Jeffrey L. Payne

Jeff Payne focuses his practice primarily in commercial litigation, with an emphasis on business torts, construction, commercial collection, eminent domain, foreclosures, banking, and probate disputes. He has extensive litigation experience in shareholder disputes, unfair trade practice allegations, fraud, and actions involving the oppression of minority owners. In his general corporate practice, Jeff finds himself representing numerous closely held companies, acting as general counsel, handling a wide variety of day-to-day legal needs. Jeff also manages out-of-state litigation for these businesses as well as the purchase and sale of businesses.

Jeff has tailored his entire career to be able to assist businesses with litigation and day-to-day legal needs. He grew up working in a family business in South Carolina, and earned his M.B.A. and law degrees with the distinct purpose of helping businesses solve their problems.

“After trying business cases for almost 20 years throughout the state, one thing I know for sure is that if a lawyer tells you he knows what a jury is going to do, he is either lying or crazy, or both!”

Representative Matters


  • Handled numerous matters concerning forged checks, wire fraud, ACH fraud, and identity theft.
  • Frequently counsels borrowers and lenders on foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, negotiated restructurings, workouts, and receiverships and claim and delivery of personal property.
  •  Regularly advises local banking clients on day to day issues concerning their operations.


  • Obtained a significant judgment for the minority shareholder of a corporation in Marion County, South Carolina against its majority shareholders for their violation of a buy-sell agreement. 
  • Successfully prosecuted an action and obtained a judgment for a lender against a real estate appraiser in federal court for negligent misrepresentations contained in an appraisal report. 
  • As co-counsel, defended a manufacturing client in a three-week trial against a competitor’s claims of unfair trade practices, conversion of trade secrets and civil conspiracy. 
  • Obtained a significant verdict for a minority business partner in a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty case against a business partner who took a corporate opportunity and started new business. 
  • Regularly advises shareholders, partners and members of limited liability companies on disputes concerning the value of their interests in their businesses.


  • Recovered a judgment for a contractor against an owner for amounts that were due under the construction contract, and successfully defended the counterclaims for alleged defective construction. 
  • Successfully defended a contractor against an owner of a high-rise hotel for claims of negligence and breach of warranty.


  • Defended bank trust departments and/or individual trustees against claims of breach of trust and other business torts.
  • Prosecuted a claim on behalf of children against the estate of their mother and stepfather for the right to disinter their mother’s body in order to allow them to perform an autopsy.
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous claims for undue influence and lack of capacity to sign a will. 

Real Property

  • Defended a landlord and obtained a directed verdict against the claims by the tenant who was seeking specific performance of an option to purchase real estate contained in lease agreement. 
  • Defended a tenant in a lease dispute and obtained summary judgment in a matter in which the landlord sought over $1.3 million in damages. 
  • Handled numerous matters for a statewide banking client, including foreclosures, commercial collections and repossessions. 
  • Handled several eminent domain actions on behalf of convenience store operators and landowners.

 Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Acted as counsel for an owner of 13 radio stations and assisted it with the purchase and sale of several of the stations.
  • Represented numerous clients in the purchase and sale of their businesses.

Contact Information

Florence Office
Phone: 843.656.4432
Fax: 843.413.5825
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Practice Areas

In Our Blog

Bar and Court Admissions

South Carolina Bar, 1990
United States District Court, District of South Carolina, 1991
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, 1992


University of Georgia, J.D., 1990
University of Texas, M.B.A., 1987
University of Georgia, B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1985

Professional Affiliations

Defense Research Institute (Commercial Litigation Committee, 1999-Present; Business Torts Sub-Committee, 2008-Present)


“Mechanic’s Liens and Miller Act Bonds,” American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, 2004
“Contractual Risk Transfer in Construction Contracts,” Zurich Insurance, 2005