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Derek D. Tarver

Derek D. Tarver


Derek Tarver concentrates his practice on product liability litigation, with a focus on developing technology in the automotive and consumer product industries. Derek enjoys understanding the engineering and design aspects of his clients’ products, as well as the economic and human factors that tie into their development.

Derek has played a pivotal role in cases involving passenger and commercial vehicles, industrial chemicals, and construction materials, as well as cases involving industrial plant safety and commercial transactions.  His commitment to drill down to the dispositive issues in his cases, and his ability to convey those issues in simplified terms to the court, has provided outstanding results for several clients, including the dismissal of claims at both the pleading and summary judgment stages of several cases.

Derek has been involved in all aspects of litigating cases, from general discovery and pleadings, to drafting and arguing dispositive motions, to taking and defending depositions of experts and corporate representatives.  Derek has also worked with experts in the field to develop testing protocol and to implement those tests to determine the truth behind the allegations at issue. Recently, Derek was selected as the Associate Reporter by the Uniform Law Commission for its work on the Uniform Highly Automated Vehicles Act.

Derek lives in the Elmwood Park historic district of Columbia, South Carolina, with his wife, Katie, their son, Mark.  In his spare time, Derek enjoys fitness and anything having to do with being on the water.

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina, 2017
  • North Carolina, 2020


  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2017

    magna cum laude

    Order of the Coif

    Order of the Wig and Robe, 2016

    Torts Tutor, 2015 – 2017

    CALI Awards: Torts, Products Liability, Technology Law, Appellate Advocacy, Comparative Law, Conflicts of Law, Legal Writing for the Courts, Fourth Circuit Practice, 2014 – 2017

    Joe McNulty Memorial Scholarship, 2015

    Associate Editor in Chief, South Carolina Law Review

  • University of South Carolina Beaufort, B.A., 2007

    cum laude

Professional Associations

    • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association
      —Emerging Leader
    • Uniform Law Commission
      —Associate Reporter, Uniform Highly Automated Vehicles Act


    • Bowman and Brooke Trial Skills College
      —Outstanding Oral Argument in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine, 2020

Pro Bono Activities

    • Pro Bono Board Member, University of South Carolina

Recent News, Events and Blogs

Speaking Engagements


  • "SCOTUS Due to Provide Guidance on the “Arising from or Related to” Inquiry for Specific Jurisdiction," Co-Author, ACC South Carolina FOCUS Newsletter, December 2020
  • "SCOTUS Due to Provide Guidance on the "arising from or related to" Inquiry for Specific Jurisdiction," Co-Author, Legal Alert, April 2020
  • “A Dose of Reality: Medicating Health Care Damages In South Carolina,” Co-Author, ACC South Carolina FOCUS Newsletter, March 2020
  • Wickersham v. Ford Motor Company: Crashworthiness, Comparative Negligence, and a New Era in Product Liability,” Co-Author, 47 The DefenseLine 58-61, Summer 2019
  • "Hunnuh Mus ‘Tek Cyare da Root fa Heal da Tree: Saving the South Carolina Lowcountry from Overdevelopment Through Judicial Application of the Modern Public Trust Doctrine,” South Carolina Law Review, May 2017