Firm History

  • 1963

    J. Lewis Cromer opened his first law firm with close friend and law school classmate, Herbert Louthian. The firm and its lawyers, while initially concentrating on real estate, soon established a reputation as successful trial advocates in personal injury and other cases, championing the rights of individuals against the state, insurance companies and powerful corporations.

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    As its practice grew, the firm needed larger space and acquired the former home of well-known Columbia suffragette, Mrs. W.C. Cathcart, located at 1225 Pickens Street; it remained the home of the firm and its predecessor for over forty years. The firm expanded with the addition of the late Colonel Herbert Meeting, who had served as Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Jackson before retiring from the Army to join Cromer and Louthian.

  • 1972

    In 1972, after Colonel Meeting’s death, the firm dissolved, and Lewis Cromer retained the Pickens Street property. The firm now operates from its new location at 1418 Laurel Street, Suite A in Columbia, SC.

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    Cromer hired three associate lawyers, all of whom were destined to become his partners.  James P. Craig worked as a partner with Cromer for many years.  Cromer & Craig handled a large volume of real estate closings, but gradually Cromer refocused his attention back to litigation, during the years that he served as Richland County Attorney (then a part time position).

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    John M. Williamson, III, clerked for Cromer & Craig and became an associate of the firm upon graduation from law school and later became a partner in the firm of Benjamin M. Mabry and J. Lewis Cromer.

  • 1981

    In 1981 Craig left the firm to focus on his growing real estate development business and the firm name changed to Cromer, Williamson and Mabry. Several years later Williamson left the firm to open a solo practice dedicated to the area of the law he enjoyed most, family law. Lewis Cromer and Benjamin Mabry continued to practice law together for several decades under the firm Cromer & Mabry, LLC. In 2010, Cromer and Mabry amicably divided their law practice and Lewis founded J. Lewis Cromer & Associates, LLC.

  • 2010

    In 2010, J. Lewis Cromer opened J. Lewis Cromer & Associates, LLC. Julius W. Babb, IV ("Jay") was among JLC&A's first associate attorneys. The firm operated next door to Cromer's original 1225 Pickens Street location at 1522 Lady Street. In 2011, Cromer hired J. Paul Porter as a Law clerk. Porter became an associate attorney, upon graduating law school and sitting for the bar exam, the next year. Cromer next hired Ryan K. Hicks as an associate attorney in 2013, In 2014 the firm relocated to 1418 Laurel Street to expand. At its largest, JLC&A had seven practicing attorneys focusing on the area of employment law.

  • 2017

    J. Lewis Cromer, Jay Babb, J. Paul Porter, and Ryan K. Hicks formed Cromer Babb Porter & Hicks, LLC with the mission of becoming a full-service firm for zealously defending worker's rights throughout South Carolina.  2019 marks Cromer's 60th year and Babb's 10th year of practicing law.

    CBPH, as of 2020, has nine attorneys representing clients state-wide with a focus on employment law, worker's rights, whistleblower protection, women's rights, student law, sexual harassment and assault, and business litigation.