Firm News, Accolades

Stepp receives Matthew J. Perry Civility Award from Richland County Bar Association

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Bobby Stepp, a member of Robinson Gray law firm, has received the Honorable Matthew J. Perry Civility Award, given annually by the Richland County Bar in honor of the distinguished federal judge.

He received the award at the county bar’s annual meeting and Christmas party at the Columbia Museum of Art on Dec. 7.

The Civility Award is given annually to a judge and to a lawyer who, in the view of the executive committee of the RCBA, best exemplify the word “civility.” The committee considers it a high honor to be nominated or selected for this recognition.

Another Robinson Gray member, Becky Laffitte, received the award in 2010.

“Bobby has served as a beacon of civility to other lawyers, young and old, partners and associates, and to both adversaries and allies,” wrote fellow member Betsy Gray in nominating Stepp for the award. “I have observed, firsthand, his treating all individuals alike and with courtesy and respect, regardless of their status or fortune, just as Judge Perry did…. He has tried many contentious lawsuits, often with very contentious lawyers, and parties on the opposite side, yet I never once saw him act in any way other than with the most professional manner….”

In his practice at Robinson Gray, Bobby Stepp focuses on complex cases in varied commercial settings at the trial and appellate level. His areas of practice include professional liability defense, corporate governance disputes, contract matters, product liability defense, voting rights, and constitutional issues. He received the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award from the South Carolina Bar in 2014. He has been honored multiple times, including this year, by both Best Lawyers in America and South Carolina Super Lawyers, for which he is included in the Top Ten List.

He, together with Betsy Gray and others in the firm, tried what was known in the press as the Abbeville v. State education case, believed to be the longest trial ever in South Carolina. The case was tried in Manning, 80 miles from Columbia, over a period of 17 months, lasting 101 trial days. It ultimately ended successfully for the firm’s client many years later.

Matthew J. Perry, who passed away in 2011, was a South Carolina attorney who in 1979 was appointed as the first African-American U.S. district judge in the state, serving on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

“Judge Perry, whom he knew and tried cases before, and who knew Bobby, would approve of Bobby receiving this award named after him,” wrote Betsy Gray in her nomination.

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 35 attorneys serve clients ranging from multi-national corporations to small businesses and individuals. For more, visit