COLUMBIA (July 15, 2019) – Columbia partner J. Hagood Tighe and associate Sheila Willis have been elected to leadership positions with the South Carolina Bar. Hagood will serve as secretary on the Board of Governors for the 2019-2020 term and Sheila has been elected president of the Young Lawyers Division. With over 16,000 members, the South Carolina Bar is the state's largest legal organization dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.
At Fisher Phillips, Hagood focuses exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, representing management in traditional labor matters and employment litigation. He is a member of the firm's class and collective action practice group. In recent years, Hagood has handled over 40 class and collective actions throughout the country, many of which involve wage and hour issues. He also has extensive experience defending single plaintiff lawsuits alleging wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
While he maintains an active litigation practice, Hagood also focuses on providing practical and proactive advice designed to minimize the risk of litigation. This takes many forms including advising on handbooks, policies, employment agreements, investigations, layoffs and terminations.
Hagood has been a member of the South Carolina Bar for over twenty years. He has previously served as chair of the House of Delegates, chair of the South Carolina Bar Conventions Committee and chair of the Bar's Employment and Labor Law Section. This year, Hagood was named a "Client Service All-Star" by BTI Consulting and an employment Law--Management Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America. He is regularly recognized by Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America as a leading labor and employment lawyer in the country.
At Fisher Phillips, Sheila frequently advises clients on hiring, discipline, investigations and other workplace issues. She has extensive experience handling matters related to employment discrimination, wage and hour litigation, unemployment proceedings, and offers training for harassment prevention, the Family Medical Leave act, and many other areas.
Sheila takes on the duties of president of the South Carolina Bar's Young Lawyers Division after serving as president-elect for the 2018-2019 term. She has previously served in various leadership and volunteer positions within the Division, including state chair of the Cinderella Project, an iCivic Committee member, and as a high school mock trial volunteer judge. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Women Lawyers' Association and is the current membership director of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Young Lawyers Division. Sheila will also be beginning her term as the ABA Young Lawyers Division's delegate to the ABA's House of Delegates. She was the 2019 recipient of the Silver Compleat Lawyer Awards from the University of South Carolina School of Alumni Association, was recognized in 2018 as a Woman of Influence for the Columbia Regional Business Report and was listed on Columbia Business Monthly's 2018 Best and Brightest 35 and Under.