Richard S. Dukes, Jr.

Richard S. Dukes, Jr.

  • 843-576-2810

Rich Dukes is an experienced trial lawyer, mediator and e-discovery veteran.

He has served on the national counsel panel for a well-known medical device manufacturer and has advised businesses and individuals in a range of products liability, commercial litigation, class actions, professional liability, and employment matters. Rich also regularly represents maritime interests, including vessel manufacturers, owners and operators of watercraft, and businesses with marine interests.For years Rich has been involved in advising clients regarding the retention, preservation, search, and production of electronic data and has embraced new technologies to make burdensome e-discovery more efficient and cost-effective.

Rich works tirelessly to assist individuals and businesses to resolve disputes in an efficient and cost effective way.Rich looks for creative paths to resolution, whether through early negotiation or aggressively defending against the claims.Rich is a leader in innovative use of technology to streamline information management in complex business litigation to facilitate effective collaboration among lawyers, offices, and law firms across the state and nation.Every case requires teamwork and collaboration among professionals to achieve the client’s desired results. Rich has a proven track record of leadership and a team approach to achieve those ends.

Rich is committed to his community and to making the Charleston area a better place for all.He remains involved in community, church, social, and service organizations.In addition to having worked as a college professor prior to becoming a lawyer, Rich has performed lateral access disk replacement surgery in a client’s lab environment.

Banking and Finance Litigation

  • As lead trial counsel, successfully obtained a jury verdict in favor of a national mortgage loan servicing company in a case involving alleged wrongful foreclosure, defamation, unfair trade practices, and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Successfully obtained directed verdict after four-day bench trial in favor of a title insurance company against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and bad faith arising from a property owner’s inability to use property valued at over $1 million as he desired.

Commercial and Business Litigation

  • Defended the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston against claims of sexual abuse by priests of the Diocese.  Obtained summary judgment in favor of the Diocese in approximately one dozen claims.
  • Represented a federally chartered financial institution in breach of fiduciary duty and negligence claims against its former officers arising from alleged mismanagement of the institution’s business affairs and failure to comply with the standard of care for corporate executives.
  • Represented health care provider in dispute with insurance carriers over reimbursement for services.  Successfully argued before the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on petitions to create MDLs.

Class Actions

  • Represented timeshare resort developers in numerous class action suits over sales practices and liability for failed timeshare development.  Successfully defeated class certification based upon lack of commonality.
  • Defeated class certification of a putative class of frustrated purchasers of memberships in a resort club.
  • Successfully represented an electric cooperative in a proposed bilateral class action litigation involving allegations of minority shareholder oppression brought by former members seeking to recoup over $100 million in capital contributions.
  • Successfully defended a class action professional liability claim against a law firm arising from a rogue lawyer’s involvement in a $300 million Ponzi scheme.

Maritime Law

  • Successfully represented jet ski and powerboat rental businesses in actions in limitation arising from serious personal injuries suffered by customers on navigable waterways.
  • Represented holder of a purchase money ship mortgage in a contested vessel arrest and foreclosure matter.
  • Defended the owner of an historic vessel against maritime liens and prosecuted counterclaims for negligent salvage.
  • Defended a vessel manufacturer in a products liability claim arising from an unexplained sinking of a vessel.


  • Served as national coordinating e-discovery counsel for a leading medical device manufacturer in cases ranging from government investigations to products liability actions.
  • Led a team of professionals in preservation, review and production of data using predictive coding and artificial intelligence to successfully cull more than 3 million discreet documents to approximately 150,000 files for review.

Products Liability 

  • Represented manufacturer of pain pump devices in multiple lawsuits by individuals who sustained injuries following shoulder surgery alleged related to prescription and administration of pain medications in the shoulder joint.
  • Defended a spinal device manufacturer in products cases arising from disk replacement surgical procedures.

Professional Liability

  • Defended law firms and lawyers to jury verdict in legal malpractice actions.
  • Defended hospitals, health care facilities, and clinics in medical malpractice and wrongful death claims.
  • Regularly defends insurance brokers and agents in cases involving alleged negligent failure to procure appropriate insurance.
  • Tulane Law School, J.D., 1998
  • University of South Carolina, History, 1993
  • University of Alabama, M.A. in History, 1989
  • Spring Hill College, B.A., 1987
  • Alabama State Bar, 1998
  • South Carolina Bar, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 2003

Professional or Industry Involvement

  • DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar – Vice - Chair Business Torts SLG 2009
  • American Bar Association – Lawyers Professional  Liability Section
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys
  • Charleston County Bar Association
  • Professional Liability Attorney Network

Community or Pro Bono Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston providing no-cost and low cost mediation to needy individuals in Charleston.
  • Rotary Club of Charleston, 2006 – present
  • Boy Scouts of America, Committee Chair Troop 59 2009 - 2018
  • Benchmark Local Litigation Star, Product and Professional Liability
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense, Products, 2013-2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating AV
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, elected 2017



Best Lawyers
In America
Litigation 2018

Product and Professional Liability

SC Super Lawyers
Personal Injury Defense
Products 2013-2018