Jean Hoefer Toal

(1943- )

Jean Hoefer Toal, former Chief Justice on the Supreme Court of South Carolina, began her career of public service with her election in 1975 to the South Carolina House of Representatives. She represented Richland County in the House for 13 years and was its first woman to chair a standing committee. She chaired the House Rules Committee and the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democrat became a leader in the House working on issues including constitutional law, re-structuring of the judicial system and local government, budgets, utilities regulation, workmen’s compensation and banking and finance. The Columbia native was educated at Agnes Scott College and the USC School of Law. A twenty year career as a practicing attorney included criminal trial work and constitutional litigation. She became the first woman elected to the Supreme Court in 1988 and has served as Chief Justice since 2000. In that role she has worked consistently to improve case management particularly through the adoption of modern technology, as she reported in 2011, “Use of modern technology to automate court processes has been the centerpiece of my administration as your Chief Justice.” 

[Address of the Hon. Jean Toal before a Joint Session of the General Assembly, March 2, 2011]

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