Robert D. Garfield 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, he joined the Aiken County Public Defender’s Office followed by the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office in 1995.
During his tenure as a criminal prosecutor from 1995 until 2000, Robert became the chief drug prosecutor and conducted dozens of 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 36 trials in federal and state courts on behalf of governmental entities and law enforcement agencies. He has obtained defense verdicts on behalf of his clients in 30 of those jury trials involving federal constitutional and state tort claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution, and excessive force against law enforcement.
In recent years, law enforcement agencies and police officers have undergone scrutiny and encountered significant challenges. Throughout his practice, Robert’s greatest professional motivation centers on his belief that police officers and other first responders are our country’s true heroes and deserve the most dedicated and skilled representation in our judicial system.
- South Carolina Bar, 1994
- United States District Court, District of South Carolina, 2001
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, 2001
- University of South Carolina, J.D., 1993
- University of South Carolina Honors College, B.A., 1989
- 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
- Hand Middle School Improvement Committee
- Various Alumni Boards of U.S.C. and Sigma Chi Fraternity
- Columbia Sailing Club
- Robert has routinely conducted training seminars for various law enforcement agencies, South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, South Carolina Prosecution Commission, and the South Carolina Bar’s Diversity Committee and Young Lawyers Division.