Steve is a shareholder of Richardson Plowden and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers with a statewide practice.  He also serves as the Firm’s Chief Financial Officer. His law practice includes civil litigation, including major class actions, the defense of electric and gas utility claims, the defense of product liability claims, toxic torts including asbestos, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, and transportation law.

Mr. Pugh’s experience includes:

  • Long-time counsel to a Fortune 300 energy company in a wide variety of high-exposure personal injury and death claims, ratepayer class actions, shareholder derivative claims, securities class actions, tax litigation, expedited injunction and TRO matters involving signficant corporate assets.
  • Obtained summary judgment in an alleged wrongful death, prescription refill case.
  • Trial counsel in a pharmaceutical case wherein the state was seeking penalties in excess of $2 billion.
  • Lead counsel in the defense of a salmonella class action with more than 1,000 claimants, including multiple death claims. 
  • Successfully tried and subsequently argued the appeal in the South Carolina Supreme Court of a multi-million dollar commercial foreclosure case. 
  • Obtained a directed verdict in the defense of a wrongful death case filed by the parents of a sixteen-year old who allegedly became intoxicated at work. 
  • Directed the investigation of a multi-million dollar fabric mill fire on behalf of the manufacturer of an allegedly defective loom, which resulted in no claim ever being asserted against the manufacturer. 
  • Negotiated the favorable resolution of a wrongful death and severe personal injury action arising out of an apartment complex fire due to alleged faulty wiring. 
  • Obtained the outright dismissal of a significant personal injury suit arising from a tractor-trailer accident. 
  • Has represented several manufacturers in more than 1,500 asbestos cases in South Carolina and the MDL. 
  • Has represented numerous entities in hundreds of silica cases in South Carolina.

Awards, Honors, and Accolades

  • 2023, Admitted as a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • 2024-2016, Listed in Best Lawyers in America® for Products Liability Litigation
  • 2023-2016 South Carolina Super Lawyer for Civil Litigation Defense
  • 2021, 2019, 2015, 2013, Selected as Midlands Legal Elite for Civil Litigation and Energy/Utilities by Greater Columbia Business Monthly 
  • Rated AV Preeminent® for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized with 2011 Leadership in Law award by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

Practice Areas


The Citadel (B.A., English, with honors, 1987) 

The University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D., 1990)

Bar Admission

1990, Texas 

1997, South Carolina 

2001, North Carolina 

1991, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas 

1993, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas 

1998, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina 

2006, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 

2009, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina

Steven J. Pugh
Rated by Super Lawyers

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