Eric K. Englebardt
Eric Englebardt became a lawyer because he wanted to try cases, and having tried well-over 70 cases to jury verdicts, he feels most comfortable in a courtroom. However, with the advent of alternative dispute resolution, Eric found that more and more of his time was being spent at the mediation table rather than in the courtroom. He also felt that serving as a mediator fit his personality and experience well, and after a 40-hour course, Eric was certified as a mediator by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Now, with over 600 mediations under his belt, Eric feels like there’s little he hasn’t seen or can’t handle.
Whether it is as a litigator or a mediator, Eric’s ability to actively listen and then analyze a set of facts makes him an effective problem solver and negotiator. Eric believes that he owes his clients a duty to really look at the cost-benefits of any situation before deciding on a plan of action. That said, once the decision to push forward with litigation is made, Eric has 20 years of experience in handling all types of lawsuits from which to draw in determining the appropriate strategy. Eric was qualified twice by the South Carolina Judicial Merit Screening Commission for a position as a South Carolina Circuit Court Judge. He was nominated for the position in 2003 and in 2009. He has been a judge and small group leader at the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association annual trial academy since 2000. Eric also serves on the Upstate Committee of the South Carolina Bar’s Client Fee Dispute Board.
Eric has lived in Greenville since falling in love with the city as a law clerk in the late 1980s. He is fully involved in the community, having served as a congregational officer at his place of worship, and a youth coach in baseball, basketball and soccer. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Family Effect, an organization working to transform families and children struggling with alcohol or drugs. Eric is also an avid runner and, thanks to the influence of his law partner, Tim St.Clair, has become addicted to cycling, and as a result, he is thankful to live in one of the most cycling-friendly towns in America.
“I’ve long been a believer in that old expression that you ‘catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.’ In putting that to exercise in my practice, I’ve found that aggressively representing a party doesn’t necessitate being ruthless, just thorough. I also believe that point of view is effective in mediation, whether as a mediator or an attorney: issues need to be dealt with head on, but when trying to convince someone to change their position it is most effective to challenge them directly while treating them respectfully. Of course, sometimes you simply have to take the gloves off and fight, and the litigator in me never shies away from a good battle in court.”
- Defended a large-scale federal matter involving the alleged breach of duty of loyalty/breach of fiduciary duty and malfeasance between two national banks and employees, with alleged damages of well over $10 million. A settlement was reached on the eve of trial.
- Successfully tried to a defense verdict a federal case involving the alleged wrongful death of a grandmother in a crossing accident.
- Served as counsel on a large variety of cases tried to verdicts involving large and small accidents, including trucking cases in both North and South Carolina.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty/Breach of Contract
- Received a defense verdict in a case involving multiple causes of action arising out of a family dispute, including criminal claims brought against the parties.
- Tried a family business dispute case to verdict in a multi-million dollar case arising out of a probate dispute.
- Successfully tried several premises liability claims with significant injuries, including cases arising out of a fall in a construction project, a case against a well-known fast food restaurant for an injury in the children’s play area, and cases against various grocery stores for injuries on their premises.
- Served as first chair on cases involving product liability matters including textile machine injuries, lawnmower injuries, chemical inhalation injuries, and electrocution cases against a major power company. Eric has handled matters in both North and South Carolina.
- Served as counsel during the negotiation of zoning and property line dispute cases.
- Represents a construction materials manufacturer throughout South Carolina in collections matters.