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Whether it is as a practicing attorney at the law firm of Smith, Ellis and Stuckey, P.A. or as a member of the House of Representatives, representing District 72, James Smith’s consistent passion for serving the public and dedication to the Palmetto State are characteristics of his energetic life.

After attending college at the University of South Carolina and attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, James went on to obtain his legal degree from the University of South Carolina in 1995. James then began his legal career at the firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough. After a year of service to the firm, he ventured into a solo practice that over the past decade has grown into Smith, Ellis & Stuckey, P.A.

Since establishing his firm, James has been honored by his peers for his outstanding professional service with a Martindale-Hubble AV award, the highest honor. Additionally, in 1997, the University of South Carolina awarded James with their Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and in 1999 he was named the South Carolina Bar’s Young Lawyer of the Year.

Since being elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from House District 72 in 1996, James has held a host of leadership positions. In his first year of service, he was elected to Assistant Minority Leader, a post he held for three years before becoming the Chief Minority Whip. From 2002 until 2005, James served as House Minority Leader.

While maintaining his own private law practice and being a member of the South Carolina House, James also serves in the Armed Forces. After serving for eight (8) years as a JAG officer in South Carolina Army National Guard, James resigned then re-enlisted to pursue a commission as an Infantry Officer. He is currently a Captain and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  To follow James’ experience please log on to

Over the years, James has served on various non-profit boards and has volunteered with civic groups, including serving as Chair for the Public Policy Committee of the United Ways’ Success By 6 initiative, Board Member of SC First Steps and South Carolina Board member of Prevent Child Abuse. James and his family are members of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, SC and also attend Church of the Apostles in Columbia, SC.

As a lifelong resident of the House District he now serves, James, his wife and four children all now call District 72 home. The 39-year-old James is married to Kirkland T. Smith of Mt. Pleasant. They have three sons, James “Emerson” Smith III, age 13, Thomas Bridges Smith, age 11 and Paul Bradford Smith, age 5, and a daughter Shannon Elizabeth Smith, age 4.

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