Francis J. Cornely
"Frank" graduated from the College of Charleston in 1984 with a degree in Political Science after serving in the Air Force from 1976 to 1980. In 1987, Frank earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to entering private practice in 1990, he was an Assistant Solicitor for the 9th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. Frank served from 1990 to 2003 as a Municipal Judge for the City of Hanahan, the Town of Mt. Pleasant and for the Town of Sullivan's Island.
Frank is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American Judges Association, and South Carolina Summary Court Judges Association.
Frank was first selected for inclusion in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since 2007, he has been included every year. Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 25,000 leading attorneys cast almost two million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their specialties, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.
Frank has been selected for inclusion in the Top Lawyer's as published in Corporate Counsel and is listed in South Carolina Super Lawyer in the area of criminal defense from 2009 to present.
In 2013, Frank was awarded the highest possible peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the most respected lawyer ranking company and directory. He was awarded the "AV Preeminent Rating", a prestigious ranking given to lawyers of the highest quality as reviewed by other lawyers in the field.
In 2014, Frank received the prestigious "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of South Carolina" from the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Inc. To receive this award, attorneys must first be nominated by a licensed practicing attorney before the research staff verifies that they are licensed, in good standing, have over five years of experience in Criminal Defense and that they devote a large portion of their practice to Criminal Defense. It is only after all of these requirements are met that the NACDA Processing Committee selects a small portion from the list of nominated attorneys to advance to the final round, where the NACDA Board of Governors officially selects the top. Thus, this award is very prestigious as well as highly selective.
The National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC. also recognized Frank as one of the top 50 DUI attorneys in South Carolina. On November 3, 2014, Frank ranked among the nations most prestigious law firms on the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers' 2015 “Best Law Firms” rankings. On December 8, 2014, The American Society of Legal Advocates selected Frank as one of the top 100 Litigation Lawyers in the State of South Carolina for 2015.
The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence, selects its members by utilizing a research team, a blue ribbon panel of attorneys and a judicial review board. The attorneys selected by this Counsel are thus known as the top one percent of attorneys in the United States and awarded membership to the NADC. In 2015, Frank was selected by this Counsel and thus is recognized to be in the top one percent of attorneys in the United States.