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Patrick J. Cleary

Patrick J. Cleary


An ambitious attorney, Patrick Cleary defends major automotive and all-terrain manufacturers against product liability cases in both state and federal court. Patrick has defended major automotive manufacturers of tier one component suppliers, ATV manufacturers, and others against claims of unintended acceleration, false advertising cases and asbestos litigation.

With a degree in chemical engineering, Patrick particularly enjoys developing mastery for how a product is designed and operates, then translating this knowledge into persuasive and understandable presentations and written materials.

While in law school, Patrick led a pro bono tax assistance program, and was a teaching assistant for a Legal Writing and Research class. Patrick has industrial experience at a consumer-products research and development facility and conducted a technical study on the feasibility of converting paper mills into biofuel refineries.

Patrick volunteers with the Young Lawyers Division Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, providing pro bono tax assistance to the community. In addition, Patrick is the president of the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Alumni Association for 2013–2014. 

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina, 2011
  • North Carolina, 2009

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2009

    with honors

    J. Nelson Young Scholarship

    Phi Delta Theta Graduate Fellowship

    Pro Bono Award

    NC Journal of Law and Technology, Managing Editor

  • North Carolina State University, B.S., 2006

    Majors: Chemical Engineering, Paper Science and Engineering, History

    summa cum laude

    Senior Class President

    Golden Chain Society

    Phi Kappa Phi

Professional Associations

    • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • South Carolina Bar Association
      —Young Lawyer Division, Chair
    • —Income Tax Assistance Committee, 2015 – 2018 
      —Judicial Qualifications Firm
      —Diversity Committee
      —Leadership Academy Board of Directors
    • Historic Columbia Foundation
      —Board of Directors, Palladium Society
    • —Vice President, 2018 – 2020 
    • Leadership Columbia Alumni Board
      —Board Member, President-Elect
    • South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
      —Alumni Association Board Member


    • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division
      —"Stars of the Quarter," 2015 – 2018
    • —President's Award, 2019
    • South Carolina Bar
      —Leadership Academy, 2016
    • Columbia Chamber
      —Leadership Columbia, 2014 – 2015

Recent News, Events and Blogs

Speaking Engagements

  • "Panel Discussion on Class Action," Presenter, ADAS and AV Legal Issues and Liabilities Conference, October 2019
  • "Artificial Intelligence and Product Liability," Presenter, Client Update, September 2019
  • "Artificial Intelligence and Legal Practice," Presenter, South Carolina Bar Continuing Legal Education, September 2019
  • “The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence: How It Affects Your Legal Practice,” Presenter, LegalTech Seminar Series University of South Carolina Law School, October 2018
  • “What Product Manufacturers Need to Know Regarding Real-Time Product Data in the Age of Big Data,” Co-Presenter, Client Webinar, July 2018
  • “How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact the Legal Industry,” Client Hot Topics Seminar, May 2018
  • “Emerging Issues in a Post A.I. World,” Panelist, University of South Carolina Law Review Symposium, February 2018
  • "Automated Vehicles and North Carolina – Issues and Questions for the Defense Bar," North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys Fall Seminar, September 2017
  • "Liability of Technology," Moderator, Society of Automotive Engineers 2017 World Congress, April 2017
  • "Invasion of the Car Snatchers: What Happened in the Wired Jeep Hacking Story and What it Means for Electronics-related Product Liability Litigation, both Automotive and Beyond,” Moderator, ABA Product Liability Automotive Sub-Committee Roundtable, May 2016
  • "Reasoning, Writing and Advocacy," Teaching Assistant, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2007