MATT BURGESS, ESQ.
P: (803) 909-9415
Matt Burgess is a South Carolina attorney and has represented clients across the state in matters involving Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, General Civil & Appellate Litigation. Matt has been chosen a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40; selected by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys and the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys as a member of their “10 Best Attorneys”; by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyers in the State of South Carolina; and has been recognized by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys as a recipient of their Top 10 Under 40 Attorney Award.
The Law Office of Matt Burgess, Ltd. Co. is located in downtown Rock Hill, where Matt regularly takes cases in York County and the surrounding areas- Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw & Lancaster counties- though he has also represented clients across South Carolina’s Midlands & Lowcountry, including Lexington, Richland, Sumter & Charleston counties, among others. He has appeared locally and nationally on major broadcast networks and their affiliates- NBC, CBS, FOX & CNN- and quoted by mainstream periodicals, his casework featured in publications such as the Washington Post, New York Times, People & USA Today.
Matt began his career with a general litigation firm in Manning, South Carolina (Clarendon County), where he spent two years as an associate before opening his practice in Rock Hill (York County). He is a member of the South Carolina Bar, the York County Bar and the Rock Hill Citadel Club, and has also volunteered in the South Carolina State Guard as a Captain in their JAG Section. In 2015, he was awarded their Commendation Medal for pro bono representation undertaken in State v. Stinney (1944), a unique legal matter involving the youngest defendant executed in the United States since the beginning of the 20th Century. In this 1944 case, George Stinney Jr., an African-American youth, was wrongfully convicted for the murders of two young, white girls in rural Alcolu, South Carolina, a small mill town in Clarendon County; electrocuted just 83 days after his arrest, he was 14 years-old and weighed 95 lbs. In 2013, Matt spearheaded a legal effort to clear Stinney’s name, and- in December 2014, seven decades after Stinney’s death- his conviction was posthumously vacated, marking perhaps the first time in United States history where judicial process has set aside a conviction post-execution. USA Today’s “50 Stories in 50 States” named Stinney South Carolina’s biggest story in 2014.
Matt is a believer in the system created by our Founding Fathers, and understands that justice can only truly be reached through diligent representation from both sides of our adversarial system. He firmly believes that the Constitutional safeguards promised to each of our citizens are what set us apart as a Nation, and that these safeguards are to be vehemently protected: All are equal before the eyes of the law. All are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Matt is devoted to the preservation of these principles, and takes pride in defending those rights on behalf of his clients. He is similarly committed to representing the interests of those who have suffered harm at the hands of others’ negligence.
Though a native of South Carolina- born in Columbia and raised in Camden- Matt graduated from high school in Franklin, Tennessee (just outside of Nashville) before returning to his home state to enroll at The Citadel, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. As a freshman, “fourth-class” cadet, he was the youngest member of the entering class, having finished high school in three years, and went on to serve in a number of leadership positions during his time at The Military College. As a junior, he was selected as the November Company First Sergeant, tasked with the supervision of more than 100 peers and subordinates. As a senior, he was a member of the Summerall Guards, chosen for membership following a demanding initiation process of rigorous physical training, and was also the recipient of the 2010 Citadel English Faculty Award, awarded annually for the most outstanding academic essay submitted during the specified school year. Upon graduating from The Citadel with honors in May 2010, Matt enrolled at the Charleston School of Law. As a law student, he served as an extern in the quarters of The Honorable Thomas L. Hughston, Jr. In December 2012, Matt graduated early from law school and became licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina.
Matt is driven by the notion of making a positive difference in the lives of others, particularly those who need it the most. Each of his clients will receive every effort to ensure that their rights are protected.