Attorney

Joel Hughes

Joel Hughes

Attorney
  • Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger
  • 5205 Forest Drive Suite 2 Columbia, SC 29206
  • 803-790-2800

Like a country music song, my daddy was a preacher and my mama was a teacher. I grew up in a small town in Williamsburg County where I learned to pull for the Gamecocks and to pull pork from a whole hog on a spit. I attended Wofford College and then went to the University of South Carolina Law School. After law school, I spent a year clerking for the late and honorable J. Ernest Kinard, Jr, watching trials and confirming my instincts that I wanted to be a trial lawyer.

When I left my clerkship, I worked with a local insurance defense firm that primarily defended state and local governments. During that time, I gained experience in automobile accidents, slip and falls, contractual disputes, land use disputes, construction defects, civil rights claims and so much more. Over the course of my practice, I continued to hone my skills as a trial lawyer and brought numerous cases to verdict. I also became a certified mediator, and I have helped many lawyers bring their cases to resolution through the ADR process. After fourteen years on the defense side of the bar, I decided I needed a change. When I met Kenneth Berger, I quickly knew his practice would offer me, for the first time in my career, an opportunity to help people at their most vulnerable stage. I have always been passionate about giving back to the citizens of South Carolina, and I am excited to explore the ways I can serve my clients.

When I am not practicing law, I am with my family. My wife Allison and I have a son, Cohen, and a daughter, Holland. When not in school, they are at the baseball field, the park or the neighborhood pool while we struggle to catch up to them. We also have two Golden Retrievers, Cooper and Biscuit, who keep us on our toes at all times. Once the kids are in bed, you can find me in the kitchen where I explore new ways to use cast iron while I listen to music that generally makes my kids complain.

Areas of Practice

  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Government Liability
    • South Carolina Tort Claims Act
    • 42 U.S.C. 1983

Education:

  • Wofford College, B.A., English, 2002
  • USC School of Law, J.D., 2005

Professional Organizations:

  • South Carolina Bar
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Association of Justice

Certifications:

  • Certified Mediator in South Carolina

Community Involvement:

  • South Carolina United Methodist Credit Union – Board of Directors
  • Palmetto Baseball League – Division III Coach