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A Tradition of Advocacy and Success.

C. Alan Runyan

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Alan Runyan is a partner at Speights & Runyan. For more than 23 years he has actively litigated and tried cases in more than 10 states.  He obtained his undergraduate and law degree (cum laude) from University of South Carolina. He clerked for two judges in the state and federal courts of South Carolina and has lectured on construction and environmental issues, the latter principally relating to asbestos property damage. Alan is presently representing clients in Missouri, California and South Carolina in these matters.

He has represented clients and been admitted pro hac vice in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Wisconsin. He is also representing clients in other environmental matters, including soil and groundwater contamination and lead paint contamination. He has represented clients in computer software development issues including Y2K matters and represents clients in complex construction disputes including those involving power plants and wastewater treatment facilities.

Alan has been actively involved in several certified class actions involving asbestos property damage and soil and groundwater contamination.

Practice Areas

Alan practices in asbestos property damage, products liability, environmental litigation, computer software development suits and class actions.


  • American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • South Carolina Bar
  • South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association
  • Forum Committee, the Construction Industry of the American Bar Association


  • University of Poitiers, France, Diplome D’Etudes Francaises, 1969
  • University of South Carolina, Bachelor of Arts, 1973
  • University of South Carolina, Juris Doctorate, cum laude, 1976
    • Legal Writing Instructor
    • Executive Editor, South Carolina Law Review

Professional Activities and Experience

  • Served as Law Clerk to the Honorable W.L. Rhodes, Jr., Resident Judge, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit (later Associate Justice, South Carolina Supreme Court), 1974 - 1976
  • Admitted to South Carolina Bar, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina and U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1976
  • Served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert F. Chapman, United States District Judge – District of South Carolina (later Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit), 1976 - 1977
  • Associate, Glenn, Porter & Sullivan, Columbia, South Carolina, 1977 - 1979
  • Associate & Partner, McNair Law Firm, P.A., Columbia, South Carolina, 1979 - 1987
  • Created Speights & Runyan with Daniel A. Speights, 1987

Representative Experience

  • Kansas City v. W.R. Grace & Company, 778 S.W.2d 264 (Mo.App. 1989) appeal after remand 855 S.W.2d 360 (Mo. en banc 1993), rehearing denied (Mo. en banc June 29, 1993)
  • Clayton Center Associates v. W.R. Grace Company, 861 S.W.2d 686 (Mo.App. 1993), reviewed and denied (Mo. September 8, 1993; and Northridge Co. v. W.R. Grace & Co., 556 N.W.2d 345 (Wis.App. 1996)

Personal History

Alan was born in Ogbomosho, Nigeria, West Africa, on October 25, 1951.  Alan and his wife, Elizabeth, are the parents of three sons. They reside in Beaufort, South Carolina.


Lectures & Presentations


  • “The Safe Buildings Alliance: For Whose Safety?,” published in the July/August 1990 issue of Asbestos Abatement Magazine
  • “Liability Perspective,” published in the July, 1989 issue of Asbestos Issues ’89
  • “Asbestos Removal: A Question of When, Not If,” published in the April 1989 issue of Asbestos Issues ’89
  • “The Prosecution and Defense of Construction Claims: The Owner’s Perspective,” published in the March/April 1985 issue of The Bulletin, a Trial Lawyers Association Publication
  • “The New Federal Rules of Evidence and South Carolina Evidentiary Law: A Comparison and Critical Analysis,” published in February 1977 in Volume 28, South Carolina Law Review, Page 481
  • “Debate for Abatement — Reasons for Asbestos Removal,” published in the October 1992 issue, Volume 6, Number 5, Indoor Pollution Law Report

Moderator and Lecturer

  • “The Safe Building Alliance: Falling from Grace,” sponsored by California Asbestos Abatement Business League, held in San Francisco, California, October 1990
  • “Making the Asbestos Companies Pay for Asbestos Abatement,” sponsored by National Asbestos Council, held in Anaheim, California, March 1989
  • “Preparing a Defense Against Future Plaintiffs” sponsored by Environmental Management Group, Inc., held in San Francisco, California, January 1989
  • “Cost Recovery Litigation for Schools” sponsored by Hall-Kimbrell Environmental Sciences, held in Richmond, Virginia, December 1988
  • “Cost Recovery Litigation for Schools” sponsored by Hall-Kimbrell Environmental Sciences, held in White Plains, New York, October 1988
  • “Multi-Party Construction Litigation: Duties and Theories of Liability,” presented at a Continuing Judicial Education Seminar for the South Carolina judiciary sponsored by the South Carolina Bar and held in Columbia, South Carolina, October 1986
  • “The Fundamental Rights of the Owner: A Legal Perspective,” presented at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar open to members of the bar of all states which dealt with the problems associated with construction disputes, held in Columbia, South Carolina, August 1981
  • “The Leaking Roof Syndrome: Claims and Defenses,” presented at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar open to members of the bar of all states which dealt with construction litigation, held in Columbia, South Carolina, October 1980