Robert D. Garfield, Esq.

Practice Areas

  • Civil Rights Defense Litigation
  • Governmental Liability Defense
  • Law Enforcement Defense
  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • General Civil Litigation

Biography

Robert has practiced law in his native South Carolina since his admission to the Bar in 1994.  Robert attended the University of South Carolina and in 1989 received his B.A. degree (with a political science major) from the South Carolina Honors College.  He earned his J.D. in 1993 from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Following law school, Robert briefly worked as a public defender for the Second Judicial Circuit before joining the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office in 1995.  Upon retiring as a criminal prosecutor in 2000, Robert practiced with the Nauful Law Firm concentrating in the defense of physicians, hospitals, and medical professionals in medical malpractice claims.  From 2001 until 2018, Robert worked with Davidson & Lindemann specializing in governmental and law enforcement liability defense.

During his tenure as a criminal prosecutor from 1995 until 2000, Robert conducted over thirty jury trials including serious offenses and violent felonies.  In his five years of service, Robert negotiated and appeared on behalf of the State in roughly two thousand guilty pleas throughout three South Carolina counties.  During such time, Robert was promoted to Senior Assistant Solicitor, helped launch the Eleventh Circuit Drug Court Program as a founding steering committee member, and was a trial instructor for in-service police training programs.

Since 2001, Robert’s focus has been representing hundreds of police officers and first responders, including Sheriffs and Circuit Solicitors in civil actions and litigation throughout South Carolina.  During this time in private practice, Robert has been lead counsel in approximately 30 trials in federal and state courts on behalf of governmental entities and law enforcement agencies.  He obtained full defense verdicts on behalf of his clients in 24 of these trials.  In a nine (9) year span [2006-2015], Robert prevailed in 14 consecutive jury trials involving federal constitutional and state tort claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution and excessive force against law enforcement.

Throughout his practice, now spanning three decades, Robert’s greatest professional satisfaction comes from representing police officers and other first responders who at times must face allegations brought against them in civil actions.  He enjoys presently serving on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Foundation.

Contact Robert by telephone at (803) 999-1225 or by e-mail at robert@crowelafave.com.

Bar and Court Admissions

South Carolina Bar, 1994
United States District Court, District of South Carolina, 2001
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, 2001

Education

University of South Carolina, J.D., 1993
University of South Carolina Honors College, B.A., 1989

Present and Previous Professional and Civic Affiliations

Richland County Bar Association
South Carolina Bar (SC Bar Ethics Advisory and Children’s Committees)
South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Foundation
Leadership Columbia
Shandon Neighborhood Council
Rosewood Educational Foundation
Various Alumni Boards of U.S.C. and Sigma Chi Fraternity
Columbia Sailing Club