Annual Awards

John W. “Tootie” Williams Award

The John W. Williams Distinguished Service Award, affectionately known as the “Tootie” Williams Award, is based upon distinguished and meritorious service to the legal profession or to the public in professional related activities.

The Williams Distinguished Service Award is the highest recognition given by our association and it is determined by the Executive Committee based upon written nominations from members of our association.

Past recipients of the award include -

  • Thomas E. McCutchen
  • Julian J. Nexsen
  • David W. Robinson, II
  • John Gregg McMaster
  • The Honorable Alexander M. Sanders, Jr.
  • Edward W. Mullins, Jr.
  • I.S. Leevy Johnson
  • Jeter E. Rhodes, Jr.
  • Lester L. Bates, Jr.
  • Terrell L. Glenn, Sr. (1993)
  • Chief Justice Jean H. Toal (1994)
  • The Honorable Robert Burnside (1995)
  • Julius "Jay" W. McKay (1996)
  • Heyward E. McDonald (1997)
  • The Honorable Carol Connor (1998)
  • The Honorable Matthew J. Perry, Jr. (1999)
  • Henry Hammer (2002)
  • The Honorable Jasper M.  Cureton (2003)
  • Claude M. Scarborough, Jr. (2004)
  • D. Reece Williams, III (2005)
  • Joe E. Berry, Jr. (2006)
  • Luther J. Battiste, III (2007)
  • William C. Hubbard (2008)
  • Kenneth M. Suggs (2009)
  • Robert "Bob" D. Coble (2010)
  • William "Bill" C. Boyd (2011)
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Bradley (2012)
  • David E. Dukes (2013)
  • Carl B. Epps (2014)
  • The Honorable Beth E. Bernstein (2015)
  • Robert A. "Bob" McKenzie (2016)
  • The Honorable Costa M. Pleicones (2017)
  • R. Davis “Dave” Howser (2018)
  • Dean Robert M. Wilcox (2019)
  • Lanneau "Lanny" Wm. Lambert, Jr. & D. Michael Kelly (2020)
  • John D. Kassel & John P. Freeman (awarded posthumously) (2021)
  • Steven W. Hamm (2022)
  • Jack B. Swerling (2023)


  • The candidate must be a current or former member of the Richland County Bar. He/she may be in active practice, a member of the judiciary or some other legal-related office or retired.
  • Age should not be a factor in the selection. Criteria includes long-term service to the profession and/or the public, as well as a significant individual contribution.
  • Character. Aside from the particular contributions justifying the award, the candidate ought to be someone worthy of general admiration from a moral and ethical viewpoint.
  • Members of the RCBA Executive Committee at the time the award is made are not eligible. All other persons currently serving at the Richland County Bar, such as committee chairpersons, etc. are eligible. A candidate is not disqualified by virtue of being in a firm with a member of the Executive Committee.

Criteria/Basis for Selection

  • The award should be based upon distinguished and meritorious service to the legal profession and/or the public in a profession-related activity.
  • The distinguished service for which the candidate is considered may be over a lengthy period of time or may be for particular conduct within a short time frame.
  • The candidate may be honored for recent conduct or for service in the past.


To make a nomination, please contact Reece Williams at or Mandy Wren at

Civic Star Award

The Executive Committee of the RCBA also selects an attorney to receive the Civic Star Award from among the nominees submitted by the membership.

The Civic Star Award is based upon exceptional and meritorious service to the Richland County community by a member of the RCBA for activities outside of the legal profession. Commitment to community service is important to the members of RCBA.

Past recipients of this award include -

  • David E. Belton
  • George B. Cauthen
  • The Honorable J. Michelle Childs
  • D. Cravens Ravenel (1994)
  • The Honorable Robert H. Burnside (1995)
  • D. Michael Kelly (1996)
  • The Honorable Rosalyn W. Frierson-Smith (2002)
  • Jane W. Trinkley (2003)
  • Anthony C. Hayes and Matthew B. Hill (2005)
  • Amy L.B. Hill (2006)
  • Stephen K. Benjamin (2007)
  • James E. Smith, Jr. (2008)
  • Gray T. Culbreath (2009)
  • Stephen G. Morrison (2010)
  • James H. Harrison (2011)
  • Kathleen M. McDaniel (2012)
  • J. Hagood Tighe (2013)
  • Pamela Robinson (2014)
  • W. Cliff Moore III (2015)
  • Keith M. Babcock & Thomas McRoy "Roy" Shelley III (2016)
  • Kirby D. Shealy III (2017)
  • Nekki Shutt & Douglas S. Strickler (awarded posthumously) (2018)
  • Lindsay A. Joyner (2019)
  • E. Meredith Manning (2020)
  • Jack E. Cohoon (2021)
  • Katherine Myers (2022)
  • Stuart M. Andrews, Jr. (2023)

The Honorable Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Civility Award

The Civility Award of the RCBA is named after United States District Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr. It is awarded to the judge and to the lawyer who, in the opinion of the RCBA Executive Committee, best exemplifies the word “civility.” The Executive Committee recognizes that it is a high honor to be nominated or selected for this recognition as attorneys perform their responsibilities in various capacities of the legal profession.

Past recipients of this award include -


  • The Honorable L. Casey Manning, Sr. (2002)
  • The Honorable J. Bratton Davis (awarded posthumously) (2004)
  • The Honorable Joseph F. Anderson Jr. (2005)
  • The Honorable G. Thomas Cooper (2006)
  • The Honorable Marvin "Buddy" F. Kittrell (2008)
  • The Honorable George C. James, Jr. (2009)
  • The Honorable Joseph M. Strickland (2010)
  • The Honorable Costa M. Pleicones (2011)
  • The Honorable H. Bruce Williams (2012)
  • The Honorable Margaret B. Seymour (2013)
  • The Honorable Dorothy Mobley Jones (2014)
  • The Honorable John E. Waites (2015)
  • The Honorable Tanya A. Gee (awarded posthumously) (2016)
  • The Honorable Alison Renee Lee (2017)
  • The Honorable Clifton Newman (2018)
  • The Honorable J. Michelle Childs (2019)
  • The Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis & the Honorable Shiva V. Hodges (2020)
  • The Honorable Robert E. Hood & the Honorable Shirley Canty Robinson (2021)
  • The Honorable Susan O. Porter (2022)
  • The Honorable Sherri A. Lydon (2023)


  • Danny C. Crowe (2002)
  • James C. Leventis (2004)
  • Isadore E. Lourie (awarded posthumously) (2005)
  • Susan P. "Susi" McWilliams (2008)
  • Robert F. "Bob" Fuller (2009)
  • Rebecca "Becky" Laffitte (2010)
  • D. Cravens Ravenel (2011)
  • William H. "Bo" Bowman (2012)
  • Leslie A. "Les" Cotter, Jr. (2013)
  • Herbert W. Louthian (2014)
  • Julio E. "Rick" Mendoza, Jr. (2015)
  • John M. Grantland (2016)
  • John S. Nichols (2017)
  • William “Bill” Toal (2018)
  • Leigh J. Leventis (2019)
  • Byron E. Gipson (2020)
  • Barry B. George (2021)
  • Robert E. "Bobby" Stepp (2022)
  • Roy F. Laney (2023)