The Clardy Law Firm was just recently featured in the Pickens County Courier. Here is what they had to say about The Clardy Law Firm opening a new location in Pickens, SC.
PICKENS — For the past 16 years, the imposing red brick building at 208 Garvin St. in downtown Pickens has stood empty, a desolate reminder of a painful episode that still bears scars — the collapse of Carolina Investors.
It was here that some 12,000 people lost an estimated $278 million when the once-trusted Pickens-based financial institution went under amid a cloud of scandal and broken promises.
Visions of angry investors mobbing outside the building in March 2003 when word of the company’s demise leaked out have remained in the minds of many over the years since then.
And the building has remained dark and vacant.
Allen Clardy, a Pickens native who runs a law firm in Greenville, has leased half of the first floor of the building to open a new branch of his practice, which specializes in accidents and work injuries.
“This building needs a new history,” Clardy said. “It’s time to move on.”
He acknowledges that the abandoned edifice has been a blight on the face of downtown Pickens, but he shrugs off any suggestion that the building is cursed.
“We don’t believe in voodoo around here,” he joked.
What he does believe in is the Pickens community, he said. He frequently tries cases at the Pickens County Courthouse and always enjoys his time in the city he was born in.
“I like this community,” he said. “I like the people here, because I’m one of them.”
Although his firm includes five lawyers and a staff of 20, he plans to spend most of his time in the new Pickens office, with three or four assistants.
Clardy, 50, has been practicing law since 1995 and had his own firm since 2010.
In the extremely competitive field of personal injury law — where attorneys’ faces are frequently seen on billboards and TV commercials, Clardy said his firm stands out in that it’s not a “settlement mill.”
“We’re real trial lawyers,” he said. “We’re not looking to settle cases. We’re looking for fairness for our clients.”
Clardy, a graduate of Mauldin High School, Francis Marion University and Regent University School of Law in Virginia, moved into the Pickens building last week and is now open for business.
He said city officials showed up to welcome him and to thank him for making the bold move of bringing new life to a building of bad memories.
The building’s owner, John Rudolph of Central, bought the structure in October from a group of lawyers who had taken possession of it in the disposition of Carolina Investors’ assets.
“This is going to be something so different from anything I’ve ever done,” he said.
But he’s not worried about finding tenants.
“I’ve found that if you get the rent at a decent rate, people will come,” he said.
The Clardy firm is taking up about 2,000 square feet of the two-story building, which totals about 10,000 square feet — about 8,000 of which is usable office space.
The upstairs is anchored by a huge office with ornate wood paneling and a chandelier. Rudolph said he was told that the occupant, when Carolina Investors was there, wanted his office to be “bigger than the governor’s office,” so it was specifically designed to be about 2 feet bigger.
The adjoining room had a bar — with a refrigerator that was left running for 15 years — and several bookcases that served as false walls to hidden rooms.
But whatever went on there is all in the past. A new future is in store for this solidly built 52-year-old structure.
And Pickens, undoubtedly, will be the better for it.
Article by Ron Barnett
To see how else The Clardy Law Firm can serve you in the areas of Personal Injury in the Pickens, SC and Seneca, SC areas please visit our Auto Accident Injury Page here, or visit our Workers Compensation page here.