Luther J. Battiste, III, Founding Shareholder
Luther J. Battiste, III is a founding shareholder of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Emory University Law School.
In 1983, Luther entered the political arena and made history by becoming one of the first two African-Americans elected to Columbia City Council since Reconstruction. He served fifteen years as a member of the Columbia City Council including two terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. In 1998, the City of Columbia dedicated to Luther J. Battiste, III the Monument and Plaza in honor of his dedicated service as a public servant.
Luther has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America, and Super Lawyers and also has been awarded the “AV” highest rating for ethics and legal ability by the Martindale-Hubbell national rating service. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Association of Barristers. Membership is by invitation only.
Luther has served as president of the Columbia Lawyers Association, the Richland County Bar, Association, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, and The Southeastern Region of the American Board of Trial Advocates (SEABOTA).
He is also a member of the John Belton O’Neil Inn of Court, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, the National Bar Association, the South Carolina Association for Justice, Injured Workers Advocates, and The American Trial Lawyers Association. In 2017, Luther was elected National Vice President of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
He served two terms as Commissioner of the Richland-Lexington Airport Commission which operates the Columbia Airport and as Chairman for two years. In 1999, Luther Battiste received the coveted Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Carolina. In 1999, he was selected to the South Carolina Black Hall Fame and for inclusion in the Bell South African American Calendar for 2004. In 2007, the Richland County Bar Association awarded him the John W. Williams Award, its highest honor. In 2008, he was selected by Historic Columbia Foundation as one of the 30 Most Significant African-Americans in Richland County.
Luther presently serves on the boards of South State Bank, the National Center for State Courts and the executive committee and board of directors of American Board of Trial Advocates. He is the Chairman of University Associates, a group of business, professional and community leaders who support the University of South Carolina
His previous community service includes serving on the boards of Columbia College and as President of the Board of the Columbia Museum of Art and as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Capital City Club.
Luther is married to Judy M. Battiste, and they have two children, Justin and Jade.