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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

Judge Letitia Verdin ‘97 elected to the Supreme Court of South Carolina

On Wednesday, June 5, South Carolina State legislators voted unanimously to confirm Judge Letitia Verdin ‘97 to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Her appointment maintains a bench comprised entirely of graduates of the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law. 

Justice John Kittredge ‘82 was elected to replace the Honorable Chief Justice Donald Beatty ‘79 when he retires July 31. Kittredge’s elevation to chief justice created the vacancy for which Verdin was elected.  

Making history 

Verdin’s appointment makes her the third woman ever elected to the state Supreme Court.  

The Honorable Former Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal ‘68 was the first woman elected to the Supreme Court in 1988. In 2000, she became the state’s first and only woman chief justice, a position she held until her retirement in 2015.  

The second woman to join the Supreme Court bench was the Honorable Kaye Hearn ‘77, who served as associate justice from 2009 until she retired in 2023.  

Why it matters 

The Supreme Court of South Carolina is the highest court in the state and is comprised of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices. The Court has both appellate and original jurisdiction and promulgates rules governing all of the courts of the state. The five justices are selected through direct legislative appointment; South Carolina and Virginia are the only two states to fill vacancies this way. 


Verdin is from Greenville, SC and is a graduate of Furman University. After earning her law degree from the USC Rice School of Law, Verdin worked as an assistant solicitor with the Office of the 13th and 8th Circuit Solicitors and served as the lead of the Family Court unit. From 2000 to 2005, Verdin was an associate attorney at Clarkson, Walsh, Rheney & Turner, P.A. before returning to the Office of the 13th Circuit Solicitor. She was elected to the Family Court in the 13th Judicial Circuit as a resident judge in 2008 and Circuit Court in 2011. In 2023, she was elected to the SC Court of Appeals.  

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