Luther J. Battiste III

Luther J. Battiste III

Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A.

Recognized since 2006

Columbia, South Carolina

Practice Areas

Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Workers' Compensation Law - Claimants

Navigate to map location for Luther J. Battiste III Call Luther J. Battiste III at 803-252-9700
Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
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Luther J. Battiste, III is a founding shareholder of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A., and the past National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates 2020. He received his B.A. from the University of South Carolina (1971) and JD from Emory University School of Law (1974). In 1983, Luther entered the political arena and made history by becoming one of the first two African-Americans elected to Columbia City Council since Reconstruction. He served fifteen years as a member of the Columbia City Council including two terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. In 1998, the City of Columbia dedicated to Luther J. Battiste, III the Monument and Plaza in honor of his dedicated service as a public servant. Luther has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America, and Super Lawyers and also has been awarded the “AV” highest rating for ethics and legal ability by the Martindale-Hubbell national rating service. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Society of Barristers. Membership is by invitation only. Luther has served as president of the Columbia Lawyers Association, the Richland County Bar, Association, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, and The Southeastern Region of the American Board of Trial Advocates (SEABOTA). He is also a member of the John Belton O’Neil Inn of Court, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, the National Bar Association, the South Carolina Association for Justice, International Society of Barristers, and the Injured Workers Advocates. He served two terms as Commissioner of the Richland-Lexington Airport Commission which operates the Columbia Airport and as Chairman for two years. In 1999, Luther Battiste received the coveted Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Carolina. In 1999, he was selected to the South Carolina Black Hall Fame and for inclusion in the Bell South African American Calendar for 2004. In 2007, the Richland County Bar Association awarded him the John W. Williams Award, its highest honor. In 2008, he was selected by Historic Columbia Foundation as one of the 30 Most Significant African-Americans in Richland County. In 2022, he was selected for membership in the Warren E. Burger Society of the National Center for State Courts. Luther was 2020 national president of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was the first African American president of ABOTA, an invitation only organization of over 7,600 of the best plaintiff and defense trial lawyers in the United States. His previous community service includes serving as President of the Board of the Columbia Museum of Art, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Capital City Club and as Chair of University Associates, a group of business professional and community leaders who support the University of South Carolina. He also served for 15 years on the board of South State Bank and on the board of Columbia College. Luther is married to Judy M. Battiste, and they have two children, Justin and Jade. He is a lay minister and chalice bearer at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Contact & Links
  • 1615 Barnwell Street
    P.O. Box 1431
    Columbia, SC 29201
  • English
  • The University of South Carolina, BA International Studies, graduated 1971
  • Emory University, graduated 1974
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina, South Carolina Bar
  • Columbia Lawyers Association - Past President
  • The National Bar Association - Member
  • Injured Workers Advocates - Member
  • Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group - Member
  • The American Trial Lawyers Association - Member
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association - Member
  • The American Association For Justice - Member
  • SEABOTA - Past President
  • Richland County Bar Association - Past President
  • Sotuth Carolina Association For Justice - Past President
  • American Board of Trial Advocates - National President 2020

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Columbia, SC (2015)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Workers' Compensation Law - Claimants
  • University of South Carolina Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Historic Columbia 30 Most Significant African Americans in Richland County
  • Bell South African American Calendar Honoree
  • John Richard Craft Leadership Award - (presented by The Columbia Museum of Art)

    (highest honor)

  • John W. Williams Award of the Ricland County Bar Association (highest honor)
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Workers' Compensation Law


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