Wallace Lightsey is an experienced trial attorney, with well over fifty jury trials in his career, and has argued numerous appeals in the South Carolina appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has a diverse litigation practice involving complex securities, corporate, and intellectual property cases, as well as personal injury, news media, and construction disputes. In the area of First Amendment litigation, he has represented The New York Times Company, The Associated Press, and Pulitzer Broadcasting, as well as local news media including The Greenville News, The Spartanburg Herald, WYFF TV, WHNS TV, WSPA TV, and other newspapers around South Carolina. He also has an active practice litigating disputes over intellectual property – such as trademark, copyright, and trade secrets – and in recent years has been lead counsel in copyright lawsuits involving close to a billion dollars at issue. In 2004, he was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization composed of a small percentage of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and Canada.
Multimedia Publishing, Inc. v. Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission (4th Cir.) — I represented the plaintiff in an action to enjoin the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport to allow newspapers to be sold in the airport concourses, under the theory that the airport was a public forum. The District Court entered the injunction requested, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed after two oral arguments, rendering a significant opinion on the "public forum" doctrine.
Weston v. Carolina Research and Development Foundation (SC Supreme Court) — Successfully represented the plaintiff in a watershed decision under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
Carr v. Forbes, Inc. (4th Cir.) — Obtained summary judgment for Forbes, Inc., in a defamation action based on a finding that the plaintiff was a "public figure" for purposes of the New York Times doctrine. The Fourth Circuit affirmed on appeal in a significant opinion on the definition of public figures.
Gamble v. Stevenson (SC Supreme Court) — Represented successful litigant in establishing standards for review of punitive damages awards in South Carolina