Catherine Ava Leatherwood

ColumbiaMember; Executive Committee

Catherine focuses her practice in the areas of civil litigation, namely products liability, construction defect litigation, and general insurance defense. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Catherine has handled various complex construction defect matters, representing a range of parties from developers to general contractors, subcontractors, and materials suppliers.  She has also represented a wide variety of product manufacturers and distributors in cases ranging from property damage to catastrophic injury.

Active in professional and community organizations, Catherine serves on the Board of Directors for DRI – Lawyers Representing Business, as a National Director. She is the immediate past Chair of its Young Lawyers Committee, and also serves on the DRI Product Liability Steering Committee as the Vice Chair of the Construction Devices and Building Products group. Catherine was also recently appointed to a task force for the DRI Center For Law and Public Policy, where she is involved in developing a white paper to address social inflation and its effects on litigation, settlements, and verdicts.

She is an active member of the Junior League of Columbia, where she serves on the Communications Council and the Placement Committee.



  • South Carolina, 2012
  • US District Court, South Carolina, 2013
  • US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 2013
  • United States Supreme Court, 2017
  • PHV Admissions in North Carolina
  • DRI: Lawyers Representing Business –  DRI Board of Directors (National Director), Products Liability Steering Committee, DRI Cares Vice Chair, DRI Foundation Board, Former Young Lawyers Committee Chair, DRI Center for Law and Public Policy Social Inflation Task Force
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC):  Construction Law Steering Committee
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association (SCDTAA)
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar
    • Construction Law Section
    • Tort Law Section
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Association (PLUS)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • South Carolina Legal Elite – Construction, Columbia Business Monthly (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • 2022 South Carolina Super Lawyers – Civil Litigation
  • 2021 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • John Belton O’Neal Inn of Court
  • CALI (American Jurisprudence) Award: Legal Writing
  • Best and Brightest Under 35 – Columbia Business Monthly, 2016
A description of the selection process methodologies on which these accolades are based can be found here.
  • Seminar presentation – 2018 DRI Young Lawyers Seminar – Taking Charge of Your Path
  • Webinar:  DRI – “Everything We Wish We Would Have Known As New Associates” (April 2018)
  • DRI In-House Defense Quarterly, September 2015, Personal or Collective: May the Duty to Defend Be Divided Among Multiple Insurers of a Common Insured
  • DRI For the Defense, May 2017 – Bad Attitudes, Jerks, Bullies: Let the Maxims Be Your Guide
  • Junior League of Columbia – Nominating Committee
  • Palmetto Health/Prisma Health Cavalry – Founding Member