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Shareholder William C. McDow, a successful defense attorney, also is a certified mediator by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Jocelyn Newman is an associate with Richardson Plowden. She completed legal internships with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation Litigation and the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, and a judicial internship with The Honorable Reggie B. Walton, U.S. District Court, all of which took place in Washington, D.C.

Now retired founding shareholder Charles N. Plowden, Jr., helped build the firm’s solid reputation in insurance defense and served as a circuit vice president for the South Carolina Bar.

Leslie A. Cotter, Jr.

1900 Barnwell Street
Columbia, SC 29201

P.O. Drawer 7788
Columbia, SC 29202

Contact Details
Direct: 803.576.3710
Fax: 803.779.0016

Practice Areas
Professional Malpractice Defense
Legal Malpractice Defense
Insurance Defense
Products Liability
Civil Rights and Employment Litigation
Governmental Liability Defense
Personal Injury Defense
School Law
South Carolina Tort Claims Act Defense

Washington & Lee University (B.A., Economics, cum laude, 1980)
University of South Carolina (J.D., 1984)

Omicron Delta Kappa
Omicron Delta Epsilon
Delta Theta Phi
American Jurisprudence Award in Conflicts of Law
Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Clyde H. Hamilton (1985-1986)
Law Clerk to South Carolina Circuit Judge Rodney A. Peeples (1984-1985)

Bar Admissions
1984, South Carolina; U.S. District Court of South Carolina
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Other Professional
Malpractice Law Litigation Committee and ADR Committee, American Bar Association
House of Delegates (1992-2014), Nominating Committee (1998-2000 and 2009-2010), Practice and Procedure Committee [1985-2014 (Committee Chair 2008-2010)], Professional Responsibility Committee (2010-2014), South Carolina Bar
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association
Permanent Member of Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court
Certified Mediator by the S.C. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court
Certified Arbitrator by the S.C. Supreme Court
South Carolina Council for Conflict Resolution
South Carolina Council of School Attorneys
South Carolina Bar Foundation

Awards and Accolades
2013 Matthew J. Perry, Jr., Civility Award of the Richland County Bar Association for exemplary professional civility
Listed in Best Lawyers in America® for the past four consecutive years for Legal
Best Lawyers® 2012 Columbia, SC, Legal Malpractice Law Lawyer of the Year

Leslie A. Cotter, Jr., is a shareholder of Richardson Plowden in the Columbia office. He focuses his practice on professional (legal, accounting, medical) malpractice defense, insurance defense litigation, mediation/arbitration, employment and civil rights litigation, products liability and personal injury defense, and governmental liability defense.

Mr. Cotter's experience includes:

  • Trying jury and non-jury cases in each division of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and in state court proceedings throughout South Carolina.
  • Respresenting the State of South Carolina as outside counsel in a national arbitration proceding before a panel of three retired federal judges.
  • Mediating state and federal court complex litigation matters. Mr. Cotter has been certified as a mediator by the S.C. Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina since 1999. He has been certified as an arbitrator by the S.C. Supreme Court since 2001. He mediates and arbitrates cases statewide.
Mr. Cotter earned a bachelor of arts in economics, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University in 1980. He received his juris doctor from the University of South Carolina in 1984. As a law student, he was a member of Delta Theta Phi and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflicts of Law.

Before joining Richardson Plowden, Mr. Cotter clerked for South Carolina Circuit Judge Rodney A. Peeples and United States District Court Judge Clyde H. Hamilton, who is currently a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Mr. Cotter has been extensively involved in the South Carolina Bar where he continuously has served as a member of the House of Delegates since 1992, has served two terms on the Nominating Committee, and is a member of the Practice and Procedure Committee, which he served as chair for 2008-2010, and the Professional Responsibility Committee. Mr. Cotter is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference and several other professional associations, including the American Bar Association, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and the John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court.

Mr. Cotter is married with three children. He is an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry (2007-2010), and numerous civic and community groups. He is a past board member of Hammond School and the Palmetto Baseball League. He has coached numerous children's AAU baseball and basketball teams. Mr. Cotter is a member of several conservation organizations, such as the Congaree Land Trust, SC Coastal Conservation League, SC Historical Society and Coastal Conservation Association. He is a committee member of the Central Carolina Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Quality Deer Management Association.