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Posts published in February 2019

Member Spotlight: Mike Cerrati, Section Delegate, South Carolina Bar Solo and Small Firm Section

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Section Delegate and immediate past-Chair Mike Cerrati practices in Belzer PC’s Hilton Head, South Carolina office, regularly advising domestic and international trademark and copyright owners on the proper selection, clearance, use, licensing and protection of their intellectual property both in the U.S. and abroad.

He frequently prosecutes federal and state trademark applications and coordinates foreign trademark filings worldwide. Mike manages intellectual property portfolios for established corporations and assists startups and entrepreneurs in developing strategies for branding their new businesses. He also serves as U.S. counsel for a number of leading intellectual property firms in Europe, Asia, South America and Central America assisting with the prosecution and protection of their clients’ trademarks in the U.S. In addition, Mike litigates intellectual property disputes in state and federal courts, represents trademark clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and handles domain name disputes.

Member Spotlight: Ayesha Washington, Chair, South Carolina Bar Solo & Small Firm Section

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Solo and Small Firm Section Chair Ayesha Washington is the owner and principal attorney of The Washington Law Firm, LLC, in Charleston. Her areas of practice include general litigation, nursing home litigation, complex personal injury, Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), train grade crossing collisions, product liability, toxic torts, contracts, and probate and estates.

An active member of her community, Ayesha is currently Vice Chair for Metanoia, a community development corporation designed to use neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing, and generate economic development. She is also a board member and mentor for the Young Ladies Conquering Obstacles, a teen enrichment program; and is a member of St. Matthew Baptist Church where she has served as the Coordinator for Vacation Bible School for the past three years. She is a member of the church’s Health Ministry and facilities the church’s exercise program. She is a certified Zumba Instructor.

Previously, she served on the Advisory Board for the non-profit organization: It's Up to Me! (a teen pregnancy prevention program) from 2005 to 2009; the School’s Out Board from 2006 to 2009; and Carolina Empowerment Group (a HIV/AIDS awareness program) from 2007 to 2011.

In addition to her work on the Solo & Small Firm Section Council, Ayesha is also a board member of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, and a member of the Charleston County Bar Association. A graduate of Clemson University, the University of South Carolina School of Law, and The Citadel, Ayesha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Juris Doctor, and a Masters in Business Administration. 

Member Spotlight: Stacy Thompson, Co-Chair, South Carolina Bar Solo & Small Firm Section

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Meet Chair-elect Stacy Thompson, a partner with Bluestein, Thompson & Sullivan, LLC, in Columbia, SC, practicing primarily social security disability law since graduating from USC School of Law and the Darla Moore School of Business (MIBS, Portuguese track) in 2000. 

Here’s Stacy’s story:

Although I truly enjoy my work, and in particular my clients and the people I work with, spending time with family (of the human and furry kind) is vital to me.  My local adventures, including supporting my Gamecocks in all sports, and time at home with my rescue mutt give me much-needed respites from the practice of law and the responsibility that comes with being a small business owner.  However, I blame my mother (don’t we all) for starting a tradition that has truly altered my overall perspective about what truly matters...

About 7 years ago, my mother received her Medicare card in the mail and decided that she needed to fulfill a life-long dream of hers – to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  She trained and prepared for the next six months and ultimately conquered that peak – 19,341 feet to Uhuru summit and the Rooftop of Africa.  I thought she was a little crazy at the time, but was inspired by her experience and asked to join her on the next climb.  After that first trip to Machu Picchu, we continued with annual hikes, stomping (and laughing) through the Swiss Alps, the Canadian Rockies, Death Valley, the Julian Alps (Slovenia) and across England.  One of our greatest physical challenges together was to the base camp of Mt. Everest/Kalapathar (18,192 feet) and in January 2018, I followed in Mom’s footsteps and climbed Kilimanjaro as well.  Needless to say, you learn a lot about yourself when climbing straight up a path in the dark at 19,000 feet, but the sense of accomplishment at the end makes every struggling breath worth it!  The memories made on every trail and in every country Mom and I have ventured to in the past seven years are priceless in so many ways and we will keep living by the mantra “Find Joy in the Journey” as our bucket list continues to grow!