Frederick “Fritz” Jekel
Fritz was born outside of Buffalo New York, the sixth of seven children. He moved to South Carolina after attending Notre Dame High School in New Hartford New York. Fritz then enrolled at the University of South Carolina., immediately loved the area and locals and made South Carolina his home. The Jekel family soon followed. Mother Joan lives in Murrells Inlet, brother John in Sumter, sister Tracy in Greenville North Carolina and niece Katie in Columbia. Fritz moved to Charleston in 1993 after graduating from The University of South Carolina School of Law and has been a resident of ever since. During Fritz’s marriage to the Honorable Lynn Seithel he learned to ride and love horses as well as tend to the farm. Fritz’s legal work has led him to travel the United States and he is sure many at an airport have overheard him say “there is no place like Charleston, it is great to be home”. Fritz is an avid golfer and lover of fiction. His current favorite author is a toss up between James Patterson and Dean Koontz.
Fritz obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in December of 1989, obtained a Masters of Public Administration and Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 1993.
When he completed law school Fritz went to work for Ness, Motley, Loadholt Richardson and Poole as a trial attorney. Fritz worked with pre trial and trial responsibility in a wide range of complex matters where he gained valuable experience with hard nosed defendants. These matters included groundwater contamination (In re: Tutu Water wells litigation – USVI); civil RICO ( Bonilla v. Volvo Car Corporation), asbestos property damage ( Litchfield Community Unit School District); asbestos personal injury and childhood lead poisoning. Fritz managed a nationwide litigation effort with lead poisoning, litigating cases in South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia. Lead Poisoning was greatly fulfilling because it allowed Fritz to help those that needed good solid legal representation the most.
In 2002/2003 Ness, Motley became Motley Rice and Fritz’s career took on a new path. He focused his efforts on catastrophic cases, asbestos personal injury, and complex litigation. Fritz has litigated to verdict several asbestos cases with multi million dollar verdicts and resolved major high profile litigation including being lead counsel for the students who alleged civil rights violations for a failed drug raid by the Goose Creek Police Department at Stratford High School. The case resulted in significant changes at the School District, Police Department and established a fund in excess of one million dollars for affected students. Fritz was instrumental in both the property damage and personal injury class actions that resulted from the Norfolk Southern Train derailment in Graniteville South Carolina in January of 2005 and continues to represent victims that were injured as a result. Fritz has personally handled difficult tractor trailer personal injury cases at Motley Rice and obtained favorable results. Fritz assisted in the securities litigation, taking the expert or corporate executive depositions when needed. Fritz is recognized to be aggressive in his approach to pre trial discovery and depositions but good with juries. Juries have indicated that they see the hard work and dedication that Fritz puts into a case. Fritz has been a member of the trial team and litigated in the following Federal Courts- United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Illinois. More often Fritz has tried cases in state courts in the following - Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and North Carolina and New York. Vast experience in a diversified practice. Fritz is licensed in Souith Carolina.
Fritz decided in 2008 to end his tenure as trial attorney at Motley Rice and open a specialized litigation boutique firm with a colleague and friend of over 15 years, Paul Doolittle. The two provide high quality representation to South Carolina residents and assist South Carolina attorneys with difficult cases.