William A. Coates

Practice Areas

P: 864.349.2603
E: wac@roecassidy.com

Download vCard


Carole Pegler
P: 864.349.2617


Following law school, Bill served as a legislative aide to United States Senator Strom Thurmond and as a counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for South Carolina and prosecuted cases throughout the state in federal court.

Bill handles a wide variety of litigation in South Carolina and the Southeast. With over thirty years of trial experience, his practice encompasses commercial and corporate litigation, as well as financial, real estate, health care, and environmental litigation. As a former federal prosecutor, Bill handles white collar criminal defense matters and governmental investigations for a variety of clients.

In 2005 the federal government indicted W.R. Grace and several former executives and managers alleging violations of the Clean Air Act in United States v. W.R. Grace . In 2009, after a ten week trial in Montana Federal Court, all charges were dismissed against Bill's client, a former site manager for W.R. Grace in Montana. The EPA claimed this case was the most significant environmental prosecution ever mounted.

Bill is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a former board member of the Defense Research Institute and he is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has served as president of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and as Chair of the South Carolina Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee and of the South Carolina State Ethics Commission. Bill was selected for inclusion in the inaugural issue of South Carolina Super Lawyers in 2008 and been continually selected each subsequent year in the areas of Business Litigation, Environmental Litigation, and Criminal Defense:White Collar. He is a master in the Haynesworth/Perry Inn of Court.

Bill has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. In 2012, the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association presented Bill with its highest honor, The Robert W. Hemphill Award, given for distinguished and meritorious service to the legal profession and the public.


University of South Carolina, B.S., 1971
University of South Carolina, J.D., 1974


Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association (President, 1994)
Defense Research Institute (Board of Directors, 2002-2004)
South Carolina Bar Association (Chair, Committee on Judicial Qualifications, 2001-2002)
American Board of Trial Advocates
Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
Haynesworth/Perry Inn of Court
Greenville County Bar Association
American Bar Association


South Carolina - 1974
United States District Court for the District of South Carolina -1976
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit - 1976