Keith Babcock and David Paavola are again listed in “South Carolina Super Lawyers,” a national guide to the nation’s leading attorneys.
Babcock, a founding member of the law firm, is listed for his work in business litigation. It’s the 15th time he’s been honored in Super Lawyers. His work in eminent domain and professional liability: plaintiff, is also highlighted.
Paavola is included on the “Rising Stars” list for his work in eminent domain law. He is also listed in the practice areas of business litigation and professional liability: plaintiff. He has earned “Rising Star” honors for four straight years.
Babcock is South Carolina’s sole member of the Owners’ Counsel of America—an organization of attorneys who advocate for property owners in eminent domain and condemnation cases. Paavola and Lewis Babcock associate Joe Berry recently joined the selective group as affiliate members.
The patented Super Lawyers selection process begins with a nomination from a colleague. “Super Lawyers” then independently researches the attorneys, focusing on 12 key indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition. Finally, a select panel of attorneys from the same practice area as the nominees makes the final selection.
Only about 5 percent of a state’s attorneys are selected each year for “Super Lawyers.” For “Rising Stars,” which is limited to attorneys younger than 40 or with less than 10 years’ practice, it’s only about 2.5 percent.
Joseph Berry, an attorney with Lewis Babcock law firm, shared advice on enforcing laws against perpetrators of animal cruelty with statewide law enforcement and animal control officers at a two-day training conference in Kershaw.
Berry was the head of the Richland County Animal Cruelty Prosecution Task Force when he served previously in the Solicitor’s Office for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.
At the conference in late March, titled “Animal cruelty and fighting investigations: considerations for South Carolina enforcement officers,” Berry covered the whole range of animal cruelty, from individuals with neglected animals chained in their backyards to organized criminal enterprises running dog-fighting operations.
The free conference was open to law enforcement, animal care and control, humane investigators, code enforcement officers, veterinarians, solicitors, and magistrates. More than 40 people participated.
Berry spoke from his prosecutorial experience, covering such areas as:
Animal cruelty is an offense that has gained greater attention and resources in recent years, and for good reason, according to Berry. Abuse of animals frequently leads to abuse of humans, such as violence against children and spouses. It also tends to occur alongside other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking.
As head of the Animal Cruelty Task Force during his time in the solicitor's office, Berry worked to improve communication and trust between agencies and promoted awareness within law enforcement. The task force successfully prosecuted 29 cases over three years.
In private practice with Lewis Babcock, Berry now represents clients in the areas of fiduciary negligence, business disputes, eminent domain cases, and appellate matters.