J. Calhoun Watson - Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

J. Calhoun Watson

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008
Phone: 803-231-7839


  • Wofford College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1984
    - Phi Beta Kappa
    - President of the Student Body
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1987
    - Order of the Coif
    - Order of Wig and Robe
    - Student Works Editor of the South Carolina Law Review
    - Legal Writing Instructor, 1986-1987



  • International Association of Defense Counsel (Technology Chair, 2010-2012), Business Litigation, Professional Liability, and Trial Tactics Committees and Social Media Task Force (Chair)
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court (President, 2010-2011)
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Certified South Carolina Circuit Court Mediator



  • Honorable Robert F. Chapman, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit



  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • President, South Carolina Bar (2014-2015), President-Elect (2013-2014), Treasurer (2012-2013), Secretary (2011-2012)
  • President, John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court (2010-2011)
  • South Carolina Bar Board of Governors (1997-2000, 2009-present)
  • South Carolina Bar House of Delegates (1997-present)
  • Access to Justice Commission (2006-present)
  • President, South Carolina Bar Foundation (2006-2007)
  • Editorial Board of South Carolina Lawyer Magazine (2000-2007)
  • President, Young Lawyers Division of the South Carolina Bar (1997-1998)



  • Lawyer of the Year, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leadership in Law Award (2015) 
  • Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, 2008-2017), Commercial Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, 2008-2017), Professional Malpractice Law, Defendants
  • Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, 2010-2017),  Bet-the-Company Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year (2015)
  • South Carolina “Super Lawyer” Business Litigation (2008-2016)
  • South Carolina “Super Lawyer” Professional Liability Defense (2010-2012)
  • Chambers U.S.A. America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2016)
  • Selected as a Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by Litigation Special Report (2012)
  • Recipient, Innovative Leadership Award, Historic Columbia (2010)
  • Recipient, Compleat Lawyer Award Silver Medallion, USC Law School Alumni Association (2001)



  • 20 Years Strong Service Project:  Ask-A-Lawyer event
  • President, Historic Columbia Foundation (2007-2009)
  • President, Wofford College National Alumni Association (2000)
  • Wofford College Parents Advisory Council (2012-2013)
  • AC Flora PTSO (Co-President, 2011-2012)

Office Location

1310 Gadsden Street
P.O. Box 11449
Columbia, SC 29211
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2015 Lawyer of the Year in Bet-the-Company Litigation of the Columbia-SC Metro Area
J. Calhoun Watson has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation (Civil Litigation, Class Actions, Commercial Disputes, Complex Litigation, Contract Disputes, Insurance, Professional Malpractice)
Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants (Legal Malpractice, Professional Liability)

Other Information

Gender: Male