Charleston Lawyer with Real-World Experience
Stephan Futeral has deep ties to the local community. For over 40 years, he’s lived and worked in the Lowcountry. He grew up in West Ashley, he went to high school and college in downtown Charleston, he worked on oyster boats on Shem Creek, and he’s lived in Mt. Pleasant for over 20 years. Chances are you’ll run into him on the beach while he walks his dogs with his wife Kelsey, or at a community event such as the Strawberry Festival at Boone Hall where he and his daughter enjoy the rides (and the strawberries) each season.
The greatest asset a lawyer can have is integrity. You don’t gain integrity by getting a law degree. Integrity only comes from being straightforward, dependable, and competent. Integrity is what judges respect, jurors appreciate, and our clients deserve.
He and his wife Kelsey are huge animal lovers. They have 3 registered pet therapy dogs that they take to visit the elderly, the disabled, and special-needs children. They also volunteer at the Charleston Animal Society and for Keeper of the Wild, an organization dedicated to the conservation, preservation, and rehabilitation of South Carolina’s wildlife.
Before becoming an attorney in Charleston, Stephan Futeral served in the United States Army from 1982 to 1985 and the United States Army National Guard from 1985 to 1987. While stationed in Augsburg, Germany with the 74th USFAD, he worked with strategic nuclear weapons and tactical satellite communications. Also, he was a member of the 440 Armor Unit in Fort Carson, Colorado. During his time as a soldier, he received commendations for participating in massive military exercises such as Return of Forces to Germany and Desert Chief III.
Former Judicial Law Clerk, Law School Professor & Author
In 1990, Stephan Futeral graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Business Administration. In 1993, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law. After law school, he was the judicial clerk for the Honorable C. Tolbert Goolsby, Jr. at the South Carolina Court of Appeals. In 2003, after many years of practicing law throughout South Carolina, he founded the law firm of Futeral & Nelson, LLC.
Stephan Futeral was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Charleston School of Law teaching about subjects such as legal writing and insurance law. He’s written articles for the South Carolina Lawyer magazine and the American Bar Association Magazine. Further, he published a legal annotation regarding the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act in South Carolina Jurisprudence. He’s written books for the public on family law, DUI defense, and gun laws in South Carolina. He also edited the “South Carolina Deposition Procedure Handbook” authored by his law partner Thomas Nelson and published by the South Carolina Bar Association. This book is used by attorneys throughout South Carolina to help them understand the process for properly conducting the depositions of witnesses in civil, probate, administrative, family court, and other types of cases. Finally, he frequently lectures to non-lawyers and attorneys on such topics as personal injury, family law, and criminal law.
Stephan with his therapy dog Eddie
Top-Rated Charleston Attorney
Martindale-Hubbell recognizes Stephan Futeral as an AV rated attorney, the highest rating available to any individual lawyer.
AVVO recognizes Stephan as “Superb” (10 out of 10) in the legal fields of divorce, DUI defense, criminal defense, and personal injury.
Stephan was granted membership to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers. This is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as criminal defense trial lawyers.
The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA) recognizes Stephan as one of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in South Carolina. NAFLA uses a thorough selection process to determine the top family law attorneys in each state.
Lastly, Stephan’s clients have endorsed him with 5 stars ★★★★★ on Google Reviews and elsewhere online.
Developer of a Leading iPad App for Lawyers
Based on his extensive knowledge of jury trials, Stephan designed and developed the leading jury selection app for lawyers on Apple’s App Store. Stephan’s iPad app, “JuryPad, ” was one of the Top 20 Legal Productivity Apps for 2013. JuryPad is regularly used by attorneys across the U.S. to help them in civil, criminal, and family court cases.
Stephan Futeral and staff put their heart and time into your case and go above and beyond to make sure that you get the results you want. They will be upfront with you good or bad and not just tell you what you want to hear. I would use them again and suggest to anyone needing his service.
I consulted with Mr. Futeral . . . He patiently listened to my concerns, and our discussion greatly clarified my thinking about the issues . . . I felt that my consultation with Mr. Futeral equipped me to choose from several alternative resolutions that all would have served my best interests. I am very pleased with the advice and insight I received from Mr. Futeral, and without question I will turn to him again the next time I need legal advice.
Mr. Futeral was very helpful in our matter especially when things got tense. He is cool, calm, and collected 110% of the time. I would highly recommend him for any litigation matter.
Like many people, I never thought I would need to hire an attorney. But, last fall, I found myself in a legal predicament, and turned to Mr. Futeral for help. Not only was he compassionate and understanding as I relayed the events leading me to contact him, but I felt like he was asking all of the right questions in a non-accusatory or judgmental manner. Mr. Futeral handled my case professionally, providing routine updates, and explaining the process of the particular court my case was assigned to. Never once did I doubt his expertise or advice. His courtroom demeanor was equally, if not more impressive than our client interactions. Mr. Futeral was a strong advocate for my case, and it ultimately ended with a result I was satisfied with. I would highly recommend Mr. Futeral to anyone needing legal services.
Stephan has a great knowledge base and great ability to adapt from issue to issue. His ability to digest complex issues and allows him to provide a service that gives the client the trusted advisor he/she needs.
I’ve used Mr. Futeral’s services several times over the years. I have always been completely satisfied with his firm. Stephan really cares about his clients and it shows in his work ethic. I have recommended him to many of my friends and family members. All have been pleased.
Stephan has represented me on more than one occasion. I have referred many friends and fellow business owners to Stephan who were also very satisfied with his professionalism. I have no hesitation to continue to refer his services.
Mr. Futeral has represented my interest in a case regarding city code violations. Mr. Futeral was very thorough with his knowledge of city law and impressed me with his research to exhaust all of my options. At all times, Mr. Futeral was professional and courteous with all parties involved and succinctly articulated his interpretation of the law and its application to my case. After discussions with our judge and opposing counsel, Mr. Futeral negotiated favorable terms. I would use his services again, and have recommend his services to friends and family.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Futeral for over 30 years. While that is a bonus, the level of expertise that I have witnessed and had the pleasure of experiencing is of the highest level! Mr. Futeral stands by his clients with ethical, moral, and most of all, CARING expertise and practices. Have recommended Mr. Futeral to many folks all of which were impressed and happy with his knowledge of the Law and his handling of their case.
My husband and I are very impressed with the professionalism and quality of service provided by Stephan Futeral and his staff. I would HIGHLY recommend this firm. I am a very pleased client!
University of South Carolina School of Law
Juris Doctorate – 1993
Honors & Activities:
- Moot Court Bar Order of the Barristers
- Student Editor ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal
- Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
College of Charleston Bachelor of Science Business Administration – 1990
Honors & Activities:
- Outstanding Student Award
- National Collegiate Business Merit Award
- All-American Scholarship Award
- Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society
- The Biggest Legal Mistakes Physicians Make and How to Avoid Them, The 10 Biggest Legal Mistakes Physicians Make After Filing for Divorce (Seak, Inc. 2005)
- Unfair Trade Practices Act, 28 S.C. Jurisprudence (West Group 1998)
- Public Impact: The Stumbling Block to Stating a Private Cause of Action Under the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act, South Carolina Lawyer Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1995
- Developing a Firm Website, ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section, Volume 16 No. 4, 1999
- Adjunct Professor of Law – Charleston School of Law
- Animal Law – An Emerging Legal Frontier – South Carolina Bar Assoc. 2014
- iPad Apps for Practicing Law – South Carolina Bar Assoc. 2013
- Technology to Win Cases & Streamline Your Practice – Charleston County Bar Assoc. 2013
- Tech Savvy Law Practice and Ethics of Cloud Computing – Dorchester County Bar Assoc. 2013
- Top Ten Things You Need to Know: Tort Law – South Carolina Bar, 2000
- Magistrate’s School, 1997
- Paralegal Certification – University of South Carolina, 1996 – 1998
- The Internet for Attorneys – Half Moon, LLC, 1996
- Personal Injury Practice for Paralegals -Clearwater Information Systems, Inc., 1995
- Computer Technology: Making the Right Choices for Your Law Office – South Carolina Bar, 1994
- South Carolina Bar Association
- Charleston County Bar Association
- U.S. District Court Bar, District of South Carolina
- U.S. Court of Appeals Bar, 4th Circuit
- Technology Committee, Charleston County Bar Association
- Professional Responsibility Committee, South Carolina Bar Association
- Lawyer Advertising Sub-Committee, South Carolina Bar Association
- Certified Civil Court Mediator
- Certified Family Court Mediator
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