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Eleanor Duffy Cleary

DUI and DWI Attorney at Columbia, SC

5.0   14 reviews

also known as Ellen Cleary, Ellen Duffy

  • Licensed for 29 years
    State SC
    Acquired 1994
    Status
    Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Eleanor

Learn Eleanor’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
  1. DUI and DWI
    50%
    Traffic-related offenses, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving under suspension. Have successfully challenged license suspension with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    25 years

  2. Criminal defense
    40%
    Have successfully represented hundreds of clients charged with drug possession, distribution, and trafficking charges; domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, minor in possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, manslaughter, murder.

    25 years

  3. Appeals
    10%
    Have successfully handled hundreds of criminal appeals from state court convictions, including post-conviction relief. Also, parole hearings and expungements.

    25 years

I have deep roots in South Carolina.  I am a native South Carolininian and I went to Richland School District One schools.  I grew up on Harden Street right up from Five Points.  I am a dedicated Gamecock, having attended USC for undergrad and law school. I have a soft spot for college students and love to help them avoid getting criminal records that might hurt their bright futures.

Through experience and the National College of DUI Defense, I have become skilled at navigating the law of DUI defense in South Caroina.  I will get you the best possible outcome for your case.

I am proud to represent clients who have been accused of any crime in the South Carolina courts.  You deserve the most effective defense no matter the situation.  We will treat you with compassion and guide you through the complexities of the legal process.

 

Photos and videos

Ellen Cleary is a former magistrate judge in Richland County.
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Location

Cleary Law LLC
2725 Devine St
Columbia, SC, 29205

DUI & DWI lawyers nearby

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
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Posted by Joel | May 14, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job, stayed engaged!
Ellen really explained things and gave me options. Very thorough and helped my situation to a more positive result. She stayed engaged through the whole process, and it turned out better than I had hoped for.
Posted by Katie | February 3, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Best Attorney!
We cannot express enough our gratitude to Ellen for her representation in defending a matter for us. Her professionalism and experience was truly top notch. Having never been through a legal case before and not knowing what to expect was daunting. Ellen walked us through each step seamlessly. Ellen did phenomenal work on our behalf and provided us with the best possible outcome. She was always available and handled everything as quickly as possible. We were blessed to have found her to help us and get us through the challenges. We would definitely recommend Ellen. She would be the first person we would call if we should ever need legal help again. If you are looking for legal help she should be #1 on your list
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Posted by Warren | December 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great friend and awesome lawyer
Ellen is not only a dear friend to me but has helped me in several legal matters. She's a professional and compassionate lawyer. I highly recommend her for any legal matters you might have.
Posted by Kendal | March 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Easiest to work with
Ms. Cleary handled my boyfriends DUI case from the moment he went to jail I was on the hunt for the best lawyer. I came across Ms.Cleary while looking for lawyers. Her reviews alone let me know she was personable,easy to communicate with and very professional. Through our entire experience she proved to be just that! She made us feel comfortable and understood. I highly recommend her. She is awesome! Definitely did not disappoint!
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Posted by William | June 10, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful
Missue Cleary was an excellent lawyer. She sat down with me, explained in detail all of my options, and then worked hard to make sure that I was given the best possible resolution to my situation. She will work hard for you, and I would rate her very highly. If I were to ever need legal aid or advice in the future, this would be who I called
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Posted by anonymous | June 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic
Long story short. She told me the good and the bad of my situation and what the possible outcomes were. The final outcome of my case was better than i could have ever hoped for.
Posted by anonymous | June 2, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Compassionate, hardworking and effective
I was charged with a first-time shoplifting offense and was absolutely terrified. I found Ellen through Avvo.com and read other clients' positive reviews of her. After hiring her to defend me, I absolutely agree and can add more positive reviews for my experience with her. She is very fair with her fees and very thorough. She explained everything that was going to happen and had I not had her as my defense, I would have plead guilty and used my one chance at PTI for something that is relatively minor. Ellen's expertise and persistence got my charge completely dismissed without using PTI. This was crucial for me because I work in the legal field and needed to have my record cleared. She did this, with very little effort on my part. I can't thank her enough. She was never intimidated by the police's warnings to me to go ahead and plead guilty. In fact, she went out of her way to communicate with other officials on my behalf. She's a pro. She's been in the game long enough to know how the system works and she doesn't allow her clients to get railroaded. I 100% attest that if I hadn't had her as my counsel, I would be in a much worse situation. Hiring Ellen Cleary was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I'll recommend her to anyone in need and, likewise, I recommend her to anyone visiting this site who needs a good criminal defense lawyer who charges fairly.
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Posted by Minh | April 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
OUT OF STATE CASE
I have applied to govt. jobs and did not received any reply or was not offered employment because of my past legal issue. I know reside in Texas and forgotten about my past until I did my own background check. Too my surprise there was a legal issue in my past that showed up in the search..... I immediately went to the web and started a search for lawyers in the state of S.C that is experience in expungement cases. I contacted Cleary Law and had an immediate response. Mrs. Cleary answered all my questions and concerns regarding my case, she was very helpful and straight to the point. If you have any legal issues past or present in the state of S.C. and moved to another state, I highly recommend Cleary Law to assist in your legal need.
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Posted by anonymous | April 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Cleary Law
Ellen helped me to regain my personal sense of well being by earning me a pardon. She was very understanding and skilled in her legal knowledge. I knew that she was the right choice for my legal counsel and I was not disappointed.
Posted by Joe | November 15, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Legal Advisor
I got a DUI and was devastated. I thought my license would be suspended and I wouldn't be able to drive. Cleary Law was recommended to me by a friend and she was nothing but helpful and persistent in getting the charges reduced and I was able to keep my license and only pay a small fine. Would definitely recommend her. Thanks again Ms. Cleary!
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Posted by Robert | November 4, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Save my butt more then one time
She is amazing more then one time I have been saved . We had a jury trial and she made every one on the stand look so stupid , she is a shark and will get you out of almost anything
Posted by Jim | November 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
NOT GUILTY!
Eleanor Duffy Cleary went above and beyond my expectation. She did her homework, crossed all t's and dotted all of the i's in our case. Eleanor paid attention to all of our needs and helped us to overcome a bogus DUI charge. I would recommend her and her services to anyone in need of an attorney.
Posted by Charles | November 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer in Richland and Lexington Counties
She helped me get a great deal on my case. She is very knowledgeable, friendly, smart, intellectual, but down to earth and easy to talk to. I highly recommend her.
Posted by Morgan | September 1, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A GREAT Attorney with Excellent Service and Dedication !
Eleanor spent a great deal of time with us and did an outstanding job! I would recommend her and her staff to anyone looking for a dedicated attorney in South Carolina!
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Cost

We have not found any cost information for this lawyer

Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Cleary Law LLC
  • 2008 - Present
  • Judge
  • Richland County Magistrates Court
  • 2017 - 2021
  • Contract Legal Counsel
  • South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission
  • 2010 - 2013
  • Attorney
  • South Carolina Appellate Defense
  • 1999 - 2008
  • Staff Counsel
  • South Carolina State Senate
  • 1994 - 1999
View all work experience

Education

  • University of South Carolina School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1994
  • University of South Carolina School of Law
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1987

Sample of Legal Cases

  • City of Cayce v. X.S.
  • not gulty
  • Shenandoah Life Ins. Co. v. Smallwood (S.C. App., 2013)
  • Reversed and remanded; settled.
  • State v. R.B.
  • Not guilty
View all legal cases

Associations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • Newsletter Contributor
  • 2008 - Present
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Member
  • 2015 - 2017
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2022
  • Client Champion Award
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2022
  • Best Lawyer
  • Expertise
  • 2022
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2021
  • Best Lawyer
  • Expertise
  • 2021
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • American Jurisdprudence Award - Criminal Procedure
  • Lawyers Co-operative Publishing
  • 1994
View all awards

Publications

View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • SC Bar Pro Bono Legal Clinic
  • Criminal Law and Expungements
  • 2012
  • Criminal Litigation from A to Z
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • 2012
  • SC Women Lawyers Association Annual Meeting
  • Constitutionality of Disturbing Schools Law
  • 2009

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (8)
Endorse Eleanor
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"A great attorney who I worked with."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ms. Cleary is an exceptional criminal defense attorney with years of experience. She handles the tough cases and gets great results."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ellen is a passionate and experienced criminal defense attorney. She is also a great advocate in the courtroom."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ellen works very hard for her clients and has an excellent work ethic. She is extremely capable and competent."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I fully endorse Eleanor. She is not only a top notch lawyer but she is also a top notch person!"
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jul 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I met Eleanor at the National College for DUI Defense Summer Session at Harvard. She's dedicated to her clients and she's an excellent lawyer. I highly recommend her for DUI defense."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
DUI and DWI
General practice
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
DUI and DWI