Franklin Smith

Contact Frank 


Office: 1900 Barnwell St. 

Columbia, SC 29201

Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 7788 

Columbia, SC 29202

Contact Frank’s Legal Assistant 

Karen Jandron 


Practice Areas

  • Construction Law
  • Construction Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution 
  • Federal Contract Law 
  • Fidelity/Surety Law 
  • Insurance Defense Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation 
  • Design Professional Malpractice Litigation


  • United States Military Academy (1975-77) 
  • Clemson University (B.S., Civil Engineering, cum laude, 1979) 
  • University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D., 1984)

Bar Admissions

  • 1984, South Carolina

Franklin J. Smith, Jr., is a shareholder of Richardson Plowden. His practice primarily focuses on managing risks for entities involved in the construction industry, including construction litigation and arbitration, contract drafting and negotiation, claims resolution and avoidance, design professional malpractice, fidelity/surety law, coverage issues and insurance defense. A substantial part of Mr. Smith's practice involves mediation and arbitration on construction and business-related disputes. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Smith was a design engineer for Wilbur Smith & Associates.

Mr. Smith's experience includes:

  • Extensive experience in drafting custom construction contracts for all construction-related entities, as well as Dispute Review Board procedures for the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
  • Extensive experience in risk transfer and risk avoidance for all construction related entities.
  • Serving as mediator in over 300 construction related matters
  • Serving on American Arbitration Association’s National Panel of Arbitrators for more than 25 years and serving as sole arbitrator and panel member arbitrator on numerous complex construction related matters
  • Representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers and other construction-related entities.
  • Handling a wide range of construction-related cases in litigation, arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution procedures.



  • Certified Circuit Court Mediator by the S.C. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court
  • American Arbitration Association Panel Member


Lectures and Speaking Engagements

  • Mr. Smith is a frequent speaker at seminars relating to public procurement, design professional liability, risk transfer, design build, construction manager at risk, mechanic's liens, and other related issues and alternative dispute resolution procedures.

Other Professional

  • Former Chair, Advisory Board for Clemson University, Civil Engineering Department (2013-2014) 
  • Past Chair, Construction Section, South Carolina Bar 
  • Panel member, National Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association 
  • Member, Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Division of the Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association 
  • Certified Mediator 
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, Member 
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association 
  • Richland County Bar Association

Awards, Honors, Accolades

  • 2020, 2012 & 2010 "Lawyer of the Year" Columbia, SC, Litigation-Construction by Best Lawyers in America®
  • Rated AV Preeminent® for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, Martindale-Hubbell American
  • October 2018: Recognized as one of the "Midlands' Legal Elite" in the area of Construction Law by Greater Columbia Business Monthly
  • 2021-2002: Listed in Best Lawyers in America® for Construction Litigation
  • 2020-2008: Named South Carolina Super Lawyer for Construction Law
  • 2020, 2015, 2013: Selected as "Midlands Legal Elite" for Construction Law by Greater Columbia Business Monthly