Best Criminal Defense Attorney

Andy Savage

Readers Pick

RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith

Andy Savage has been in the periphery of some the Lowcountry’s biggest stories of the past few years, sometimes at opposite ends. The 71-year-old lawyer represented Mother Emanuel survivors after a white supremacist infiltrated their bible study and killed nine people. He also defended Michael Slager, the former North Charleston cop who is serving a 20-year sentence for killing a black motorist during a routine traffic stop.

The reason Savage contains multitudes, he says, is because he strives to see the issues simmering inside a client, away from the fanfare. “Ninety-nine percent of the people I represent are very good people,” he says. “They have a particular issue that’s caused them to get off track, most of that is medically based, alcohol, drugs, sexual issues — temper is a problem.” The 2015 cases widened the reach of Savage’s name, but he’s been winning Best of Charleston awards for more than 10 years. “I think the reality is that it’s not the lawyer, it’s the client,” he says. “I’ve just been very fortunate.” —Adam Manno

Runner-up: David Aylor

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