Firm News, Accolades

A total of 31 Robinson Gray attorneys honored by Best Lawyers in America for 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® is recognizing a firm record total of 31 attorneys at Robinson Gray.

Twenty-five are honored in the Columbia area in the main Best Lawyers list, with three of them being singled out for the top honor of Lawyer of the Year in their practice areas. Meanwhile, six younger attorneys are recognized as Ones to Watch as their careers proceed.

“It’s always humbling to be recognized by our peers, and we hope this also speaks to the excellence of representation our attorneys provide to their clients,” said Cal Watson, who is the law firm’s managing member. “It’s a particularly encouraging sign for our firm’s future that seven of us making these lists are doing so for the first time.”

Here are the 25 on the Best Lawyers list, with the practice areas in which they are honored:

  • Grady Beard: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Kevin Bell: Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law
  • Frank Ellerbe: Administrative/Regulatory Law, Energy Law, Energy Regulatory Law, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Utilities Law
  • Kevin Garrison: Litigation – Real Estate, Real Estate Law
  • Ben Gooding: Commercial Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Betsy Gray: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation
  • Nick Haigler: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Matt Hill: Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law
  • Paul Hoefer: Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Litigation – Real Estate, Real Estate Law
  • Rachel Hutchens: Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Becky Laffitte: Insurance Law, Litigation – Construction, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Transportation Law
  • Gibbs Leaphart: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Amanda Mellard: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Bill Metzger: Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Michael Montgomery: Construction Law, Litigation – Insurance, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Kelly Morrow: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Shannon Till Poteat: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Beth Burke Richardson: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Securities
  • Jasmine Smith: Appellate Practice
  • Kerk Spong: Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Real Estate Law
  • Bobby Stepp: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation
  • Tim Thompson: Tax Law
  • Monty Todd: Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Rob Tyson: Administrative/Regulatory Law, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Trusts and Estates
  • Cal Watson: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants

Three of those – Beth Burke Richardson, Kelly Morrow, and Cal Watson – were honored as Lawyers of the Year in the areas of Litigation – Securities, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers, and Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants, respectively.

And here are the six designated as Ones to Watch at Robinson Gray:

  • Chris Boguski: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Law
  • Molly Campolong: Banking and Finance Law, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Real Estate Law
  • Ashley Dixon: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Meredith Ann Krzyston: Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • La’Jessica Stringfellow: Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Lisle Traywick: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

The “Ones to Watch” designation is for lawyers who have shown outstanding excellence in private practice in the first decades of their careers.

The Best Lawyers in America is used annually by thousands of lawyers and corporations and is regarded as a definitive guide to the legal profession in the United States.

Recognition is based entirely on peer review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. For more information, go to

About Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

Located in the BullStreet district, Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, is a South Carolina law firm that offers a tailored, hands-on approach. It provides business transactional and litigation representation in all state and federal trial and appellate courts in South Carolina. The firm’s 37 attorneys serve clients ranging from multi-national corporations to small businesses and individuals. For more, visit