Steven Buckingham

Steven Edward Buckingham practices in the Firm’s Litigation, Corporate, and Employment groups, through which Buckingham supports entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes as they transform their “next big idea” into a practical, profitable reality.  To that end, Buckingham regularly advises clients on matters involving corporate formation and organization.  Buckingham also frequently advises clients on their operations once their business is up and running. 


Oftentimes, this takes the form of advice regarding:

Employment Practices—such as hiring, discipline, investigations, and separations;


Contracts—not only of reviewing the contracts presented to a client, but also of reviewing the client’s contracts to make sure the client is as protected as practicable;


Business Injuries—such as unfair competition and trade practices, interference with contractual relationships, violations of non-compete agreements, wrongful terminations of franchise relationships, and like kinds of economic harms. 


Buckingham’s philosophy is that litigation rarely serves a client’s best interests; however, sometimes litigation is simply unavoidable.  In those cases, particularly in complex matters, Buckingham is well-seasoned in litigating for his clients, both on the plaintiff and defense sides.  Over the course of his career, Buckingham has handled many cases from pre-suit negotiations, to mediation, to settlement, and to trial.  Buckingham is just as comfortable in the courtroom as he is in the boardroom.


Buckingham is licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina and multiple regional courts, including the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Buckingham earned his undergraduate degree from Furman University, magna cum laude, and was elected into the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies, among others.  Buckingham also received the Political Science Faculty Award, and delivered the valediction on behalf of his graduating class.  Buckingham then attended the University of Richmond School of Law, where he earned his juris doctorate, also magna cum laude.  While in law school, Buckingham served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Richmond Law Review, Vol. 40.  After law school, Buckingham served as a law clerk to the Honorable James R. Spencer, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Buckingham also briefly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Henry M. Herlong, Jr., of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.


Buckingham returned to South Carolina in 2007.  Prior to joining the Emergent Law Firm in 2014, Buckingham was a partner in another prominent Greenville firm.


Although Buckingham grew up in a small town in East Tennessee, he is now firmly rooted in the fabric of the Greenville community.  Since 2007, Buckingham has been an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy at Furman University, and has been deeply involved with coaching Furman’s award-winning and nationally renowned collegiate mock trial program.  Since 2011, Buckingham has taught a for-credit undergraduate course at Furman, also regarding trial advocacy. 


In 2008, Buckingham joined the Board of Directors for the Julie Valentine Center, which is Greenville’s rape crisis and child abuse center.  Buckingham retired from the Julie Valentine Center board in 2012, after having served four years on the executive committee and two terms as Board Chairman.   


In 2010, Buckingham was recognized by Greenville Business Magazine as one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest 35 & Under.”  In 2014, Buckingham was honored by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly with its annual “Leadership in Law” award.  Also in 2014, Buckingham was honored by South Carolina Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in civil litigation.


In 2012, Buckingham was selected for participation in Leadership Greenville Class 39.  During the course of that class, Buckingham was chosen as the team leader for his service project, and was elected by the class as its graduation speaker.  Buckingham then served Class 40 as the general service project supervisor, and he also joined the Leadership Greenville Executive Committee.  Most recently, Buckingham became the Chairman of the Selection Committee for Leadership Greenville


In 2012, Buckingham was also selected for participation in the Haynsworth/Perry chapter of the American Inns of Court, which is an organization dedicated to promoting civility within the legal profession and providing a platform for mentoring among generations of lawyers and judges.  In 2013, Buckingham was appointed to the Haynsworth/Perry chapter’s executive committee, where he serves in the capacity of Mentorship Chairman.

Representative Litigation

Please note that any results listed below do not necessarily indicate that similar results can be achieved for other clients.

  • Ex parte: TLC Laser Eye Centers (Piedmont/Atlanta), LLC and TLC The Laser Center (Institute), Inc. in re John and Danielle Hollman v. Dr. Jonathan Woolfson et al., 745 S.E.2d 105 (S.C. 2013).  Holding that a court which issues a protective order retains subject matter jurisdiction to enforce that order notwithstanding the conclusion of the suit in which the order was issued, and that the interpretation of protective orders is a question of law subject to de novo review.  The latter question is a case of first impression in South Carolina.  (Appellant, On Brief, Prevailing)
  • Theisen v. Theisen, 716 S.E.2d 271 (S.C. 2011).  Holding that in a domestic relations action for separate support and maintenance where there is no allegation of marital fault, a complaint which fails to allege that the complainant-spouse has left the marital home fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action and must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  A case of first impression in South Carolina.  (Appellant, On Brief, Prevailing)
  • Wells Fargo N.A. v. Patton and Bank of America, N.A.  Represented plaintiff in a counterclaim brought by a nationally chartered bank who alleged that plaintiff failed to record the satisfaction of a mortgage in violation of state law.  Obtained summary judgment as against several of defendant-bank’s causes of action, and ultimately conducted a trial of the remaining causes of action, resulting in a judgment entirely in plaintiff’s favor on all claims.
  • Bowater Inc. v. Levin Group LP.  Represented plaintiffs in a multidistrict breach of contract action.  Obtained dismissal of action pending in foreign jurisdiction so case could be litigated exclusively in South Carolina.
  • Richardson v. Palmetto Engineering & Consulting, LLC et al.  Represented individual member of an engineering company in member dissociation and declaratory judgment action involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and conspiracy.  Obtained favorable settlement of all claims.
  • Waffle House, Inc. et al. v. City of Greenville.  Represented plaintiffs in a zoning dispute against the City of Greenville in which the City attempted to utilize zoning restrictions to prohibit plaintiffs from operating a popular restaurant on a 24-hour basis.  As a result of the representation, your hash browns can be smothered and covered any time of day or night.
  • Van Acker v. Sparks et al.  Represent business owner in corporate dissolution and breach of contract action, which also involves an action under the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.
  • Dutton Commercial Services, Inc. v. Snappy Refrigeration, LLC et al.  Represent plaintiff corporation against former employees in breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, trade secret misappropriation, and numerous employment claims.
  • Represented national consumer finance lender in variety of matters, ranging from consumer privacy laws and regulations, to zoning, to premises security and liability, to compliance with consumer finance laws and regulations promulgated under federal law and the laws of a multitude of states.
  • Represented national gaming vendor in variety of matters, which included advising the client on zoning regulations and restrictions, as well as compliance with the gaming laws and regulations promulgated by the federal government and the laws of a multitude of states.
  • Represented numerous franchisees in ongoing disputes with their franchisors, involving allegations of unfair trade practices, economic oppression, breach of contract, and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Represented professional healthcare practitioners in establishing their practices, negotiating and disputing lease agreements, advising about employment practices, and resolving issues raised by employee identity theft.
  • Represented one of South Carolina’s fastest growing companies in connection with its employment practices and conducted internal investigations of alleged violations of employment law.
  • Represented hotel owners and operators in a variety of matters, including litigation regarding construction financing, and have advised on issues pertaining to premises security, compliance with franchise requirements, and employment practices.