News Release

South Carolina Attorney Christopher A. Wellborn Receives Prestigious 2019 Heeney Award from Nation's Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (August 6, 2019) – On Saturday, August 3, Attorney Christopher A. Wellborn of Rock Hill, SC, received the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award is given annually to the criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession.

“Chris Wellborn exemplifies the utmost dedication to each and every one of his clients,” said NACDL Immediate Past President Drew Findling, who presented Wellborn with NACDL’s Heeney Award. “At NACDL, he served on the task force for collateral consequences and while balancing his professional and board obligations, he traveled around the country and provided his services for those devastated by the consequences of conviction. Chris Wellborn not only cares about his clients, he cares about all of our clients.”

Wellborn, a life member of NACDL, joined in 1994 and has participated on the Board of Directors since 2010. He served as NACDL Treasurer from 2015 to 2016 and as Parliamentarian from 2017 to 2018. He also currently serves as Chair of the Bylaws Committee, Co-Chair of the Sousveillance Task Force, and as a member of the Membership, Mental Health, and Corrections Committees. He previously served as chair of the Budget Committee and as a member on the Long Range Planning and Public Defense Committees. Wellborn is also a founding member, past president, and former board member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is also a Past President of the York County Bar Association, and has served as Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the South Carolina Bar Association.

As a sole practitioner, Wellborn is primarily devoted to trial work, in both state and federal courts, and continues to advocate in appellate courts as well. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar as well as the District of South Carolina and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Chris is a frequent presenter at criminal defense conferences and training sessions. He began his career as a York County prosecutor and started practicing criminal defense in 1990. In 1997, Wellborn opened his own firm, Christopher A. Wellborn, P.A.

Wellborn received his B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1983. He graduated with his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1988. He also attended National Criminal Defense College.

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Ian Nawalinski, NACDL Public Affairs & Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7624 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.