Clifton B. Newman
For more than two decades, Clifton Newman has served as a circuit court judge in South Carolina—the culmination of a lifelong legal career which was inspired in part by his role in a high school play. While in high school at Williamsburg County Training School in Greeleyville, he was cast to play the role of a civil rights attorney in a theatrical production based on the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case outlawing school segregation.
After graduating as valedictorian, he attended Cleveland State University where he served as student body president and met his wife, Patricia. He earned his law degree from Cleveland State University College of Law, where he was recently inducted into the CSU Law Hall of Fame.
Newman practiced law in Ohio for six years before returning to South Carolina where he opened a criminal defense and civil litigation firm based in Kingstree and Columbia. In 1983, he was appointed Assistant Solicitor in Williamsburg County while continuing his civil practice. His considerable experience and success in nearly all aspects of the law led to his unanimous election to the Circuit Court bench by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2000. As a trial judge, Newman rose to national prominence in handling some of the state’s most complex and high-profile cases.
Judge Newman continues a family legacy of dedicated public service committed to “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” A proud family man, his late son, Brian DeQuincey Newman, was the youngest person ever elected to the Columbia City Council. His daughter, Jocelyn T. Newman, currently serves with him on the Circuit Court – the only father and daughter serving together on the circuit court in the history of South Carolina. Their other children are Corwyn, a mathematician, and Kellee, a civil engineer.