Richard Mark Gergel is a United States District Judge and presides in the federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and graduated from Duke University, summa cum laude, and the Duke University School of Law. He returned to his hometown of Columbia to practice law, where he was the senior partner of his law firm and specialized in complex civil litigation. He was nominated to the United States District Court bench by President Barak Obama and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in August 2010.
Judge Gergel is a passionate student of South Carolina history, with a special focus on the state’s civil rights and legal history. His book, Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring was a 2019 NPR Staff Pick and was the basis for the American Experience documentary, The Blinding of Isaac Woodard.
Judge Gergel was instrumental in the decision to rename the Federal Courthouse in Charleston after Judge J. Waties Waring, and now presides in the courtroom where Judge Waring once served.