Luther Battiste


Johnson Toal Battiste, PA

Firm Website






Luther J. Battiste, III is the managing shareholder of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A. and has established himself as a tenacious and respected trial lawyer. He is noted for his vigorous cross examinations and persuasive closing arguments on behalf of his clients. Luther, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers. He has received the highest rating for ability and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell, a National legal rating service. He specializes in complex civil litigation, workers’ compensation, motor vehicle wrecks, medical malpractice and administrative law.
Noted as an exceptional trial lawyer, Luther has been recognized for his skill and commitment to the field through a number of appointments and leaderships roles in local, state and national organizations. Luther is past president of the Columbia Lawyer’s Association and the first African-American president of the Richland County Bar Association and the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association. He serves on the National board of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a prestigious invitation only organization of the nation’s leading trial lawyers. Luther presently serves as vice-president of the Southeastern Region of ABOTA (SEABOTA), which includes chapters in ten states and will become president in 2010. He serves by appointment as an administrative law judge.
In 1983, Luther entered the political arena and made history by becoming one of the first two African-Americans elected to Columbia City Council. He served for fifteen years including two terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. He also served as chairperson of the Richland –Lexington County Airport Commission, which operates the Columbia Airport.
Known for his strong commitment to community service, Luther has served on the board of directors and executive committee of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Trustees of Columbia College, and the advisory councils of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbia Junior College and the University of South Carolina. In 1998, the city of Columbia dedicated the Luther J. Battiste, III Monument and Plaza in honor of his dedicated service as a public servant.
Luther attends St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He is married to Judy Mitchell Battiste and they have two children, Justin Foster and Jade Nicole.


• American Board of Trial Advocates
• American Inns of Court
• American Association for Justice
• National Bar Association
• Southern Trial Lawyers Association
• Richland County Bar Association
• Columbia Lawyers Association
• South Carolina Association for Justice
• The Academy of Trial Advocacy
• Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference


• American Board of Trial Advocates, Board Member
• Vice President, Southeastern Region American Board of Trial Advocates
• Chairman of Board, Capital City Club
• Member, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
• Member, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
• Member, NAACP


• Super Lawyers
• The Best Lawyers in America
• 30 Most Significant African Americans In Richland County, Historic Columbia Foundation, 2008
• John H. Williams Award, Richland County Bar Association, 2007
• Bell South African-American Calendar Honoree, 2004
• South Carolina Black Hall of Fame Honoree
• Walker Solomon Award, Columbia Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, 2003
• Vision Magazine Achievers Award, 2001
• University of South Carolina Distinguished Alumni Award, 1999
• Luther Battiste Monument and Plaza Dedication, 1998
• University of South Carolina Black Alumni of the Year Award, 1986


• Complex Civil Litigation
¬ï Workers’ Compensation
• Motor Vehicle Wrecks
• Medical Malpractice
• Administrative Law


• South Carolina
• U. S. Court of Appeals, Third District
• U. S. District Court, District of South Carolina
• U. S. Supreme Court


• University of South Carolina
B. A., International Studies, 1971
• Emory University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1974