Member

E rstepp@sowellgray.com

P (803) 231-7836
F (803) 231-7886
Bobby is an experienced litigator focusing on complex cases in varied commercial settings at the trial and appellate level. His practice includes professional liability defense, corporate governance disputes, contract matters, product liability defense, voting rights, and constitutional issues. Bobby is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He received the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award from the South Carolina Bar in 2014.
  • South Carolina Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1977
    • Order of Wig and Robe
    • South Carolina Law Review
  • University of South Carolina, B.A., 1972
  • American Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Federal Bar Association
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court
  • Hutto v. S.C. Ret. Sys., 2016 WL 4208093 (S.C. 2016).  In this case, the Supreme Court of South Carolina affirmed dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the working retirees failed to state a claim for violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Watch the oral argument at http://media.sccourts.org/videos/2016-000021.mp4.
  • David Gooldy v. The Storage Center-Platt Springs, LLC, 781 S.E.2d 720 (S.C. Ct. App. 2015).  The South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a reference in a deed showing the existence of a road did not warrant the presumption of an easement, and evidence was insufficient to demonstrate the intent to create an easement.
  • Hutto v. S.C. Ret. Sys., 773 F.3d 536 (4th Cir. 2014).  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the state retirement system is immune from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Listen to the oral argument at http://coop.ca4.uscourts.gov/OAarchive/mp3/13-1523-20141029.mp3.
  • Sartin v. McNair Law Firm, P.A., 756 F.3d 259 (4th Cir. 2014).  In a case involving a complex procedural question regarding the proper scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a), authorizing district courts to correct mistakes found in judgments and orders, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an attorney’s failure to timely file a notice of appeal was the proximate cause of the client’s injury because the lower court order should have been affirmed.  Listen to the oral argument at http://coop.ca4.uscourts.gov/OAarchive/mp3/13-1265-20140513.mp3.
  • Abbeville Cty. Sch. Dist. v. South Carolina, 767 S.E.2d 157 (S.C. 2014).  A landmark case regarding the constitutional adequacy of public education system in South Carolina, this case was tried for 101 days and argued twice before the Supreme Court of South Carolina, resulting in a 3-2 decision in favor of the plaintiff school districts.  The dissent viewed the decision as a “policy opinion on the state of public education in South Carolina” that violated the separation of powers doctrine and exceeded the Court’s scope of authority.
  • S.C. Public Interest Found. v. S.C. Transp. Infrastructure Bank, 744 S.E.2d 521 (S.C. 2013).  Decided by the Supreme Court of South Carolina in its original jurisdiction, and after reviewing the public interest exception to the requirement of a particularized injury for standing, the Court ruled that the statute governing the composition of the board of directors of the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank does not violate the state constitution’s dual office holding prohibitions or the separation of powers doctrine and therefore is constitutional.
  • Backus v. South Carolina, 133 S. Ct. 156 (2012).  In this direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court affirmed the decision of the three-j0udge court rejecting the constitutional and Voting Rights Act challenges to the South Carolina House of Representatives’ redistricting plan.
  • Ahrens v. State, 709 S.E.2d 54 (S.C. 2011).  The plaintiff in this case challenged the legality of state statutes requiring public employees who retired and returned to work for the state to contribute a portion of their salary to the state retirement system as a term and condition of their employment.  The Supreme Court of South Carolina held that the statutes are valid and enforceable in every respect, and rejected the constitutional taking claim.
  • Jackson v. Sanford, 731 S.E.2d 722 (S.C. 2011).  Decided by the Supreme Court of South Carolina in its original jurisdiction, the court held that the governor’s partial veto of a line item appropriation to the State Budget and Control Board was unconstitutional.
  • Robinson v. Estate of Harris, 698 S.E.2d 222 (S.C. 2010).  In this heirs property dispute, the Supreme Court of South Carolina affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the homeowners on the grounds that the action to set aside a 1966 quiet title action was barred by the statute of limitations and doctrine of laches.  Additionally, the court found that the homeowners were bona fide purchasers for value who did not receive notice pursuant to the recording statute.
  • South Carolina Bar Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award (2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation (2017-2018), Lawyer of the Year (2017)
    • Commercial Litigation (2005-2018)
  • Chambers U.S.A. America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2017) (Tier 1, 2012-present)
  • South Carolina “Super Lawyer”
    • Business Litigation (2008-2017), Top 25 List (2009- 2011, 2014-2015)
  • Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star (2009-2016)
  • Benchmark Appellate Local Star (2012)
  • Litigation Special Report Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation (2012)
  • USC Law School Alumni Association Compleat Lawyer Award Gold Medallion (2004)

RES 2017 lawyer of year  Best Lawyers - Bobby SteppChambers USA - Bobby Stepp  Super Lawyers - Bobby Stepp