William Applegate

With nearly twenty years of experience in the courtroom, William is a seasoned trial lawyer with a track record of success. He has successfully litigated complex cases involving toxic torts, electrocutions, police negligence, medical negligence, and premises liability , representing clients suffering from the most severe catastrophic injuries. Beyond having had numerous trial victories, he has also achieved two record breaking verdicts, been recognized by his peers as one of top litigators in the state, won numerous awards as a leader in the law, and has been consistently given Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ranking as an AV lawyer.

Beyond his experience and hard work, he is a passionate advocate for his clients who is defined by determination and perseverance. William understands that his clients, many of whom find themselves in desperate situations following serious trauma, such as the death of a loved one or experiencing life altering injuries, are relying on him and he takes this responsibility personally.

Proven Trial Success
In 2014, William and his team represented 28 year old paralyzed construction worker Hugo Hernandez against PEPCO (Potomac Energy and Power Company). After a two-week trial against PEPCO in Montgomery County, Maryland, the jury awarded Mr. Hernandez $35.9 million in damages in compensation for the overwhelming cost of Mr. Hernandez’s future medical care as a young, C4 paraplegic as well as for his pain and suffering and loss of income. This was the largest verdict in Montgomery County history and was one of the largest verdicts in American history for an undocumented worker.

In 2019, William represented an undocumented worker who was killed when electrocuted by a power line that was hidden by vegetation which Dominion Energy had failed to maintain and a jury returned a $21 million dollar verdict, the largest verdict in the history of Colleton County SC.

In 2021, William represented a Claflin College student who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of car crash caused by a road construction defect. After a two-week trial the jury returned a $13.1 Million dollar verdict against the road contractor Archer Western and the Department of Transportation, also awarding punitive damages against Archer Western. In all three of these cases, William refused offers of millions of dollars to ensure his clients were fully compensated by a jury.

William was born in Charleston, SC and with the exception of studying abroad to become fluent in Spanish, he has remained in SC his entire life. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston and 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 a deep commitment to South Carolina and is very involved in his community in Charleston. He serves on the board of the Historic Charleston Foundation, and actively supports numerous charitable organizations , including One80 Place, in their fight against homelessness, Communities in Schools, the Coastal Conservation League, and the Southern Environmental Law Center.

William is a regular speaker at various legal conferences, is a member of the American Bar Association and Charleston County Bar Association and is active member of the South Carolina Association for Justice. When not working, William and his wife, Lydia, are enjoying raising their two children in South Carolina.

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