James 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, South Carolina, and Smith, Helms, Mulliss & Moore in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 20-year career, Jay has played significant lead and liaison counsel roles in complex class action and multidistrict litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare fraud, defective products, antitrust, 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, Jay 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.
- 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
- South Carolina and North Carolina, 1997
- S. District Court, District of South Carolina and Western District of North Carolina, 1997
- S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2001
- S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2002
- S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1999
- South Carolina Association for Justice
- President Elect (2018-present)
- Vice President (2017-2018)
- Secretary/Treasurer (2016-2017)
- Executive Committee (2010-2012, 2014-present)
- Board of Governors (2010-present)
- Chairman Public Education and Communications Committee (2012-2014)
- Legislative Policy Steering Committee (2009-present)
- Nominating Committee (2011-2012, 2014-2015, 2018-present)
- 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 (2015-2017)
- President Elect (2014-2015)
- Executive Committee (2013-present)
- Membership Chairman (2013-2014)
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America (25th ed. 2019) for Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation, and Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation.
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America (24th ed. 2018) for Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions (Charleston, SC “Lawyer of the Year”), Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation, and Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation.
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America (22nd ed. 2016 and 23rd ed. 2017) for Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions and Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation.
- 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).
- 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.
- Graduate of the ABA TIPS National Trial Academy (May 2000).
Representative Engagements and Court Appointments
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In re: Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler System Products Liability Litigation (No. II), MDL Docket No. 2816 (M.D. Pa.).
- 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, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, and Santee Cooper Liability Counsel, In re V.C. Summer Nuclear Project Abandonment, Case Nos. 2017-CP-25-335 and 2017-CP-25-00348 (S.C. Cir. Ct.).
- 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 State of Ohio v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., Case No. 17CI000261 (Ohio Common Pleas Ct.).
- Counsel for the State of Arkansas in State of Arkansas v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., Case No. 60CV-18-2018 (Ark. Cir. Ct.).
- 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 Louisiana in State of Louisiana v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., Case No. 661638 (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. 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
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