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Cherie W. Blackburn

Member and General Counsel

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Overview

Cherie has been representing her clients in state and federal court for over 30 years. She has experience as lead trial counsel in an array of employment cases, trade secret, trademark and copyright cases, and business disputes. As an employment attorney, she advises clients on proactive measures focused on avoiding issues that lead to litigation, such as drafting handbooks, presenting harassment and discrimination training, addressing wage and hour issues, and drafting employment agreements and restrictive covenants. In the area of intellectual property, Cherie advises clients on trademark and copyright protection, as well as handling and protecting trade secrets.

With her wealth of experience, Cherie understands the risks associated with litigation and works hand in hand with her clients to explain and analyze those risks. She is an aggressive advocate and trusted advisor for those whom she represents.

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Education
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1987
  • Oxford College, A.A., 1982
  • Emory University, B.A., 1983
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Member, Executive Committee, Charleston County Bar Association (2020)
  • President of the South Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2018-2019); President Elect (2017 - 2018); Vice President and Membership Chair (2016 – 2017); Secretary (2015 – 2016); Board Member (2014 – present)
  • Member, Federal Bar Association; National Conventions Committee, (2016-2019);Membership Committee (2017 – 2018); Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, Executive Council, South Carolina Bar Association Employment and Labor Law Section (2018 – present); CLE Coordinator, (2019 – present); Newsletter Editor (2018 – 2019)
  • Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (2017 – present); Member, Employment Practices and Workplace Liability Committee
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, American Bar Association; Member, Center for Professional Responsibility; Member, Labor & Employment Law Committee
  • Member South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association
  • Mentor, SC Bar Mentoring Program (2010 and 2011)
  • Judge, South Carolina Bar Middle School Mock Trial Competition (2010)
  • Judge, Charleston School of Law Mock Trial Competition (2008)
  • Chair, Merit Selection Panel for the Appointment of the Federal Magistrate (2008)
  • Member, Merit Selection Panel for the Appointment of the Federal Magistrate (2007)
  • Member, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association (1998 – present); Member, Board of Directors, (1998 - 2000)
  • Former member, House of Delegates, South Carolina Bar Association
  • Former Chair, Labor and Employment Law Committee, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
  • Former Chair, Intellectual Property Committee, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
Recognitions
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation, Labor & Employment in Charleston, S.C. 2012, Employment Law in 2013 and Employment Law – Management in 2016, 2019 and 2020
  • Recipient of the 2013 Compleat Lawyer Gold Award, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, South Carolina 2014-2020 
  • Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Recipient of the 2009 "Most Influential Women in Business" Award in the Executive Category - Charleston Regional Business Journal
  • Certified Mediator, South Carolina State and Federal Court
  • Appointed Special Master in W. Dayne Mock and Tri-M Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Gaylor Electric, Inc., f/k/a Gaylor, Inc., Case No: 14-CP-27-129, South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, 2015
  • Included in the South Carolina Super Lawyers list since 2008 in the area of Employment Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Labor & Employment- Management, Labor Law- Management, Litigation- Labor and Employment and Intellectual Property- Trademark, Since 2005
  • Selected as Lawyer of the Year for Best Lawyers in America for 2021
  • Selected for Charleston Business Magazine Legal Elite (2017)
  • Recipient of the 2004 Claude M. Scarborough Award for outstanding legal assistance to the poor
  • Winner, 1986 Moot Court Competition, University of South Carolina School of Law
Overview
  • Author of several articles on employment law, trade secrets and intellectual property law, including the following: 
    • "Preparing the Workplace for Generation Z," JD Supra November 21, 2018
    • “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Looking Back at the Last Fifty Years,” Employment Law Information Network, October 12, 2017
    • “Employers Should be Aware of Pitfalls When Entering Into Severance Agreements,” JD Supra, July 25, 2017
    • “The New Defend Trade Secrets Act: Implications for Employers,” Lexology, June 7, 2016
    • “Title VII at 50: What’s New?,” JD Supra, September 4, 2014
    • “Obesity as a Disability Under the ADA: Is it More Likely Now Than Before,” Employers and The Law, 2013 – 2014 Anthology of Best Articles
    • “Recent Cases Reflect Employer Efforts to Protect Confidential Information,” SC Bar Employment and Labor Law Newsletter: Winter 2013 February 15, 2013
    • “Covenants Not to Compete and Other Restrictive Covenants,” Labor and Employment Law for South Carolina Lawyers (Third Edition) 2007 (also, Second Edition and First Edition)
    • “Post Employment Covenants Not to Compete in South Carolina: Wizards and Dragons in the Kingdom,” 42 S.C. L. Rev., 1991
    • “Covenants Not to Compete in Employment Agreements: Would Yours Survive?” South Carolina Lawyer Magazine
  • Frequent speaker on various topics in employment law
  • Presenter, NC/SC Labor & Employment Law Conference
  • Presenter, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorney Association’s Trial Academy
  • Presenter,  “Preparing an Appellate Argument,” Professor Robert Freer, Business Law class, The Citadel (2006 – 2010)

Cherie’s passion outside the practice of law is rock climbing. She climbs both trad (placing gear) and sport (bolted) routes. For Cherie, climbing parallels other aspects of life in a lot of ways. “The biggest impediment to climbing is not fear, but negative thoughts. If you think you are going to fall, you probably will.  When you are leading a route, you have to get out of your comfort zone and climb the next 10 feet, believe that you can hold on, and be aware of any ledges below you in case you don’t. Moving through a hard section is often difficult and scary, but the experience – whether you “send’ the route or fall – makes you a better climber.” In addition to rock climbing, Cherie enjoys camping and hiking. She’s working her way through the “Colorado 14ers” (54 mountains in Colorado that are 14,000 plus feet), having completed 18 of them so far. “There’s something about climbing out of a tent, strapping on a backpack and spending the day hiking in the mountains that puts everything in perspective.”  And, as many of Cherie’s clients know, she carries her laptop in her pack…just in case you need her.

Cherie Blackburn main bio photoCherie Blackburn outside NP photo

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” Duke Ellington