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South Carolina Bar Honors Billy Wilkins with Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award

January 25, 2013

The South Carolina Bar honored William W. “Billy” Wilkins with its Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award during the Bar’s annual convention on Friday in Myrtle Beach. The former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a Member (partner) of the Nexsen Pruet law firm. He maintains his primary office in Greenville.

Wilkins is just the third recipient of the award. It is not given annually, but rather when the Trial and Appellate Advocacy section of the S.C. Bar believes that a lawyer has met the requirements.


The Bar created the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award to recognize South Carolina lawyers who demonstrate “substantial dedication to the furtherance of the art and techniques of trial and appellate advocacy;” who display exceptional skill and conduct; and those who spend significant time and effort to educate and train attorneys in the areas of trial and appellate advocacy.

When accepting the award, Wilkins expressed his deep appreciation and stated that he considered this recognition to be very special because it came from his colleagues, his fellow lawyers at the Bar.

In addition to serving as the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit, Wilkins was also President Ronald Reagan’s first selection to the federal bench, appointed in 1981 as U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina. Four years later, Reagan named him Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, with responsibilities that included establishing sentencing guidelines, policies and practices for the federal courts.

This Bar Association award is the latest in a lifetime of honors for Wilkins, including:

  • University of South Carolina 2012 Compleat Lawyer Platinum Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Bar Association
  • International Compliance and Ethics Award from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics

Nexsen Pruet, LLC is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas, with more than 170 attorneys and offices in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head, and Myrtle Beach, S.C. as well as Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, N.C. Founded in 1945, Nexsen Pruet provides a broad range of legal services to the business community and represents companies and other entities in local, state, national, and international venues.

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