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Theo Walker Mitchell Edit Profile

Theo Walker Mitchell, American Lawyer. Bar: South Carolina. 1970, United States Court Appeals (4th circuit) 1970, Supreme Court of the United States Court 1970.

Background

Mitchell was born in Greenville to Clyde D. Mitchell and Dothenia E. Mitchell. He grew up in a broken household and his father moved to Newark, New Jersey to escape the segregationist practices of the South.

Education

Bachelor, Fisk University, 1960. Juris Doctor, Howard University, 1969.

Career

Upon completion of high school, Mitchell majored in biology at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and he aspired to be a doctor. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mitchell worked on cancer research in Washington, D.C., but while there he enrolled in law school at Howard University. Choosing to remain in South Carolina, Mitchell practiced law for the Legal Services Agency of Greenville, Inc.

He ran for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1972, but lost the race. In 1982, Mitchell was indicted on a charge of illegal possession of food stamps when a client of his allegedly gave him food stamps as payment for legal services. A mistrial was declared and the charges were dropped after the jury could not reach a verdict in the case.

Mitchell sought to emulate the recent successes of black politicians such as Jesse Jackson and Douglas Wilder by announcing his candidacy in January for the South Carolina gubernatorial election of 1990. Mitchell went on to lose the general election to Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. because of his inability to attract support from the white state Democratic Party establishment. The South Carolina Senate voted in 1995 to expel Mitchell from the Senate by a vote of 38 to 7 because he had violated federal tax laws.

It was the only time that a black member had been expelled from the state Senate. Upon the completion of his 90-day sentence, he lost the special election to fill his vacant seat. Mitchell established the law firm Mitchell and Associates in Greenville to specialize in civil rights, human rights and criminal law.

However, the state Supreme Court issued a public reprimand in 2005 to Mitchell because of the use of the word Associates in the law firm's name because there were no other practicing attorneys in his law firm that were licensed in South Carolina. Mitchell also serves on the Board of Directors of the LaRouche Movement's Schiller Institute.

Membership

Republican South Carolina House of Representatives, Columbia, South Carolina, 1974. Senator South Carolina Senate, Columbia, 1984. Member American Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, South Carolina Bar Association, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, Masons (33 degree), Phi Alpha Delta, Omega Psi Phi.

Interests

  • Other Interests

    Avocations: swimming, reading, hunting.

Connections

Married Greta JoAnne Knight, January 28, 1959. Children: Emily Kaye Mitchell-Smith, Tamara J. Mitchell-Ford, Megan Dawn Mitchell-Matthewson.