J. Thomas McElveen, III
Thomas McElveen was born in Sumter, South Carolina. He received his bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is admitted to the South Carolina Bar and is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Thomas completed mediator training through the South Carolina Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Division and is certified by the South Carolina Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification as a Civil Court Mediator. Thomas joined the Bryan Law Firm in 2003.
Thomas has prosecuted cases for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department and has served as an assistant public defender in Sumter County. His practice focuses primarily on personal injury cases, criminal cases, and general litigation. Thomas has also represented local businesses and companies and has assisted with the navigation of complicated legal challenges. Thomas regularly accepts referrals and is often associated by other attorneys as local counsel in a variety of cases.
In 2012, Thomas was elected to serve District 35 in the South Carolina Senate, which includes portions of Sumter, Kershaw, Richland, and Lee counties. He sits on various Senate committees including Finance; Fish, Game and Forestry; Agriculture and Natural Resources; Transportation; and the Family and Veterans’ Services Committee, where he serves as the chairman of the Veterans’ Services Subcommittee. He also serves as chairman of the Sumter County Legislative Delegation.
Thomas is a member of the Sumter Sertoma Club, the Shaw-Sumter Community Council, the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (ex officio), the Sumter Touchdown Club, and The LINK (Sumter-Lee economic development alliance) Board of Directors. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Sumter, where he served as a deacon. Thomas has served as an Honorary Wing Commander (civilian) of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base. He has also served as a Bitty Basketball Coach at the Sumter YMCA.
Thomas has received awards and recognition which include the Business Advocate Award from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, The State newspaper’s “20 Under 40” award for young business leaders in the Midlands, the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wilson Hall, the “Green Tie Award” from the Conservation Voters of SC for Conservation Leadership, the National Guard Association of SC’s “Senator of the Year”, and the Sierra Club of SC’s “Legislator of the Year.”
Thomas is a graduate of Leadership Sumter (Class XVII) and Leadership South Carolina (Class of 2014). He is a Liberty Fellow (Class of 2018 – “United”) and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Thomas and his wife have three children.
- South Carolina Bar
- United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
- Davidson College
- University of South Carolina School of Law
- Sumter County Bar Association
- South Carolina Bar Association
- South Carolina Association for Justice
- Assistant County Attorney, Sumter County
- Assistant Public Defender, Sumter County
- South Carolina Senate
- Sumter Touchdown Club
- Sumter Sertoma Club
- Shaw-Sumter Community Council
- Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
- The LINK Board of Directors
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