Jeffrey L. Payne

Jeffrey L. Payne

Shareholder
  • 843-656-4432

Jeff Payne devotes his practice to business, construction and probate litigation, as well as, business counseling and transactional work.

Jeff is a no nonsense attorney who strives to achieve his client’s objectives. He prides himself on being responsive and getting things done. As the son of a small business owner, Jeff knows the importance of providing entrepreneurs and business owners “understandable” legal advice in an efficient cost effective manner. He earned his MBA and law degrees with the distinct purpose of helping businesses solve their problems.

Business Litigation: During his 27 year career, Jeff has handled a wide variety of matters which include: banking, business torts, contract disputes, construction, commercial collection, eminent domain, non-compete agreements, shareholder/member disputes and foreclosures. He has extensive litigation experience in unfair trade practice allegations, fraud, and disputes between the owners of businesses, including claims of oppression by minority owners. Jeff has particular expertise in disputes that concern business valuations or the valuation of a minority interest in a business.

Business Counseling and Transactions: Advising businesses as outside counsel is a significant part of Jeff's practice. He handles the day-to-day legal needs of numerous closely held companies. Jeff works closely with the firm’s employment attorneys and real estate attorneys. Jeff also assists entrepreneurs with creating new ventures, acquiring new businesses, and in selling their companies. Jeff's business litigation experience has proven to be a valuable and unique asset to his corporate business practice as it enables him to draft corporate agreements to avoid the gray areas that can cause expensive business litigation. 

Probate and Trust Litigation: Jeff prosecutes and defends numerous will contests, creditors' claims, elective share rights of surviving spouses, and actions concerning trusts and trustees. 

Banking

  • Served as lead counsel for a banking client in class action litigation involving over 2000 class members and over $8 million in alleged damages. Jeff guided his client to a successful conclusion of the litigation with minimal impact on the client’s business. 
  • Handled numerous matters concerning forged checks, wire fraud, ACH fraud, and identity theft.
  • Frequently counsels borrowers and lenders on foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, negotiated restructurings, workouts, and receiverships, and claim and delivery of personal property and large commercial collection matters. 
  • Handled numerous complex commercial collection actions involving over $1 million.
  • Regularly advises local banking clients on day to day issues concerning their operations.

Business Litigation and Counseling

  • Obtained a significant judgment for the minority shareholder of a corporation in Marion County, South Carolina against its majority shareholders for their violation of a buy-sell agreement.
  • Successfully prosecuted an action and obtained a judgment for a lender against a real estate appraiser in federal court for negligent misrepresentations contained in an appraisal report.
  • As co-counsel, defended a manufacturing client in a three-week trial against a competitor’s claims of unfair trade practices, conversion of trade secrets and civil conspiracy.
  • Successfully prosecuted numerous embezzlement cases involving employees. 
  • Obtained a significant verdict for a minority business partner in a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty case against a business partner who took a corporate opportunity and started new business.
  • Regularly advises shareholders, partners and members of limited liability companies on disputes concerning the value of their interests in their businesses.

Construction

  • Recovered a judgment for a contractor against an owner for amounts that were due under the construction contract, and successfully defended the counterclaims for alleged defective construction.
  • Successfully defended a contractor against an owner of a high-rise hotel for claims of negligence and breach of warranty.
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous mechanic's lien and payment and performance bond claims, including some in the state’s largest mechanic’s lien foreclosure action.

Estate and Trust Litigation

  • Defended bank trust departments and/or individual trustees against claims of breach of trust and other business torts.
  • Prosecuted a claim on behalf of children against the estate of their mother and stepfather for the right to disinter their mother’s body in order to allow them to perform an autopsy.
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous claims for undue influence and lack of capacity to sign a will, deed or contract.

Real Estate

  • Defended a landlord and obtained a directed verdict against the claims by the tenant who was seeking specific performance of an option to purchase real estate contained in lease agreement.
  • Defended a tenant in a lease dispute and obtained summary judgment in a matter in which the landlord sought over $1.3 million in damages.
  • Handled numerous matters for a statewide banking client, including foreclosures, commercial collections and repossessions.
  • Handled several eminent domain actions on behalf of convenience store operators and landowners.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Acted as counsel for an owner of 13 radio stations and assisted with the purchase and sale of these stations. 
  • Represented numerous clients in the purchase and sale of their businesses.
  • University of Georgia, J.D., 1990
  • University of Georgia, BBA, 1985
  • University of Texas (Austin), MBA, 1987

Professional or Industry Involvement

  • DRI – Commercial Litigation Committee and Business Torts Subcommittee

Community or Pro Bono Involvement

  • Board Member Florence County Progress 2015 to present
  • Board Member Florence Darlington Technical College Foundation 2018
  • Former Board Member House of Hope of the Pee Dee — Florence County Transitional Facility and Homeless Shelter 2014-2017
  • Central United Methodist Church – Chairman of Endowment Committee 2017-2018; Member of Pastor Parrish Committee 2013-2016
  • AV rated Martindale and Hubbell