William Ceth Land has maintained a busy—and extremely diverse—practice since 1997, when he got his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and returned to his hometown of Manning to join the firm founded by his father, John C. Land III.
His practice includes personal injury, workers compensation, family law, criminal defense, and probate—“I truly enjoy having a broad general practice, it gives me the opportunity to assist clients with different legal issues and enhances the client-attorney relationship.”
Along the way, Ceth has notched a number of sizeable wins for people who have come in that door seeking his expertise. In 2007, a Sumter County jury returned a verdict of $1.5 million in a motor vehicle case, Burke v. Brady, in which his client suffered a serious back injury.
Other notable cases include Ardis v. Combined Ins. Co., in which the South Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in 2008 that an employee who died in a hotel fire while on a business trip was covered by Workers’ Compensation; and South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Courtney, in which the South Carolina Supreme Court in 2002 affirmed an appellate court ruling that an estranged spouse cannot cancel the underinsured motorist coverage for the other spouse without the insurance company’s notifying the affected spouse.
Ceth is known as a strong advocate for his clients, but he also has a reputation for maintaining pleasant professionalism in the courtroom. “With a jury, I try to be personable and bring out the facts that will help them understand the case,” he says. “I try to bring it to a level they’ll comprehend and not confuse them.”
Ceth describes his day-to-day approach to the practice of law in similar fashion. “I try to provide whatever our clients need,” he says. “My theory is: Cradle to grave for the client.”
Sometimes, he points out, the broad-based approach to practicing law can open new doors of opportunity. About 10 years ago, a farmer came to him asking for legal help with an insurance claim for a loss to his cucumber crop. Ceth took the case, brought it to successful resolution, and has continued handling similar cases for farmers ever since.
“Since then, I’ve done everything from Vidalia onions to nursery trees,” he says.
At issue in these cases is federal crop insurance and whether or not a loss caused by weather, insects, or disease is covered by it.
“’Good farming practices’ is the term they use all the time,” he says. “So when it comes to weather-based losses you normally have to show that you followed good farming practices. On the insect cases, we’ve had to argue that it was really the insect that caused the loss. For example, if the farmer uses the wrong chemical or too much of a chemical, then it’s not covered.”
Ceth’s strong ties to the entire community are also evident in his activities beyond the office. He has been a member of the Clarendon County School District Board of Trustees since 2002, member and chair of the Clarendon County Mental Retardation Foundation Board since 2008, and board member of the Clarendon County Community Development Corporation since 2007.
He and his wife, 3rd Circuit Drug Court Judge Amy Anders Land, have three children.