Frederick W. Riesen Jr.
Fred Riesen was a partner at Riesen DuRant, LLC. Previously, he was the senior member and founding member of Riesen Law Firm, LLP. Additionally, for a while, the firm name became Riesen, Gardner, and Felder when John Gardner and John Felder were also members of the firm. At that time, there were two Republicans John Bradley (house) and Glen McConnell (Senate) and John Felder and John Gardner, both Democrats, in the House of Representatives. This was a time when both parties worked together to get things done.
Fred was a founding member of the Injured Workers Association. He served as a member of the executive board, vice president, and president of the South Carolina Workers’ Advocates (IWA).
He was a member of the Charleston County Bar (former member of the American Bar Association for over 30 years); South Carolina Bar, and the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association. He was on the Citizen Committee of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission from its inception in 1996 and which went into effect July 1, 1997. For 18 years he assisted with evaluating the qualifications and characters of candidates for judicial office in the State of South Carolina.
Fred started his general practice of law over 45 years ago. His first job as an attorney came after returning from basic training in the Army. He was a member of the 108th Committee group in Columbia and during summers in the Army Reserve, he taught everything from 1st aid to throwing grenades at Fort Jackson. It was a rewarding experience and he elected not to get a commission and was a Sergeant 1st class E-7 when he finalized his service after 6 years. His first job was with the neighborhood legal assistance program where he helped people who could not afford attorneys. This was a rewarding experience. He hung up his shingle after about a year and a half at Neighborhood Legal Assistant and his general practice at that time was primarily personal injury, real estate, domestic relations, contract issues, probate, workers’ compensation, and limited criminal. His practice continued to grow and he began practicing with other attorney’s including Glen McConnel for about 12 years and John Bradley for about 20 years before his death. For several years the firm was Riesen, Gardner, and Felder. Fred next became the senior partner and founding member of Riesen Law Firm, LLP. This firm lasted approximately 30 years until Charleston County wanted to run a road through the property for Boeing, from International Blvd to West Montague Avenue. Due to this and other circumstances, the attorneys at the Firm decided to split.
The Riesen DuRant firm was formed by Fred’s son, Fred Riesen, III (Trip) and Rutledge DuRant, who were previously members of Riesen Law Firm, LLC for many years and Fred.
Hobbies and Community Service
During his spare time, he participated in numerous activities and found enjoyment in shrimping, fishing, boating, gardening, skiing, dancing, barbecuing, and working out. He participated in sports virtually all of his life from playground through his school years including football, baseball, track (high jump), basketball (his favorite at 6 foot 4), tennis and swimming. One of his major passions was physical fitness, which he alternated daily between the gym and the pool. He enjoyed cooking barbecue for big crowds, dancing primarily the shag, and growing roses and vegetables in his garden in addition to taking care of the yard. He grew hybrid tea roses for over 35 years and preferred those with a good fragrance. Fred was a family man and he and his wife Patty were married too many years to count. They have two married children, Ashley and Trip and one grandchild, Bryce. Fred and Patty are active members of the Episcopal Church. Fred’s constant companion when not at the office was his labradoodle, Maggie May. She loved shrimping, fishing, swimming, running and riding in the pickup truck with Fred in addition to going to the barn with Patty. She did virtually everything with them.
Fred was a strong believer in giving back to the community. For many years Fred got together with a group of people to go feed the homeless. He felt more blessed doing this than the people they served. He swam several times a week and supported the Lowcountry Splash. He swam every race since it started some 11+ years ago.
All funds from the Lowcountry Splash go to teach underprivileged kids how to swim. It is a great feeling to see these kids in the water with the swim instructor. This is a 2.4-mile river swim from Hobcaw Creek down under the Cooper River Bridge and ends at the Mt. Pleasant Marina. He ran the Cooper River Bridge Run, a 10K race, for 14 years, but much preferred other exercises for physical fitness than running races.
- South Carolina, 1968
- University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
- B.A. – 1964
Honors and Awards
- Lowcountry Citizen Committee (Judicial), 2001-Present
- Injured Workers & Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019
- Alan R. Cochran Injured Workers Advocates Lifetime Achievement Award
Professional Associations and Memberships
- SC Injured Workers Advocates
- SC Trial Lawyers Association
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- Charleston County Bar Association
- American Bar Association