This week's member spotlight shines on Anderson, SC, attorney J. David Standeffer. Dave was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1975 and served as a Captain in U.S. Army J.A.G. Corps for three years. He practiced with a law firm in Europe for one year and for the Anderson and Epps Law Firm for one year, before going to the Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office for over seven years. He served as Anderson County Attorney for two years and opened his private practice of law in 1988. Dave is Civil Pretrial and Civil Trial certified by NBTA.

Where did you go to law school?
University of South Carolina 

How long have you been in practice?
Forty years

Why is NBTA membership important to you?
NBTA membership is the best way for a person in need of legal representation to narrow their options to the attorneys who have established themselves among their peers to be elite. It is the best evidence that the lawyer's ability and experience are proven to be among a very small number at the very top of all civil trial lawyers in America and in their particular state.  

What would you say to another attorney about why they should become board certified?
Board Certification establishes, by a rigorous and unbiased evaluation, that you are among the very best lawyers in the nation in civil trial advocacy.

What areas of law do you have experience in beyond your areas of certification?
Criminal Defense

Why did you decide to become a lawyer? 
I made the decision to become because I believed that I had the ability to help people stand up for themselves when they had been treated badly or when their rights were being trampled. was a court reporter and liked what lawyers and what they did for a living.

What made you choose the area of law in which you practice?
I saw that big insurance companies were bullying people to accept unfair and inequitable compensation for injuries they suffered. I decided to help the underdog.

In your opinion, what makes a successful lawyer?
I believe in preparation. I know everything about my cases and investigate all aspects. I simply outwork my opponent.

What's been most rewarding about your career?
The people I help would normally lose everything they have without my help. When I see that my efforts have prevented the terrible financial consequences my clients were facing, it makes me feel my efforts are worth it.  

What advice would you give to a young professional considering law school?
I have a big heart and a driving passion to help people who have suffered and cannot get justice. A lawyer needs those qualities, plus the guts or fearlessness or whatever it is that makes you stand up to the big corporations, big insurance companies or other interests that have the seemingly unlimited resources to get their way, despite what is right and fair. If you have those qualities, then the law is your profession.

Share an example of a case or cases that made a difference.
I helped a strain gauge serviceman (adjusts the device on an overhead crane that calculates the weight of the load, minus weight of the bucket and steel cables, to determine how much melted metal is present), disabled for life by defective service lift, recover his lifetime earnings and Medicals.

I helped a child, who was brain damaged and lost her family to a fire caused by a defective lighter, be compensated for her lifetime needs and care.

I helped a student rendered quadriplegic in a church bus, single vehicle, roll-over wreck recover compensation for life needs.

I helped an aspiring medical student achieve compensation for lost life-time earnings resulting from collapse of a faulty apartment deck that fractured her back.

I have helped many families and victims of nursing home abuse expose abuse and neglect and be compensated for their suffering.

I have battled irresponsible trucking companies, tire makers, contractors, highway department designers and maintainers, car and vehicle component makers and other makers, designers and sellers of dangerous defective devices to compensate innocent injured or killed people. I have tried to expose dangers to my clients and the unsuspecting public and help my clients recover as much of their losses as possible.  

What is your mission as a lawyer?
I want to achieve the full measure of justice and fairness for my clients. In the process, I hope the results encourage following the Rules and Laws that are made to keep everybody safe. 

What causes are important to you and why?
I support our Free Clinic, because I hate to think of anyone being denied essential medical care. I also support Meals on Wheels, The Good Neighbor Cupboard, Anderson Interfaith Mission and Haven of Rest, because nobody should be hungry in our wonderful country!