Robert Bryan Barnes


Bryan Barnes is a shareholder in Rogers Townsend’s Columbia office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  Bryan’s practice focuses on construction and environmental litigation although during his 32 years of practice he has handled a wide variety of business litigation.

Since the mid-1990s Bryan has handled over 400 products liability cases arising from construction products including five types of exterior cladding. Bryan’s litigation experience in this area is far reaching, from cases with excessively large claims (exceeding $3 billion) to those involving millions of pages of documents to more ordinary sized cases involving mediations, trials, appellate practice and class actions.  Example of his experience include:

  • Serving as national counsel for a large insurer’s EIFS manufacturer insureds defending cases in 26 states, successfully resisting class certification and taking cases to trial in SC, NJ, MS and PA
  • Representing a tech company in protecting $22,000,000 government contract from bid protests
  • Obtaining a nuisance value settlement for a cladding manufacturer in the second week of trial in PA immediately after cross examining plaintiff’s expert
  • Persuading the Second Department in New York to grant summary judgment after the trial court had refused on economic loss rule grounds in a cladding case involving new apartments in Long Island where the claimed damages exceeded $100,000,000. The opinion is published.

Two other areas where Bryan has significant experience are general products liability and blasting.  Among the products he has defended are coal combustion residuals, coatings, MEKP, Benzene, one coat stucco, windows, batteries, manufactured stone veneer, septic tanks, roofing products, flexcrete, tanks, paint, acid, shutters, vents, and Chinese  drywall. Bryan has defended numerous blasting cases in Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Bryan also regularly handles bid protests in the context of public procurement as well as having handled personal injury defense across his career beginning from the earliest days.

Bryan is a frequent speaker to insurers on construction damages, experts, Daubert, and technology assisted review, among other topics.

Bryan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and the Honorable James E. Moore, South Carolina Circuit Judge now retired Senior Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

  • South Carolina Bar, 1986
  • United States District Court, District of South Carolina,1986
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1987
  • South Carolina Bar
    • Construction Law Section
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
  • South Carolina Defense Trial  Attorneys’ Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • The Council on Litigation Management

Carolinas Construction & Environmental Claims Seminar, March 1, 2013
Host, Speaker and Panelist
Videos from the program
The Economic Loss Rule
Using Experts to Resolve Mass Claims
Technical Mediation
Professional Affidavit Requirements

American Bar Association CLE on premises liability,
“Earth, Wind and Fire: Emerging Issues in Coal Ash Litigation”.

As a former high school and college athlete, Bryan often competes in sprint triathlons and enjoys hunting and traveling with his wife, Janet, and their grown children, Robert (an attorney at Jones Day in Atlanta); Carson (a physician in Boise, ID); and Jennifer (a speech pathologist in Columbia).

Bryan is a member of First Baptist Church of Columbia where he serves as the moderator and a deacon, Sunday school teacher and choir member.

Best Lawyers in the Midlands, Columbia Metropolitan (2011- Present)

Martindale Hubbell rating – AV

South Carolina Legal Elite – Construction, Columbia Business Monthly (2021)

A description of the selection process methodologies on which these accolades are based can be found here.