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Carmen Harper Thomas

Carmen Harper Thomas

Partner

Meridian
1320 Main Street
17th Floor
Columbia, SC 29201
carmen.thomas@nelsonmullins.com

Carmen is a litigator whose experience includes resolving disputes and regulatory issues, including the energy, manufacturing, financial services, and technology sectors.  One of her favorite parts of practicing law is learning about a client and its business.  She especially appreciates working with companies who focus on technical, mechanical, or financial products or services.

Carmen is a litigator whose experience includes resolving disputes and regulatory issues, including the energy, manufacturing, financial services, and technology sectors.  One of her favorite parts of practicing law is learning about a client and its business.  She especially appreciates working with companies who focus on technical, mechanical, or financial products or services.

Carmen Harper Thomas

Carmen is a litigator whose experience includes resolving disputes and regulatory issues, including the energy, manufacturing, financial services, and technology sectors.  One of her favorite parts of practicing law is learning about a client and its business.  She especially appreciates working with companies who focus on technical, mechanical, or financial products or services.

Experience

Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.

Experience

  • Litigation and regulatory and enforcement counsel on a variety of financial services issues, including the following: 
    • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
    • Telephone Consumer Protection Act
    • Fair Credit Reporting Act
    • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
    • Truth in Lending Act
    • South Carolina Consumer Protection Code, including the Attorney and Insurance Preference Statute, online installment loan issues, and other Uniform Consumer Credit Code statutory compliance issues
    • Uniform Commercial Code and negotiable instruments
    • Creditor issues in bankruptcy
  • Defended multi-front litigation and investigations
  • Negotiated and represented clients with disputes involving federal and state agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Defended matters involving power generation and resource needs, generation asset construction, utility rates and tariffs, antitrust allegations, and renewable development proposals
  • Protected trade secrets and proprietary information especially involving technology
  • Defended entities in cases regarding the scope of the practice of law, including the intersection of legal services and technology
  • Defended innovative businesses in a variety of matters at the intersection of their business models and current legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Defended businesses in state- and nation-wide class actions in state and federal courts, including managing nationwide and statewide class action settlements

Previous Professional Experience 

  • Law clerk, S.C. Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Planning Manager, S.C. Department of Commerce
    • Developed annual plans for federal funding used for statewide economic development, infrastructure, community facilities, and housing development and rehabilitation projects
  • State Planner, South Carolina Energy Office within the S.C. State Budget and Control Board
    • Coordinated the annual Strategic Energy Action Plan and researched and implemented energy use and renewable energy policies for South Carolina, including solar, fuel cell, biomass, and transportation efficiency projects
  • Legislative Aide and Page, S.C. House of Representatives

Education

  • University of South Carolina School of Law, JD, cum laude (2007)
    • Editor in Chief of the South Carolina Law Review
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Securities Regulation and Media Law
    • Order of the Wig and Robe
    • Student Member, John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court
  • University of South Carolina, Master of Public Administration (2002)
  • University of South Carolina, Honors College, BA, Journalism and Mass Communications, cum laude (1999)

Admissions

  • South Carolina
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

Practice Areas

Industries

The bar rules of some states require that the standards for an attorney's inclusion in certain public accolades or recognitions be provided. When such accolades or recognitions are listed, a hyperlink is provided that leads to a description of the respective selection methodology.

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section, Consumer Financial Services Committee
      • Federal and State Trade Practices Subcommittee, Co-Vice Chair (2019–present)
      • Task Force on Small Dollar Lending, Young Lawyer Liaison (2014–2015)
    • Commission on the Future of Legal Services (2015)
    • Business Law Section Subcommittee on Business Courts, Vice Chair (2012–2014)
  • South Carolina Bar
    • Consumer Law Section Council, Chair (2020–2021), Chair-Elect (2019–2020), Council (2012–present)
    • Ethics Advisory Committee (2019–present)
    • House of Delegates (2015–2016)
  • John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court, President (2016–2017), Executive Committee (2014–2018)
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Defense Research Institute
  • SC Defense Trial Attorneys Association
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers Association
  • Richland County Bar Association, Public Service Committee (2008–2014)
  • Nelson Mullins Associates Committee Chair (2021–2022), Vice Chair (2019–2020); Columbia LGBTQ+ Affinity Group Ally (2020–present)
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands Board Member (2016–present), Resource Development Chair (2018–present), Vice Chair (2020–2022)
  • University of South Carolina Board of Visitors (2015–present), Chair (2020–2021)
  • University of South Carolina, University Associates
  • Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network, Advisory Group (2018–present)
  • Homeless Experience Legal Protection Project, Co-founder, Volunteer Coordinator, and Volunteer (2008–2014)
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