J. Calhoun "Cal" Watson

J. Calhoun "Cal" Watson


Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

Recognized since 2008

Columbia, South Carolina

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Bet-the-Company Litigation
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Cal is a litigator with experience in complex business and insurance disputes, class actions, and professional liability and ethics. During his 30 years of practice, Cal has represented numerous individuals, local and national businesses, partnerships, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Named by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly as 2015 Lawyer of the Year, Cal has been consistently recognized by Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA. Active in the South Carolina Bar, Cal has served as President of the South Carolina Bar, President of the South Carolina Bar Foundation, and President of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court. Cal is the managing member of the firm.

ADMISSIONS

  • South Carolina Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

EDUCATION

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

JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS

  • The Honorable Robert F. Chapman, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1987-1988)

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar - President (2014-2015), Board of Governors (1998-2000, 2009-2016), House of Delegates (1997-present), Conventions Committee (2003-2008), Nominating Committee (2001-2004), Long Range Planning Committee (2000-2001), President, Young Lawyers Division (1997-1998), Member, Long Range Planning Committee, Young Lawyers Division (1995-1996)
  • South Carolina Bar Foundation - President (2006-2007), Member, Board of Directors (2000-2008)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel - Chair, Professional Liability Committee (2016-2018), Chair, Professional Liability Roundtable (2017-2019), Chair, Technology Committee (2010-2012), Chair, Website Task Force
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents (2014-present) - Member, Communications Committee (2014)
  • John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court - President (2010-2011)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2014-present)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2014-present)
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association (1996-present)
  • Defense Research Institute (1996-present)
  • Southern Conference of Bar Presidents (2014-present)
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Access to Justice Commission (2006-2012)
  • South Carolina Lawyer Magazine - Member, Editorial Board (2000-2007)
  • Supreme Court of South Carolina Certified Mediator

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Panelist, "Legal Ethics: 10 Hot Topics in Conflicts of Interest" webinar presented by Attorney Protective (July 25, 2018)

AWARDS

  • South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leadership in Law Awards Lawyer of the Year (2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America - Bet-the-Company Litigation (2010-2020), Lawyer of the Year (2016), Commercial Litigation (2008-2020), Professional Malpractice Law, Defendants (2008-2020)
  • South Carolina "Super Lawyer" - Professional Liability Defense (2010-2012), Business Litigation (2008-2018)
  • Chambers U.S.A. America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2017)
  • Litigation Special Report Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation (2012)
  • Historic Columbia Innovative Leadership Award (2010)
  • USC Law School Alumni Association Compleat Lawyer Award Silver Medallion (2001)

Contact & Links

Location

  • 2151 Pickens Street, Suite 500
    P.O. Box 11449
    Columbia, SC 29211

Languages

  • English

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Bet-the-Company Litigation

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants, Columbia, SC (2022)
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation, Columbia, SC (2015)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants

Special Focus

  • Civil Litigation
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Complex Litigation
  • Contract Disputes
  • COVID-19
  • Insurance
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice

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