We think you have a right to live your life to the fullest potential. If something happens to get in the way of that, we're there. We are driven and determined in pursuit of a remedy for your loss. When it comes to your life, there's simply no other way we can be.


David Yarborough

Charleston, South Carolina native David Yarborough has more than 15 years of experience successfully representing severely injured people in complex personal injury, wrongful death and products liability actions.

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His practice today focuses only on representing people who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries or death. He has obtained significant recoveries in the form of verdicts and settlements for individuals in many different types of cases, including bad faith against insurance companies; products liability involving SUV and Van rollovers, defective seatbelts and industrial machine injuries; toxic chemical spills by railroad companies; medical and hospital negligence; dental negligence; trucking accidents; nursing home negligence and abuse; negligence at daycare centers; air and water borne bacteria exposure causing Legionnaire's Disease; dram shop negligence by bars and restaurants for violating alcohol liability laws; harm caused by individuals while DUI; failure to pay wages and commissions; and negligence by retail stores, apartment complexes, hotels, developers and construction contractors for jobsite, balcony collapse and premises injuries.

Prior to founding Yarborough Applegate, David was a Partner at another Charleston-based law firm where he practiced for 9 years handling cases for both Plaintiffs and Defendants. Early in his career, David had the opportunity to work as a defense trial lawyer in cases involving products liability, construction defects, employment, and personal injury issues. He represented several companies routinely sued in the asbestos litigation and was part of a national trial team for these clients, involving him in numerous trials across the U.S. His experience of having represented both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts provides him a varied perspective in discovery strategy, negotiations, and trial.

David has received the highest available peer review rating (AV) through Martindale-Hubbell and has been rated Preeminent for Legal Ability and for Ethical Standards by his peers. Every year since 2012, David has been named by his peers as a "South Carolina Super Lawyer," placing him in a listing of the top five percent of lawyers in the state who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Additionally, David was nominated and chosen to serve on the South Carolina Bar's Judicial Qualification Committee which screens candidates for judicial vacancies. He is a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, signifying his accomplishment of numerous multi-million dollar recoveries for his clients. He is also a member of the South Carolina Association of Justice and the American Association for Justice. David and his law firm place a large emphasis on giving back to the local community both by doing free legal work and through generous financial and service contributions to local charities each year.

William Applegate

William is a Charleston, South Carolina native with strong ties to the local and state-wide community. Having a broad range of legal experience, he has successfully litigated cases from securities fraud to wrongful death.

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William is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. As a law student, he received the Public Interest Law Society Grant to work in Washington, D.C., served as vice-president of the Pro Bono Board, and was a student member of the John Belton O'Neal Inn of Court. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable James R. Barber, III, of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of South Carolina, before starting private practice with Motley Rice, one of the largest plaintiff's firms in the country.

William has represented individuals and companies as plaintiffs throughout South Carolina and the U.S. and has achieved significant recoveries on their behalf. He has experience in a variety of different legal areas and has litigated cases covering a broad spectrum, ranging from Federal Employer's Liability Act relating to occupational disease and catastrophic injuries; Jones Act personal injury; Oil Pollution Act cases relating to oil spills from container ships and oil refineries; products liability relating to unsafe products and unsafe drugs; toxic spills from railroad companies; consumer fraud class actions; commercial litigation, as well as securities fraud, derivative, deal, and misrepresentation cases under the Securities and Exchange Act.

While the majority of William's practice has focused on representing plaintiffs and prosecuting cases, he has been retained as settlement counsel to represent defendants in the consumer class action arena. In addition, he has represented multiple individual defendants in criminal matters.

During William's tenure at Motley Rice, he became a part of Motley Rice's Securities and Consumer Fraud practice group where he focused on litigating securities derivative and shareholder cases. He represented public pension funds and other institutional investors in litigation matters involving shareholder value, legal aspects of fiduciary responsibilities of corporate executives, and mergers and acquisitions such as deal cases. He was involved with In re Dell, Inc., Sec. Litig., No. A-06-CA726-SS (W.D. Tex.); In re Witness Systems Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 1:06-CV-1894 (N.D. Ga.); Baker v. MBNA Corp., No. 05-272 (D. Del.); and South Ferry LP #2 v. Killinger, No. C04-1599C (W.D. Wash.).

As a former small business owner, William gained firsthand experience with the issues that face small businesses and individuals in the Charleston area. William has spoken at various legal conferences regarding environmental torts and securities litigation. He is a member of the American Bar Association and Charleston County Bar Association, and serves as the Environmental Law Section Chair and on the Legislative Steering Committee for the South Carolina Association for Justice. He is fluent in Spanish and is an active participant in various local community organizations. William and his wife Lydia live in Charleston with their two young children.

Lydia Applegate

Lydia has over ten years of experience litigating complex commercial disputes and personal injury matters in South Carolina's state and federal courts.

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Prior to joining Yarborough Applegate, Lydia was a shareholder in one of South Carolina's largest law firms, where her practice consisted primarily of commercial litigation, including class action litigation involving allegations of unfair pricing and unjust enrichment, commercial lease disputes and general commercial disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair trade practices. In addition, Lydia's practice included a significant amount of admiralty and appellate work.

Lydia is a cum laude graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennesee and the University of South Carolina School of Law. After graduating from law school, for two years, Lydia served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Jean Toal on the South Carolina Supreme Court. During her tenure as a law clerk, Lydia also worked as a legal writing instructor at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Lydia is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Communities in Schools as well as on the Supreme Court's Character and Fitness Committee. Lydia is also an active member of the James L. Petigru Inn of Court and is a member of the Charleston County and South Carolina Bar Associations.

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Douglas E. Jennings

Douglas has helped clients achieve successful results in a number of important cases while at Yarborough Applegate.

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Douglas grew up in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina in the city of Bennettsville. After graduating with honors and receiving a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University, Douglas attended law school at the Charleston School of Law.

While a law student, Douglas served as Vice-President of the Student Trial Lawyers Organization and gained a wide range of legal experiences. He worked for the First Circuit Solicitor's Office where he was able to gain valuable experience in both Family Court and General Sessions Court. While at the Solicitor's Office, he worked on a death penalty case, assisted in and observed many jury trials, and worked diligently with the Department of Juvenile Justice to find alternative placement for troublesome juveniles.

Prior to joining Yarborough Applegate, Douglas worked with his father at the Douglas Jennings Law Firm, LLC in Bennettsville, SC. Working in a small firm environment with his father allowed him to gain a broad range of legal experience in the areas of: parole cases, dram shop (bar and alcohol) liability, insurance and bad faith litigation, motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, as well as many serious criminal offenses including murder and manslaughter.

During this time, Douglas worked on numerous civil litigation cases that were decided by a jury, one of which was a week-long trial in his hometown of Bennettsville, SC where the jury reached an award in favor of the Plaintiff, awarding actual and punitive damages totalling $10.6 million. Just before the verdict was reached, however, the parties reached a confidential settlement which has been reported to be the largest award of civil damages in any case in Marlboro County history.

While at Yarborough Applegate, Douglas has helped clients achieve successful results in dog bite cases, bad faith litigation, motor vehicle accidents, products liability (bad drug) cases, wrongful death lawsuits, medical malpractice, commercial/business litigation, DUI, and ATV rollover cases. He enjoys being based out of Mt. Pleasant but still maintains strong ties to his local community where he currently serves as co-counsel in many cases vigorously representing individuals in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina in addition to representing a diverse group of South Carolinians in venues throughout the state.

Prior to attending law school, Douglas worked for Senator Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill and with South Carolina's largest full-service marketing/advertising firm, Erwin-Penland, Inc. in Greenville. Douglas is a member of the South Carolina Association for Justice, formerly known as South Carolina Trial Lawyers, and the Charleston County Bar Association.

David Lail

David Lail is a trial lawyer committed to representing those harmed by the actions of others. In addition to helping the injured and their families, David represents victims of bad faith insurance practices, landowners in condemnation actions, and plaintiffs in business litigation.

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Lail's practice focuses on helping people that have experienced a life-changing event or crisis and found themselves with a real fight on their hands - a fight that many times involves powerful and connected interests on the other side. As a plaintiffs' lawyer, Lail has litigated against companies and interests such as Wal-Mart, Bankers Life, US Airways, CVS, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), and various other car manufacturers, insurance companies, governmental entities, and school districts. Regardless of who is on the other side, his approach remains the same - build the strongest case possible for trial and let the results speak for themselves.

For example, Yarborough, Applegate, and Lail tried a case representing a 28 year old undocumented immigrant construction worker who was electrocuted at a PEPCO facility which caused him to fall 8 feet from scaffolding and suffer a high spinal cord injury. The Maryland jury returned a $35.9 million verdict for the young man who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down. Post-trial, the verdict was reduced to $21.7 million due to Maryland's $770,000 statutory cap on non-economic damages. Hugo Hernandez Palomino v. Potomac Electric Power Company was reported as one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2014 by the National Law Journal and is believed to be the largest jury verdict for an undocumented worker in United States history.

In 2013, Applegate and Lail tried a case representing a landowner whose commercial property was impacted by two road-widening projects in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The Town of Mt. Pleasant initially offered their client $700 as "just compensation" for the condemned land - the offer was rejected and litigation proceeded. During discovery in the condemnation case with the Town, Lail and Applegate learned of the County of Charleston's involvement in the road projects which prompted them to file an inverse condemnation lawsuit against the County. The two cases were consolidated for trial and a Charleston jury returned a verdict totaling nearly $500,000 in favor of the landowner - a far cry from the initial $700 offer.

David has learned that individuals who have been injured or harmed often feel powerless and faced with problems that seem insurmountable. In response, he works to solve those problems and provide the counsel needed to help his clients get their lives back on track with the remedy they deserve. David has recovered significant compensation for clients in a variety of cases including: bad faith insurance practices, product defects, child abuse at school, motor vehicle collisions caused by drunk drivers, nursing home negligence and abuse, dog bites, and negligence by retail stores, hotels, homeowners, and school districts for premises injuries, among others. In addition to his personal injury practice, David handles cases for plaintiffs in business disputes in both state and federal court.

David is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and the District of Columbia and is a member of the American Association for Justice and the South Carolina Association for Justice.

A Kentucky native, David received a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Kentucky in 2001 and then moved to Charleston in 2006 after a career in marketing with a Fortune 500 company. Next, David received an M.B.A. from The Citadel and a J.D., cum laude, from the Charleston School of Law where he was an Associate Articles Editor of the Charleston Law Review, a member of the Charleston School of Law Moot Court Board, and a Teaching Fellow in the Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing Department. During his legal study, David received CALI Awards for the highest law school grade in: Torts, Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing I & II, and Pleadings & Practice.

David lives in Charleston with his wife, Lauren, and their two young children, Evie and Hugh.

Laura Butler Peirano

Charleston, South Carolina native Laura Butler Peirano has many years of experience in the legal field.

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Laura is the office manager and provides administrative support for Yarborough Applegate and assists with every aspect of the firm's cases. Laura opened the firm with David and William in January 2010 and previously was the senior legal secretary for a prominent law office in downtown Charleston, where her primary focus was on asbestos litigation and insurance defense.

Laura has been involved with many types of cases, including catastrophic injury, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, construction defect, medical/dental malpractice, product liability, contract dispute, foreclosure, negligence, toxic tort, class action, and criminal defense.

Her professional responsibilities include opening and maintaining files, providing support and information to our clients, preparing and managing documents, managing accounts receivable/payable, and overseeing the daily office operations.

Laura graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice and from the Citadel with a Master's Degree in Psychology-Clinical Counseling. In her spare time, Laura enjoys volunteering, spending time with her family, and a variety of outdoor activities.

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Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson is a seasoned paralegal with more than 10 years of experience assisting clients who have suffered severe personal injury, medical and pharmacy errors, and wrongful death of a loved one.

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Amy combines attention to detail and efficiency with compassion for every client's situation. She is knowledgeable about the cases and provides essential support in preparing the cases for mediation and trial. Amy has earned national recognition for her approach to reviewing medical records for litigation purposes, and has presented over twenty times to national audiences on this and other law-related topics. She has mentored many local paralegals and young associate attorneys, and also served as a preceptor for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell's paralegal program. She is a past-President of the Charleston Association of Legal Assistants, past-President of the South Carolina Alliance of Paralegal Associations, and currently serves as the National Association of Legal Assistants liaison for the Charleston area. At Yarborough Applegate, we rely on Amy for her judgment and analytical abilities as well as her ability to interact with clients, attorneys, and the court staff.

Amy earned her Bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Before joining Yarborough Applegate, Amy worked as a claims adjuster for Nationwide Insurance and then as a paralegal for another prominent Charleston attorney also in the arena of complex litigation. She has extensive experience in medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, business litigation, and products liability cases. Amy works hard to obtain good results for our clients and she truly enjoys working in the paralegal field. It is this type of dedication and commitment that she will bring to your case.

Amy and her husband Jeff live in West Ashley and have three children - Callie, Max, and Cody.

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Michelle Helscher

Michelle Helscher has worked with hundreds of individuals and families and assisted in multiple successful jury trials as a premier trial paralegal.

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Michelle has acted as lead trial paralegal in catastrophic injury trials in South Carolina, New Jersey, and Mississippi in cases involving complex issues including lifelong paralysis, traumatic brain injury and the need for lifelong medical care. She also was the lead paralegal in a successful year-long arbitration in a North Carolina construction defect case in which she was responsible for managing thousands of documents as exhibits. Michelle's dedication to assisting trial attorneys in reaching the best possible outcome for her clients has been a major asset in reaching the verdicts in her cases.

Michelle is known for her ability to empathize with her clients and she always keeps the client's best interests in mind while assisting in a case. Through her experience and dedication, Michelle has been an asset in getting injured individual's compensated as well as obtaining peace of mind in numerous catastrophic injury cases.

Michelle obtained her Bachelor's degree from East Carolina University. Prior to joining Yarborough Applegate, Michelle was the head Plaintiff's paralegal at another prominent Charleston law firm. Michelle is extremely experienced in Plaintiff's litigation, this experience includes, catastrophic personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death and traumatic brain injury. While Michelle enjoys the litigation process, she thrives on providing our clients with happier lives.

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