President Barack Obama has nominated defense lawyer William Nettles for U.S. Attorney in South Carolina, the White House said Tuesday.
Nettles, of Sanders & Nettles in Columbia, S.C., was recommended for the post in August by Democratic Reps. John Spratt and Jim Clyburn. He is Obama’s 35th U.S. Attorney nominee; 24 have been confirmed.
Nettles (The Citadel, Widener University Law) has been name partner at the firm since 2005, handling a broad criminal practice. He represented Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps in criminal probe earlier this year after photos showing him holding a bong at a Columbia party surfaced.
Nettles’ civil practice includes personal injury, medical malpractice and pharmaceutical litigation. Click here for his firm bio.
A former public defender in Richland County, Nettles was a partner at Banks & Nettles from 1995 to 1997 and a solo practitioner from 1997 to 2005.
“William Nettles’ legal career has been distinguished and impressive,” Obama said in a statement announcing the nomination. “I am confident that, as a US Attorney, he will be relentless in his pursuit of justice and serve the people of South Carolina with distinction.”
Nettles was an early supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama and provided legal advice to Obama’s campaign operatives in the state. Obama’s convincing victory in the South Carolina primary marked a turning point in his battle for the nomination with Hillary Clinton.
Nettles’ law partner and father-in-law, Alex Sanders, is a former chief judge of the S.C. Court of Appeals and former president of Charleston College. Sanders ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2002, as the Democratic nominee, losing to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Nettles’ wife, Zoe Sanders Nettles, is a past president of the National Association of Women Lawyers. She is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.