Gary W. Poliakoff, a graduate of Washington and Lee University and the University of South Carolina School of Law, has been practicing law since 1977 and has received many awards and honors during his career.
He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He won the Public Citizen Award from the South Carolina Association for Justice in 1996 and the Victims’ Voice Award from the South Carolina Jury Trial Foundation in 1995. He was the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 1988.
Gary served as the commissioner and vice-chair of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, as appointed by the governor.
He has served on the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Association for Justice, the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program and the Board of Directors for the Spartanburg County Public Defender Program.
His civic and community commitments have included being on the Boards of Directors for the South Carolina Environmental Law Project and the Citizens Local Environmental Action Network, the chairman of the Spartanburg County Democratic Party; and the boards of the Sertoma Club, Piedmont Conservancy Inc. and Safe Homes/Rape Crisis Coalition.
Gary is authorized to practice before all South Carolina Courts and all levels of Federal Courts, including the U.S. District Court, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He actively handles litigation of serious personal injury cases for injured Plaintiffs.
Washington and Lee University- B. A., 1973
University of South Carolina School of Law- J. D., 1977
S.C. Forestry Commission, Commissioner and Vice Chair (appt. by Governor, 2001-2006).
Honors and Awards:
Double Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Practice by National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA)
Leadership in Law Award, S.C. Lawyers Weekly, 2013
Public Citizen Award, S.C. Trial Lawyers Assn., 1996
Victims Voice Award, S.C. Jury Trial Foundation, 1995
S.C. Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award, 1988
American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law, 1977
The Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers (Martindale-Hubbell) South Carolina Super Lawyers
The Best Lawyers in America
Editor and Co-Author of Environmental Law in South Carolina, book published with
Federal funding, 1977.
Author: “Bad Boy Environmental Legislation- A Necessary Regulatory Tool for South
Carolina,” 1992, S.C. Environmental Law Journal.
Author: “Environmental Law in S.C.: Protection v. Pollution,” published in
The Bulletin magazine, S.C. Trial Lawyers Association, spring, 1991.
Author: “Practicing Environmental Law in S. C.,” Spotlight, S.C. Association of Legal
Secretaries Magazine, 1995.
Author: “Practicing Environmental Law,” The Bulletin magazine, S.C. Trial Lawyers Assn., June, 2000; reprinted in Texas Trial Lawyers Magazine, Feb., 2001.
-“Discovery in Toxic Tort/Contamination Cases,” S. C. Trial Lawyers Assn., Annual
-“Toxic Exposure – Proof and Causation,” S. C. Trial Lawyers Assn., Annual Convention, 2001.
-“Environmental Enforcement,” S.C. Environmental Symposium, 1996.
-“Citizen Suits and Related Issues,” S.C. Environmental Law & Technology Conference, 1996.
-“Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Statutes- Citizens Perspective,” S.C. Environmental
Law & Technology Conference, 1997
“Environmental Law ins C., An Overview,” 1991, for the Law for Non-Lawyers Program, S. C. Bar Association.
“S.C.: Nuclear, Hazardous, Infectious, and Now Solid Waste Dumping Ground- Litigation,” S. C. Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention, 1994
“Trash in Transition- New Solutions for Old Landfills,” American Bar Association, Section of
Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law- Annual Convention, 1998-
“Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina- Issues and Answers,” National Business Institute, December, 1992-
“Administrative and Regulatory Case Law Update,” S.C. Administrative and Regulatory Law
Association (SCARLA) Annual Seminar, September, 2001-
“Issues Involved in Taking the Case to Trial”, Protecting Our Elderly/Nursing Home
Accountability, National Business Institute, 2006 and 2007.
Board of Advisors, Charleston School of Law
Board of Directors, S.C. Administrative and Regulatory Law Association
Board of Governors, S. C. Trial Lawyers Association, 1987-1989
Board of Directors, S. C. Bar Pro Bono Program – 1989-1992
Board of Directors, Spartanburg County Public Defender Program, 1978-1982
Rules Committee, S. C. Administrative Law Judge Division, 1994- Continuing
Sustaining Fellow, S. C. Bar Association
Secretary-Treasurer, Spartanburg County Bar Association, 1977-1979
S.C. Bar Committees: (Past)
-Lawyer/Physician Relationship – 1995 – 1999
-Lawyer Referral – 1993-1994
-Trial and Appellate Practice
-Public Affairs (Chairman, 4th District)
Chairman, Spartanburg County Bar Medical-Legal Committee- 1990-2000
Advisor, Law Explorer Post
Chairman, Environmental Law Committee, S.C. Trial Lawyers Association- 1993-2007
Admitted to S. C. Bar- 1977
Authorized to practice before all S. C. Courts and all levels of Federal Courts, including U. S. District Court, 4111 Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U. S. Supreme Court.
Civic and Charitable Boards, Memberships:
Board of Advisors, University of S.C. -Upstate
Board of Directors, S. C. Environmental Law Project – 1992 – 1995
Board of Directors, Citizens Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN)-1993 – 1996. Chairman, Spartanburg County Democratic Party- 1982 – 1984 (Also, Treasurer, 1986 – 1994; Vice Chair 1994 – 1998)
Board of Directors, Sertoma Club
Board of Directors, Piedmont Conservancy, Inc.
Board of Directors, Safe Home/Rape Crisis (Council on Sexual Assault) Legal Adviser, Spartanburg Conservation Endowment
Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee
Member or Officer (past or Present) of numerous civic and charitable organizations
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory Rating: AV Highest rating available-competence and ethics)
Named one of “The Big three” of “The Green Fifteen” by State Newspaper for legal victories protecting the environment.