wardJames L. Ward, Jr. (“Jay”)

A native of Saluda, South Carolina, Jay developed his interest in the law from hours spent observing court proceedings in the town’s courthouse. Jay began his career with two predominantly defense firms, Sinkler & Boyd in Columbia, and Smith, Helms, Mulliss & Moore in Charlotte. His passion for helping people who have been wronged brought him to the plaintiffs’ practice. Experience on both sides of the courtroom gives Jay superior insight into how defendants approach cases and the strategies they employ.

In his nearly 20-year career, Jay has played significant roles in complex class action and multidistrict litigation, including lead and liaison counsel roles, in lawsuits involving antitrust, consumer protection, pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare fraud, defective products, and airplane crashes. Jay also has extensive experience handling a variety of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Jay is married with two children. When not in the office, he enjoys coaching his children’s recreational sports teams, playing competitive tennis, going to the gym, and spending time with his wife.

Practice Areas

  • Mass Torts
  • Class Actions
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Commercial Litigation


  • JD, cum laude, University of South Carolina School of Law, 1997
    • Editorial Staff Member and Keeper of the Wit, South Carolina Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of Wig and Robe
  • BA, magna cum laude, The Citadel, Political Science, 1994

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina and North Carolina, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina and Western District of North Carolina, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2002

Professional Affiliations

  • South Carolina Association for Justice
    • Secretary/Treasurer (2016-)
    • Executive Committee (2010-2012, 2014-2016)
    • Board of Governors (2010-)
    • Chairman Public Education and Communications Committee (2012-2014)
    • Legislative Policy Steering Committee (2009-)
    • Nominating Committee (2011-2012, 2014-2015), Chairman Torts and Negligence Section (2009-2011)
    • Recipient President’s Award (2010)
  • South Carolina Bar
    • House of Delegates (2014)
    • Chairman Tort and Insurance Practice Section Council (2011-2012)
    • Judicial Qualifications Committee (former member)
  • Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit, Permanent Member
  • American Association for Justice
    • National Finance Council (former member)
  • North Carolina Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • James L. Petigru Inn of Court
    • President (2015-)
    • President Elect (2014-2015)
    • Executive Committee (2013-)
    • Membership Chairman (2013-2014)


  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions (2016-2018 and Charleston, SC “Lawyer of the Year” for 2018), Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation (2016-2018), and Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation (2018)
  • Recipient of South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Leadership in Law Award, given to those within the legal community who work to better the legal profession through mentoring and involvement within their community, as well as going above and beyond in their work (2013).
  • Recipient of the Silver Compleat Lawyer Award, given by the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association to recognize alumni for outstanding civic and professional accomplishments (2011).
  • Riley Institute Diversity Fellow, Riley Institute at Furman—South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative Lowcountry Class IV (Fall 2009).
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rating.
  • Recipient of “Forty Under 40” award as one of the top forty community leaders under the age of forty, as selected by the Charleston Regional Business Journal.
  • Recipient of President’s Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
  • Graduate of the ABA TIPS National Trial Academy (May 2000).

Community Service

  • PlayToday! Foundation, Inc. (Board of Directors)
  • The Citadel Foundation (Class Chairman)
  • The Citadel Brigadier Foundation (Trident Drive volunteer)
  • Charleston Miracle League (former Board of Directors and Secretary, 2004 President’s Award Recipient)
  • Citadel Club of Charleston (former President, Vice-President, Business Development Director, Secretary, Bar Steward, and Board of Directors)
  • South Carolina Bar (former participant Young Lawyers Division Mentor Project for At-Risk Kids Committee, Middle School Mock Trial Competition Committee, DSS Playground Project Committee, and Adopt-A-Shelter Project Committee, former Ask-A-Lawyer Volunteer)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (former Great Strides Team Leader)
  • Special Olympics (former volunteer)
  • Volunteer youth baseball, basketball, football, and soccer coach
  • Volunteer Charleston School of Law oral argument judge

Publications and Speeches

  • What Works For Me in Practice, Charleston School of Law (July 22, 2016).
  • Making the Most Out of Your Practice, Charleston School of Law (October 21, 2013).
  • Making the Most Out of Your Practice, Charleston School of Law (October 15, 2012).
  • Introduction to Federal Practice—Federal Civil Practice from the Plaintiff’s Perspective, Federal Bar Association, South Carolina Chapter (August 6, 2012).
  • Testimony before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tort Reform Legislation (March 25, 2010).
  • Testimony before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tort Reform Legislation (December 15, 2009).
  • Rule 35 Independent Mental Examinations, How Recordation of Independent Mental Examinations Can Ensure Impartiality in the Examination Room Interview, The Justice Bulletin (SCAJ Fall 2009).
  • Beyond the Elements II: South Carolina Damages from A to Z, South Carolina Bar (September 25, 2009) (Program Moderator).
  • Testimony before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tort Reform Legislation (September 24, 2009).
  • South Carolina Damages Second Edition (James L. Ward, Jr. and Edward J. Westbrook eds., 2009).
  • “Auto Accidents,” South Carolina Damages 293 (2d ed. 2009).
  • Design Defect Actions in South Carolina: For Every Rule There Is An Exception, South Carolina Circuit Judges Association Conference (May 6, 2009).
  • Making the Most Out of Your Practice, Charleston School of Law (November 10, 2008).
  • Ethical Considerations in MDL Designated Counsel Representation, Federal Bar Association Ethics Seminar (September 11, 2008).
  • Ensuring Efficient Discovery and the Admission of Other Similar Incidents Evidence in Automobile Products Cases, AAJ Winter Convention (January 29, 2008).
  • Anatomy of a Civil Lawsuit from Start to Finish, Columbia radio station WOIC 1230 AM’s U Need 2 Know Radio Program (November 29, 2007).
  • Making the Most Out of Your Practice: What We Can Learn From Lionel Hutz, South Carolina Bar Annual Convention (January 26, 2007).
  • Squeezing the Lemon: Making the Most Out of Your Practice, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention (August 3, 2006).
  • Hazing: The Governing Law and Practical Applications, College of Charleston (October 25, 2004).
  • Tips for a Successful Mediation, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention (August 5, 2004).
  • Tort Reform from the Plaintiffs’ Perspective, University of South Carolina Political Science Department (March 31, 2004).
  • The Admissibility of DNA Statistical Evidence Under State v. Dinkins, 48 S.C.L. Rev. 93 (1996).
  • Libelous Coincidences, The Quill (Nov./Dec. 1995).

Representative Engagements and Court Appointments

  • Co-Lead Counsel, In re Airline Baggage Fee Antitrust Litigation, C.A. No. 1:09-md-2089-TCB (N.D. Ga.).
  • Co-Lead Counsel, In re McKesson Governmental Entities Average Wholesale Price Litig., C.A. No. 1:08-CV-11349-PBS (D. Mass.).
  • Class Counsel, Lewis v. Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization, Case Nos. 05-CVS-188 and 05-CVS-1938 (N.C. Sup. Ct.).
  • Class Counsel, Ferrell v. Horry Electric Cooperative, Case No. 2011-CP-26-1266 (S.C. Cir. Ct.).
  • Class Counsel, In re Community Bank of Northern Virginia Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1674 (W.D. Pa.).
  • Class Counsel, The Church of Christ at Azalea Drive v. Forest River, Inc., Case No. 2:11-cv-03371-PMD (D.S.C.).
  • Class Counsel, Worley Investments, LLC v. Berkeley County, South Carolina, Case No. 2015-CP-08-1153 (S.C. Cir. Ct.).
  • Class Counsel, Waxler Transp. Co. v. Trinity Marine Prods., Inc., Case No. 49-741 (La. Dist. Ct.).
  • Counsel for the State of Ohio in Ohio Pub. Employees Ret. Sys., et al. v. McKesson Corp., No. CV-13-2000 (N.D. Cal.).
  • Counsel for the State of Utah in State of Utah v. McKesson Corp., No. CV-10-4743 (N.D. Cal.).
  • Counsel for the State of Mississippi in State of Mississippi v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., Case No. 2015-1814 (Miss. Chancery Ct.).
  • Counsel for the State of Mississippi in State of Mississippi v. McKesson Corp., Cause No. 251-10-862-CIV (Miss. Cir. Ct.).
  • Counsel for the State of Mississippi in State of Mississippi v. Abbott Labs., Inc., et al., MDL No. 1456 (D. Mass.).
  • Counsel for the State of Oklahoma in State of Oklahoma v. Abbott Labs., et al., Case No. CJ-2010-474 (Okla. Dist. Ct.).
  • Law Committee Co-Chair and Discovery Committee Member, In re Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Solution Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1785 (D.S.C.).
  • Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, In re Air Crash at Charlotte International Airport, MDL No. 1558 (W.D.N.C.).

Prior Work Experience

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Member, 2008-2016
Managing Attorney, 2004-2016
Litigation Associate, 2002-2007

Helms Mulliss & Wicker, PLLC (f/k/a Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore, LLP)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Litigation Associate, 2000-2002

Sinkler & Boyd, PA (n/k/a Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA)
Columbia, South Carolina
Litigation Associate, 1997-2000