About Our Firm
The Derrick, Ritter, Williams and Morris, P.A. law firm is the oldest law firm in Oconee County. It was originally established by Attorney W. Jerry Fedder, who was the first attorney to locate his office outside of the County Seat of Walhalla in 1955.
William F. Derrick joined the firm in 1968, and Fedder and Derrick offered general legal services to the Seneca and Oconee communities thereafter as a partnership. This partnership was joined in 1973 by Richard L. Ritter and in 1974 by James L. Williams. W. Jerry Fedder left the firm in 1985 to become a commissioner for the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and is now retired, residing in Greenville, South Carolina.
At that time, the firm reorganized as a professional association and continued its practice for many years as Derrick, Ritter and Williams. P.A. Emma W. Morris, who began clerking for the firm as a teenager, was made a full partner in the firm in 2002. William F. Derrick became of counsel with the firm in 2001 and Richard L. Ritter became of counsel with the firm in 2009 so that the firm continues today with its principal, James L. Williams, as well as Emma W. Morris. The firm continues to offer general legal services to the Oconee County community specializing in the areas of real estate, estate planning, probate, corporate and business. The firm has maintained its current location at the foot of Main Street (Ram Cat Alley) in Seneca, South Carolina, for the past 39 years.
About James L. Williams
James Williams is a native of Greenville and the Oconee County area and has practiced law here since his admission to the South Carolina Bar in 1973. He is a graduate of Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is married to long-time Oconee County school teacher, Nelia I. Williams. Mr. Williams has practiced law with the same firm in the same location for the last thirty-nine (39) years. He was admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court on April 10, 1974, and was admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, on December 30, 1981. He also serves Oconee County as a certified circuit court mediator and arbitrator.
Probate and Estate Administration
Corporate and Business Law
About Emma W. Morris
Emma Morris was born in Oconee County. She is married to Robert L. Morris III and they have three children. Emma graduated from Walhalla High School in 1989. She graduated cum laude in 1992 from The University of South Carolina, majoring in business administration finance. Emma received her juris doctor from Cumberland School of Law in 1995 where she was a member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. Emma returned to Oconee County to practice at Derrick, Ritter & Williams, P.A. where she clerked since her teenage years. Emma became a partner and shareholder in the firm in 2002 and the name of the firm was changed to Derrick, Ritter, Williams & Morris, P.A.
Real Estate Transactions
Probate and Estate Administration
Title Insurance Underwriter for Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company
South Carolina, 1995
University of South Carolina, BS-Business Administration-Finance (cum laude) 1992
Cumberland School of Law (Birmingham, Alabama), Juris Doctor 1995
Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority-Charter Member, University of South Carolina
American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Cumberland School of Law
Oconee County Bar
South Carolina Bar
Mr. Holliday obtained his Undergraduate Degree from Furman University and his Juris Doctor from The Charleston School of Law and was admitted to practice in South Carolina in 2014. He was likewise admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court in 2015.