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James D. Galyean


  • (T) 864.282.1124
  • (F) 864.477.2627

James D. Galyean is a white-collar criminal defense attorney and complex commercial litigator practicing from the firm's Greenville office.

Prior to joining Nexsen Pruet, James served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.  At the U.S. Attorney’s office, Galyean focused his practice on prosecution of drug trafficking, white collar, and gang-related crimes.

James regularly draws on his experience as Chief Counsel for Senator Lindsey Graham when working with his clients.  While working for Senator Graham, James served as lead counsel on terrorism, immigration and tort reform issues, as well as Supreme Court and other judicial nominations.  He also managed Senate Judiciary Committee business and subcommittee staff. Additionally, James oversaw preparation and filing of Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs and handled a full range of ethics matters for Senator’s personal office.                         


  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • Furman University, B.A. in History and Political Science, 1993
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • U. S. District Court for the District of S.C.
  • U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U. S. Supreme Court

James currently represents a number of companies and individuals in substantial regulatory compliance litigation.  This current portfolio spans the southeast, from the District of Columbia to Texas.  Over the course of these litigation efforts, Galyean regularly represents his clients before federal and state regulatory agencies and in the federal district courts.

James also has a growing defense industry practice.  From the highest technical experience to the simplest buckle, his knowledge base of government contracting, research, and intellectual property requirements, as well as the appropriate personnel to engage, is critical in maneuvering through the numerous layers of U.S. Department of Defense regulations.  While his clients’ products target the special operations community, they can be found wherever U.S. forces or contractors are deployed in combat or peacekeeping operations.

James has also represented tobacco manufacturers and distributors before multiple federal and state regulatory and revenue agencies in federal and state court actions.  He has detailed knowledge of federal guideline requirements and calculations stemming from escrow and tax obligations of Non-Participating Manufacturers and distributors under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and attendant state legislation.

He also has years of experience in dealing with tobacco-related legislative initiatives at the federal level and is prepared to address future tobacco reform efforts in the areas of tax structure and other regulatory reform efforts at both the state and national level.


James called on state leaders to “set the world standard for emergency response” in the May/June edition of South Carolina Business magazine. Read more.

James Galyean main bio photo

"Winston Churchill once said 'Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.' That's what litigation is like for me."