NOMINATION OF ROBERT BRYAN HARWELL TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mr. GRAHAM of South Carolina. Mr. President, I have had the pleasure of knowing Bryan Harwell for a very long time. I have always respected his character as well as his legal abilities. Upon hearing of Judge Houck's intention to take Senior Status, I immediately thought of Bryan. He has distinguished himself in private practice since 1984, serving as a pillar of the Florence, SC legal community. Everyone I've talked to about his nomination has been unanimous in their admiration for him and his family.
As most of you know, I have based my judicial recommendations to the President on character, ability, and temperament. Bryan Harwell fulfills all of these criteria with a large measure to spare. Indeed, he has displayed excellence in all of these categories for as long as I have known him. Upon graduation from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he finished his degree in just over 2 years, Bryan clerked for one of our most respected state Circuit Judges, Rodney Peeples. Finishing his clerkship with Judge Peeples, he then went on to clerk for one of our most accomplished Federal judges, U.S. District Judge G. Ross Anderson. Both have had high praise for Bryan's time in their service.
After his clerkships, Bryan entered private practice with the law firm of Harwell, Ballenger, Barth & Hoefer, where he currently practices. His practice has involved the complete spectrum of South Carolina's laws and he has argued cases before our State Supreme Court as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has augmented his litigation practice with a thriving mediation and arbitration practice, an area I personally believe has great promise for addressing a number of our legal system's problems. Last, but certainly not least, he has served his country as a Judge Advocate General officer in the South Carolina National Guard.
In short, like many lawyers in South Carolina, he has represented the working man and the small businessman and he has served his country as well. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that type of lawyer, having been one myself.
While he has excelled in private practice, Mr. Harwell has also shown his deep commitment to his community. He has opened his practice to those who are less fortunate and who need a helping hand by serving as a referral attorney for Carolina Regional Legal Services. He has served as an adjunct business law instructor at Francis Marion University. Bryan has participated in the South Carolina Bar's Ask-a-Lawyer project, an important link between our legal community and our citizens, which often serves as the only opportunity many of our citizens have for knowledgeable advice regarding some of life's most important matters. And, reflecting his varied interests, he has also served on the Board of Trustees at Florence Darlington Technical College.
Bryan Harwell has also gone out of his way to serve South Carolina's legal community. He has served as a lecturer on arbitration and mediation law on a number of occasions for our South Carolina Bar.
In recognition of his accomplishments and service, I am proud that Mr. Harwell received a unanimous "Qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. I am certain that he will be an excellent addition to the Federal bench.
I am pleased that the Senate has voted to confirm Mr. Harwell today.