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About me

I have lived my entire life in the South Carolina Midlands. I received
my Bachelor of Arts degree from Newberry College, and my Master of
Criminal Justice and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of South

I began my career as a law enforcement officer, where I worked
my way through college. While serving as a criminal investigator, I
handled investigations ranging from undercover narcotics to homicide. I
joined the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and was
assigned as a Special Agent to the Attorney General's Office. I was the
lead agent on the State Grand Jury's investigation and prosecution of
the Carolina Investors/HomeGold Securities Fraud case, which is the
largest in the history of South Carolina.

Whether the issue is a
divorce; child custody; parenting time; spousal and child support;
property division; division of retirement benefits; tax consequences of
divorce; mediation and arbitration; annulments; paternity; prenuptial
and postnuptial agreements; change of domicile; or post-judgment
proceedings, the investigative and conflict resolution skills I
developed as a law enforcement officer, coupled with my knowledge and
experience in family law, equip me well to serve the best interests of
my clients.

I have spent many years in courtrooms across the State
working with prosecutors, defendants and defense attorneys to resolve
cases. In my legal practice it is always my goal to attempt to reach a
resolution outside of the courtroom whenever practical. However, when
settlement is not an option, I am fully prepared to aggressively protect
my clients' interests in the courtroom.

I know that the legal process
can be confusing. Keeping this in mind, I am committed to ensure that my
clients know what to expect along each step of their cases, and I am
sensitive and responsive to all questions my clients may have concerning
the legal process. Having personally experienced a divorce, I
understand the emotional impact a divorce has on both parents and their
children. I make it a point to keep my clients focused on their children
and how their decisions and actions throughout the case will impact
them. Because of my concern for children, I am also privileged to serve
as a Guardian ad litem in cases, where I represent the best interests of
children in custody disputes.

While in law school, I served as a member
of the South Carolina Law Review, which is the principal legal
publication in South Carolina. My article "Attorney Malpractice in Will
Drafting: Will South Carolina Expand Privity to Impose a Duty to
Intended Beneficiaries of a Will?" was published in South Carolina Law
Review and has been cited by the South Carolina Supreme Court, in a
published opinion, and various legal publications. I have also served as
an adjunct faculty member for Newberry College and Piedmont Technical
College, and I have made presentations at Continuing Legal Education
courses on the topics of Securities Fraud and Expert Witness Testimony.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Child Custody: 45%
  2. Divorce: 45%
  3. Elder Law: 5%
  4. White Collar Crime: 5%



Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Lloyd Wayne Patterson

    I endorse this lawyer. Max was the opposing counsel on a very difficult family issue. I found him to be professional, courteous, and responsive.


    Lloyd Patterson Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

  • David Thomas Pisarra

    I met Max in Colorado while we were attending a weeklong Lawyer training for continuing education. He was impressive before the class and even more afterwards. I found Max to be a very perceptive and astute attorney and I highly recommend him as a strong advocate for his clients.


    David Pisarra Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Payne, Black & Pickelsimer, LLC

1531 Blanding Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Payne, Black & Pickelsimer, LLC

131 Caldwell Street
Rock Hill, SC, 29730



SCGood Standing200803/07/2013
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Peer Review Rated - AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2015
Certified Family Court MediatorSC Board of Arbitration and Mediation2015
MemberSouth Carolina Law Review2006
South Carolina Outstanding Young AmericanSouth Carolina Jaycees2002
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Partner/MemberPayne, Black & Pickelsimer, LLC (formerly Warner, Payne & Black)2008 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
South Carolina BarMember2008 - Present
Richland County Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
Lexington County Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
American Bar Associationmember2008 - Present
York County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Jennings v. Jennings, 401 S.C. 1, 736 S.E.2d 242 (2012)The South Carolina Supreme Court found that the emails in question were not being held in elecronic storage as defined by the SCA.
Cannon v. Georgia Attorney Generals Office, et al, 397 S,C, 541, 725 S.E.2d 698 (2012)The Court court affirmed the Court's imposition of attorneys fees while reducing the amount of the award.
Roof v. Steele, 396 S.C. 373, 720 S.E.2d 910 (Ct. App. 2011).The Court held that the trial court improperly tethered the alimony award to the costs of insurance.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of South Carolina School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor2008
University of South Carolina School of LawCriminal JusticeMS - Master of Science1997
Newberry CollegeSociologyBA - Bachelor of Arts1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
SCACPA Litigation ConferenceExpert Witnesses2009
Federal and State Securities EnforcementSecurities Fraud2008