So What Exactly…does George W. Speedy, Esquire do and what makes him our ace?

Good question! As mentioned in our last blog article, it is the intent of The Bullpen Blogger to give you a glimpse into the lives of the lawyers who comprise Team STACLAW. We can’t share everything…but we think it’s important for all clients, especially ours, to know a little bit about their lawyer, i.e. the person who may be handling one of the biggest legal matters ever to impact their lives. In the first of a four (4) part series detailing our “law dogs,” it is most appropriate to start at the top, with the man who brought us all together and is certainly our mentor, sounding board, and best damn law partner ever to Tanner, Atkinson and Cook. Without the S (Speedy), Team STAC would not exist – it’s that simple! You see, George hired each of us (smart move on his part we think!) out of either the Richland/Kershaw County Solicitor’s Office or the Lancaster/Chester/Fairfield County Solicitor’s Office. Admittedly, this article could be pages long. Due to time constraints and short attention spans, let’s focus on the highlights – well, that would be tough to do – there are many highlights! Maybe let’s focus on what makes George, well…George! In short, George goes by many names and wears many hats. Most clients simply call him “Speedy” (wish I had a cool last name like that to go by!). Some folks, on the other side of his cases (primarily domestic), have far more creative names! Around here, we typically just call him George, “Boss,” or “Door #1.” He answers to most anything and never raises a fuss! In answering the “so what does he do” part of the question it gets far more entertaining. In short, George is a father, grandfather, husband, Marine, lawyer, contractor, landlord, liquor store owner, bar owner, car wash owner, wedding venue owner, and just an all-around “good dude” and “jack of all trades.” Yes, you read that correctly – he has a plethora of “hats.” He stays active and MUST have a project of some sort going on at all times! These different “hats” that he wears are all important and best help to tell the story of what makes George, well…George! The Bullpen Blogger could delve into each “hat” or “profession,” and attempt to humor the reader with an exploration into each venture. Better just stick to law or we’d be here all day. Maybe a future blog article can explain the intricacies of why a small town, “country lawyer” with a larger than life personality and heart of gold would also want to own a liquor store and a wedding venue. Think that one through or just ask George, he’ll tell you – his stories are really good – trust us, we’ve heard most of them many times!

The Formative Years

Let’s just say, George ain’t from around these parts, but after living in Kershaw County for 40 plus years, George “belongs” and has adapted quite well to life in the south. He’s now a NASCAR loving, tractor riding, good ole’ boy who raises chickens, peacocks, and turkeys on his “40 acres” in Lugoff, South Carolina. George grew up in upstate New York in a small town called Limestone. He attended college at the State University of New York at Genesao, home of the fighting Knights, and now proudly serves on his alma mater’s board of directors. After college and just prior to the start of the Vietnam War, George enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, rising to rank of Sergeant.  He served in Vietnam, stationed primarily in the I-Corps Tactical Zone near the DMZ. For his bravery and service to our country, George was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with Contact V. Once a Marine, always a Marine, George describes his time in the Marine Corps simply as “the best thing that ever happened to me, but I was damn glad when it was over!” After service, George used the GI Bill to attend law school at the University of South Carolina. Why South Carolina you ask? Well, the short answer is because George’s family wanted to be south of the Mason-Dixon line! Weekends and off time from classes allowed George to make money and support his family by painting houses and tending bar at the Fort Jackson Officer’s Club. While working there, he met the man who would bring him to Kershaw County, Hezekiah Wyndol Carroll Furman a.k.a. H.W.C. Furman or Mr. Furman for short. Mr. Furman was a “cool cat” in his day and was a partner in the law firm that would later morph into STACLAW. If still alive, Mr. Furman would have turned 96 on January 13th of this year. Mr. Furman liked George and persuaded him to move his wife and children to Camden upon graduation from law school. The rest, as they say, is history!

The Law Gig

George is a trial lawyer. There are many lawyers who make this claim but George walks the walk. If he can’t be on a tractor or parking cars at his wedding venue, Rock Bottom Pond, he is happiest in a courtroom. Any courtroom will do, he could care less which one. As long as he’s in the arena, taking care of his clients and mixing it up with other lawyers, judges, bailiffs, and courtroom personnel he’ll be smilin’ and story-tellin’! Never rattled but always charismatic and certainly one of, if not the best-dressed in every court room he enters, George loves the thrill of the fight and is truly fun to watch. He will pick a jury on a simple traffic ticket or a complex personal injury case – doesn’t matter – he’s “all-in.” Energy, compassion and “loyalty to the cause” best describe what you’ll see when he’s in action. George’s practice focuses primarily on the “Big 3” as many refer to it – personal injury, criminal and domestic. By-and-large, the personal injury cases include representing folks hurt in automobile wrecks, a place of business, on the job or elsewhere. The injuries can range from relatively minor to catastrophic. He also loves criminal law and is known in many circles as “the man” when it comes to DUI defense. He is certainly sought after and known by many as “the one to get” if you’re having issues on the home front and are in need of a divorce. The cool part of all this is that George is genuinely passionate about his profession and is not afraid to fight it out or work to reach an amicable compromise. The Bullpen Blogger once asked our fearless leader what made him fearless and undeterred by most every difficult situation or circumstance – legal or otherwise. The answer was simple, memorable and went something like this: “Once you’ve taken fire (think Vietnam) everything else is pretty simple and not worth getting worked up over.” That’s George…and that’s why he’s our Ace!

So What Exactly…is a nom de plume?

So What Exactly…is a nom de plume and what’s the story behind the STACLAW nom de plume, “The Bullpen Blogger”? Good question! For the record, none of us knew what a nom de plume was prior to writing this article and doing a little research on “pen names” (we’re pretty smart, but not very well versed in French phraseology). In short, a nom de plume is a fancy French phrase for a pen name. So what’s a pen name? Simply put, a pen name (nom de plume) is kind of like an alias! We all know what an alias is. In writing circles, a pen name is just a made-up name used by the writer(s) instead of using his or her real name. Perhaps the best example of a famous pen name is that of author Mark Twain. Many people assume Mark Twain’s real name is Mark Twain when in fact it is actually Samuel Langhorne Clemens! 

Now that we got all that out of the way, the real question is why does STACLAW have a pen name and what’s the story behind the pen name we selected? In short, our pen name “The Bullpen Blogger” originated somewhat out of want, somewhat out of a desire for anonymity but mainly out of a love for baseball and the “team” dynamic we at STACLAW share with America’s favorite pastime! 

So what’s a bullpen?

For all this to make any sense, it is important to first define what exactly a “bullpen” is when used in a baseball context. In baseball, the bullpen is the area on the outskirts of the field, usually in foul territory or behind an outfield wall, where the pitchers warm up, hang out, and solve all the world’s problems! It also refers to the stable of pitchers any one organization has on its roster. Baseball pitchers are typically a close-knit group and they enjoy having their own designated area in which to hone their craft and prepare for the bright lights and the opportunity for greatness when their name is called! At STACLAW, we currently have two “bullpens” – one in Camden, South Carolina and one in Lancaster, South Carolina. Our bullpen of lawyers includes George W. Speedy, Carrie H. Tanner, Zack O. Atkinson and Dexter Lee “Trey” Cook, III.  Put all those together, plus eight (8) wonderful support staff, you got Team STACLAW!

So why do we want a pen name?

Well, it’s certainly not necessary to have a pen name as a blogger but kind of cool nonetheless. Our “blogging experts” advised that both writer and reader oftentimes enjoy the “guess who done it” aspect of a good blog. Secondly, we have at least 4 writers, a.k.a. lawyers “in the bullpen” at all times – ready, willing and able to commit their thoughts, knowledge and legal insight to paper for all to enjoy (we hope)! In choosing “The Bullpen Blogger” as our “signature,” we wanted to label all of us, not one individual, with a catchy and hopefully clever name that fit our mindset, personalities, and love for baseball! We labored on a name and put it to a vote – “The Bullpen Blogger” was unanimous – a grand slam so to speak! 

So why anonymity?

Anonymity is just a fancy word that basically means to be or remain unknown. We like that. None of our lawyers seek or really want the limelight; we just want to get the job done, helping each other out in way we can. If we help each other, it better helps our client. Pretty simple. Also, we want these articles to be both thought provoking, informative and maybe a little witty. Sometimes the articles may be a little controversial (probably not) but we believe our writers can be more “free flowing” if his or her name is not directly “on the article.” It’s not that we want to hide or shy away from putting our names on each article; rather it’s the “here’s what we all have to say” mentality without any one person getting all the credit. Our “bullpen” speaks for one another, supports one another and sometimes even kicks ass for one another! We’re a team and we employ a teamwork mentality in everything we do at Team STACLAW.  

So why baseball?

So what exactly is behind STACLAW’s love for baseball? It’s actually pretty simple but also kind of cool. It’s no secret that our four (4) lawyers and eight (8) support staff at STACLAW love baseball (and all sports for that matter)! Two of our lawyers have sons who are pretty good little ball players and one of our lawyers has a young son not quite old enough to play and another son on the way – both destined to “toss it around the horn.” Our senior partner has three grown boys and a litany of grandchildren who ball! Let’s not even get into our staff. Yes, most all of them have children. Yes, we support all their little leagues, rec leagues, travel ball leagues, whatever you want to call it leagues etc., etc. It’s the right thing to do and it’s fun! Plus, we always get some pretty cool swag out of the deal to wear when not working our day job! 

As just one example of our support, earlier this year, when the applications came in to sponsor Kershaw County Little League Baseball we sponsored not one, not two, not three, but four baseball teams. We did just about the same thing in Lancaster and also decided to sponsor an up and coming race car driver (go #16!) – different story for another blog post maybe! This is all written not to brag, but simply to emphasize our love not only for baseball and other sports but more importantly our love and commitment to helping, serving and supporting our community. 

But really, and at the risk of sounding a little sappy, we are a team at STACLAW and enjoy a team concept in the practice of law. Every great team has a phenomenal leader at the top and a hell of an awesome support staff. Check the boxes – we got all that! Our “bullpen” is damn strong. Almost daily, as a group, we bounce ideas off one another, discuss case strategy, and sometimes even “pinch hit” for one another if the need arises. We have fun practicing law and have fun practicing law with one another. We actually all get along and like each other! Many law firms can’t say that. We make decisions together, eat lunch together, go on road trips together, go to court together and you guessed it – even watch a little baseball together when time allows. 

At STACLAW, we want to show you how strong our team really is and how we can help you, a friend or a loved one. Call us, email us, or stop by to see us. Your problem may be small, medium, large or extra-large – doesn’t matter, we don’t care the size. Your matter can be personal injury related, automobile accident related, workers compensation related, criminal related, traffic offense related, domestic related, child custody related, think of something else related – our team of lawyers and staff will do everything in our power to “knock it out of the park!”  So, that should cover just about all things baseball, bullpens, pen names and the like!

Stay tuned…in upcoming articles, The Bullpen Blogger plans to give you a little snapshot of “who we got” in our bullpen. Not necessarily any stats or braggadocios accolades but simply who we are, what we do, and how we can best help you!

– The Bullpen Blogger

So What Exactly…

“So what exactly is a blog and how do you know what to blog about?”

This is the question I raised to a friend a few weeks ago when my partners and I were contemplating embarking on this newfound blogging adventure. Obviously, we know what blogs are and have many friends who are very good at “blogging” but I’ve personally never had a big interest in taking the time to put thoughts on paper for all the world to see. In answering my question, my friend told me that the best bloggers typically write about things they: 1) love 2) know about and 3) are interested in. Pretty simple I guess. I’ve always loved to write and have always dreamed of sharing the same profession as my favorite legal fiction author, John Grisham. Mr. Grisham routinely tells people he is an author and a little league baseball coach. It simply can’t get much better than that!

So what to write about?

This is obviously the penultimate question. Over the last several weeks, as our firm’s guinea pig blogger, I’ve probably asked myself this question a few hundred times. As my mind drifts and wanders, thinking of all sorts of topics, I find myself returning to the three things my friend advised that all the good ones have in common: 1) love 2) know about and 3) interested in. So that’s where I’ll start. My hope is that I will: 1) enjoy blogging 2) have cool content that you enjoy reading about and 3) have enough time to devote to this newfound adventure! Hopefully my law partners will take an interest in this too and from time to time share some neat stuff for all the world to see! Here goes nothing!!!

Of all the topics my mind has created for me to consider writing about, the two out of the gate that “fit the bill” so to speak are the love and promotion of this law firm and the importance of the reader of our blog to know and understand what it is we do at STACLAW. Earlier in the week I asked our office manager a question that I was pretty sure, but not real sure, I had the answer to. I wanted to know when was it that our law firm set sail on our maiden voyage and “launched” our initial, brand new, never before seen website. After some quick research, her answer was: “2008, started working on it in 07.” I cannot swear to this and never would, but I am pretty sure we were the first or at least one of the first law firms in Kershaw County or Lancaster County to have a website. In 2008 this was a pretty forward-thinking notion but we wanted to try and be ahead of the curve. The digital age of electronics and hand-held devices was upon us and becoming more and more prevalent by the day, month, year – coming at us like a freight train. Everyone was on track to get a smart phone that held a world of information literally in the palm of your hand! Luckily our senior partner and the backbone of our existence in the successful practice of law was “all-in” on a website. We all knew that a website was a needed means of advertisement, communication and information but we were, and still are, in full agreement that a website is by no means the most important medium in this regard. As was then, and as is now, we are of the mindset that word of mouth is still king and will always be. It’s pretty simple – the goal is always to do exceptional work, yielding exceptional results. If you do a great job for someone they will tell at least ten people. If you do bad work, they will tell twenty – often many more. Nevertheless, we needed to reach and inform more people so we “launched” in 2008 and a website was out there for all the world to see. We were so proud of it then – it worked, it looked pretty cool, it gave great information, and we were first (or close to first) in leaping into the digital age of electronic communication. That was then – this is now!

Earlier this year we decided to “up the ante” and invest in a newer, cleaner, bolder, and more informative website while also entering the “oh so cool” modems of communication – Facebook and Twitter. This had been considered for some time but we were all of the mindset that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Understand, NONE and I emphasize none of my law partners and certainly not me are tech friendly. None, zero, zilch! We’re lawyers – not tech folks. We are learning how all this works and rely on a little help from our friends in getting our message out there. We invite you to keep checking in with us, sharing our posts and clicking on our website for tons of cool information. I think we may even have some promotional giveaways around the holidays. With the simplicity of a like, click or share you can be eligible to win some pretty cool swag! We think you’ll enjoy what we’re doing here at STACLAW and how we’re doing it but we will never lose sight of the king of communication and advertisement – good ole word of mouth!

So what exactly is the word of mouth message we hope you know but can’t emphasize enough?

Again, it’s simple. We want you to call us first! Doesn’t matter the issue – call us first. We will point you in the right direction even if we can’t help. We are a rapidly growing firm with offices in Camden and Lancaster. We know who to call with most any question, problem or issue you may have. We do not want a client with one issue, who then has another issue to say, “we didn’t know y’all did that.” This is frustrating, but 99% of the time is unintentionally done by the client. It all goes back to getting it out there, what it is we do and how we can best help. We believe it is crucial to do this in a professional manner without crazy commercials that tend to paint lawyers in a not so glamorous light. Perhaps the best example of “what we do” is a client who may have a criminal or domestic issue who in turn is injured in an automobile accident, trips or falls at a place of business, gets hurt at work or even has a loved one tragically killed through no fault of their own. This is what we do! We can help in each of these situations and have been doing so for years and years and years. Some folks may even say “so what exactly is personal injury law?” “We know y’all do it, and we’ll always come to you, but what is it exactly?” Simply put, it is all the examples outlined above plus about a hundred more. This is part of our message that we want for you, us and all the world to promote. We are proud of the fact that we truly get to help people. People injured, people hurt, people in trouble, people going through a divorce, people with real problems who need answers. We get answers and solve problems but can only help if you give us a call. Check us out on the web, like and join our Facebook and Twitter feeds – but most importantly call us first if you have a problem – small, medium, large or extra-large. We’re on it!