Merl F. Code

Of Counsel || Greenville

Merl F. Code is an attorney at the law office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Mr. Code has been an active board member of over 30 organizations serving the interests of the Upstate, such as The Palmetto Institute, Minority Economic Development Institute, BB&T Bank of South Carolina, Clemson University Advisory Board, and the Greater Greenville YMCA, to name a few.  In addition to serving as a board member, Mr. Code has also served as Chairman for several of these organizations, including, but not limited to, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Phillis Wheatley Association, University Center of Greenville, and the United Way of Greenville.  Mr. Code’s list of successful endeavors includes Owner/CEO of Precision Tool Manufacturing, Owner/Chairman of Code Insurance Associates, and president of Code & Associates Sports Management Agency.

In addition, Mr. Code is the first African American to chair the Greenville County United Way Board of Directors, the first African American to serve as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the University Center of Greenville, the first African American Municipal Court Judge, and the first African American to become Chairman of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Code received the Order of the Palmetto and the Compleat Lawyer Award by the SC Bar Association, and had been inducted into the North Carolina A&T Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame.  Mr. Code’s law practice concentrates in the areas of positive employee relations and diversity.  He has more than 40 years of trial level experience, and has served as a certified Mediator for over 25 years.

Learn more about Merl F. Code


  • J.D., University of South Carolina, 1979
  • B.S., cum laude, North Carolina A&T State University, 1970

Admittance to Practice

  • South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • Municipal Court Judge, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Certified Mediator
  • Upstate Affiliate of the National Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Directors – Minority Economic Development Institute
  • Member, Board of Directors – Institute for Child Success
  • Member, Board of Directors – Blue Ridge Council Boy Scouts of America
  • Member, Board of Directors – Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
  • Member, Board of Directors – Commerce Club
  • Member Emeritus, Board of Trustees – Furman University (former Chair, Marketing & Public Relations Committee)
  • Member, 100 Black Men of the Upstate
  • Member, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mu Pi Chapter
  • President, Code & Associates Sports Management Firm
  • Owner/CEO, Precision Tool Manufacturing


  • Greenville Chamber's Friday Forum - "Leadership: The Currency of the Community and Business" - Greenville - April 25, 2014
  • April 2, 2007 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "Enhancing Workplace Diversity - Strategies for Success"
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 50 Most Influential People of 2018 – selected by Greenville Business Magazine
  • 2018 Hall of Fame – selected by Greenville Business Magazine
  • Visionary Leadership Award – awarded by Community Foundation of Greenville (2018)
  • Chairman’s Award – named by Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • South Carolina Black Hall of Fame (1999)
  • Tommy Thomason Award (1998) – awarded by the Greenville County Bar Association
  • Compleat Lawyer Award – selected by South Carolina Bar Association (1997)
  • Order of the Palmetto – Awarded by David Beasley, Governor of South Carolina (1996)
  • Top 25 Business Influencers – honored by Vision Magazine (1996)
  • Business Person of the Year – named by South Carolina Business Network (1996)
  • Omega Citizen of the Year – Omega Psi Phi (1981 and 2015)
  • Omega Man of the Year – Omega Psi Phi (1978 and 1998)
  • National Finalist, Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition – San Francisco, CA
  • Young Lawyer of the Year Award – selected by South Carolina Bar Association (1984) (first recipient of the Young Lawyer of the Year Award)

Insights by Merl F. Code