrae now serves as President-elect and is a partner with Morton & Gettys. A York County native who graduated from the USC School of Law in 2004, Richards is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice includes personal injury cases and other civil lawsuits.

Bert G. “Skip” Utsey has been elected Vice-President and is with Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick. Skip practices in all areas of personal injury law, but focuses on bad faith insurance actions, insurance coverage disputes, and medical malpractice. He also handles contract and commercial litigation.

Jennifer Spragins Burnett is now Secretary-Treasurer. Jennifer is a partner at the law firm of Harbin Burnett where she specializes in representing victims of nursing home abuse, medical malpractice and other litigation.

The South Carolina Association for Justice was founded in 1957 to serve as advocates for those who are harmed by the actions of others and to strengthen the justice system through education and action. With membership from all across South Carolina, SCAJ is a strong and growing organization fighting for fairness under the law. Visit SCAJ.com for more information.

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