Charleston, Columbia Nelson Mullins Attorneys Recognized in Inaugural 'Best of the Year' List

November 23, 2009

CHARLESTON, SC – November 23, 2009 – Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough South Carolina-based partners Stephen G. Morrison, Joel H. Smith, and John C. von Lehe, Jr., have been recognized in Best Lawyers in America’s inaugural Best of the Year categories:


Mr. Morrison, based in Columbia, was recognized as the “Columbia, S.C., Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year” for 2010 by Best Lawyers, a peer-reviewed publication on the legal profession. Mr. Morrison practices in the areas of technology law and litigation, business liability, product liability, and securities litigation. He is a nationally known litigator with an extensive legal career and service to the profession at the state and national levels. He has served as lead counsel in more than 20 states, has tried more than 240 cases to jury verdict, and has argued more than 60 appeals in the nation’s highest courts, including an argument before the United States Supreme Court. He also has participated in international chamber of commerce arbitrations in Europe. 



Mr. Smith, based in Columbia, was noted as “Columbia, S.C., Personal Injury Litigator of the Year.” Mr. Smith practices in the area of product liability defense, with an emphasis on automotive and pharmaceutical cases. Mr. Smith and the Firm’s automotive litigation group represent vehicle, tire, and equipment manufacturers in product liability actions across the United States. He has also served as lead trial counsel and MDL counsel in pharmaceutical cases across the country.



Mr. von Lehe, Jr., based in Charleston, has been named as the inaugural “Charleston, S.C., Tax Lawyer of the Year.” Mr. von Lehe practices in taxation, estate planning and appellate law. A Certified Public Accountant in South Carolina, Mr. von Lehe’s practice includes local, state, and federal tax issues, the preparation of wills and trusts, and matters of probate. He concentrates a significant portion of his practice in matters of property tax (including fee-in-lieu of property tax), sales tax, state income tax, and economic and tax incentives for new and existing businesses. Mr. von Lehe is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law and a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, distinctions awarded by the Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Best Lawyers is designating “Lawyers of the Year” in high-profile legal specialties in large legal communities for the first time this year. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is being honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” Best Lawyers has been ranking attorneys for 25 years.

To determine the leading lawyers for its ranking, Best Lawyers conducted exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The current, 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2010) is based on more than 2.8 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

The lawyers being honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings in surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Nelson Mullins

Nelson Mullins, established in 1897, has more than 400 attorneys practicing from offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Raleigh, Tallahassee, Washington, and Winston-Salem. For more information on the Firm, go to, or call 803.255.9794.