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Bill Coates

Bill is a trial attorney at Cassidy Coates Price.

Following law school, Bill served as a legislative aide to United States Senator Strom Thurmond and as a counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for South Carolina and prosecuted cases in federal court throughout the state.

Bill handles a wide variety of litigation in South Carolina and the Southeast. With over forty years of trial experience, his practice encompasses commercial and corporate litigation, as well as financial, real estate, health care, and environmental litigation. As a former federal prosecutor, Bill handles governmental investigations and white-collar criminal defense matters for a variety of clients. He also represents clients in elections and ethics-related matters.

In 2005 the federal government indicted W.R. Grace and several former executives and managers alleging violations of the Clean Air Act in United States v. W.R. Grace. In 2009, after a ten-week trial in Montana Federal Court, all charges were dismissed against Bill’s client, a former site manager for W.R. Grace in Montana. The EPA claimed this case was the most significant environmental prosecution ever mounted.

Bill is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a former board member of the Defense Research Institute and he is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has served as president of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and as Chair of the South Carolina Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee and of the South Carolina State Ethics Commission. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

Bill was selected for inclusion in the inaugural issue of South Carolina Super Lawyers in 2008 and has been continually selected each subsequent year in the areas of Business Litigation, Environmental Litigation, and Criminal Defense: White Collar. He is a master in the Haynsworth/Perry Inn of Court.

Bill is also a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award. In 2012, Bill was awarded the Robert W. Hemphill Award, by the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association; the highest award given by the SCDTAA  “In Recognition of Distinguished and Meritorious Service to the Legal Profession and the Public.”

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  • University of South Carolina, B.S. 1971
  • University of South Carolina, J.D. 1974
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association, President, 1994
  • Defense Research Institute, Board of Directors, 2002-2004
  • South Carolina Bar Association, Chair, Committee on Judicial Qualifications, 2001-2002
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Haynsworth/Perry Inn of Court
  • Greenville County Bar Association
  • South Carolina – 1974
  • United States District Court for the District of South Carolina -1976
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit – 1976
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2020-2024
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year (Litigation-Environmental), 2023
  • South Carolina Super Lawyer®, 2008-2024
  • Local Litigation Star in Dispute Resolution, Benchmark Litigation, 2022-2024
  • Legal Elite, Greenville Business Magazine, 2018-2023
  • Robert W. Hemphill Award, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association, 2012
  • South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, 1993
  • Martindale-Hubbell, “AV/Preeminent Attorney” rating
  • SC Ports Authority, Board of Directors, 2022 – present
  • Greenville Chamber of Commerce, former Board of Directors, former Vice Chair of Public Policy, former General Counsel, former Chair of Legislative Advocacy Committee
  • South Carolina State Ethics Commission, Past Chair, 1991 – 1993
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