Law firm

Puppy love: North Charleston law firm donates big to help group of pets

From a tragedy comes the kind of good deed that makes people – and puppies – smile and maybe wag their tails.

The Joye Law Firm presents a check for $100,000 to the Charleston Animal Society.

Joye Law Firm, a North Charleston-based personal injury law firm, recently donated $100,000 to the Charleston Animal Society to honor a deceased client and the animals he loved. The gift revitalizes the pet shelter’s playground where the client’s dogs once frolicked after the tragic death of their owner.

Thanks to the company’s donation, the playground is now called “Gina and Luca Play Yard, in Memory of Johnny Scott”.

The late Johnny Scott played with one of his dogs when he was just a puppy.

Scott, a Charleston resident whose broad smile warmed customers at the Coliseum Liquors near Tanger Outlet, died in September 2021 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Even as he fought for his life in a local hospital, his main concern was making sure his two Cane Corsos received loving care.

Joye Law Firm attorney Jeff Gerardi handled Scott’s case.

“For Johnny, like for many of us, his dogs were more than pets. They were family,” Gerardi said. “This contribution will go towards helping other families and pets during times difficult times, which we believe is a fitting way to honor Johnny’s memory and help preserve his legacy.”

Gerardi with Gina.

When Scott died last year, the animal organization took in Gina and Luca. They made sure the two found good, loving homes. And recently, Gina returned to Charleston and visited the shelter to perform.

“She was greeted like a celebrity and tons of Charleston Animal Society team members came out to say hello,” one observer said. Unfortunately, Luca recently passed away from cancer.

Praise from the Charleston Animal Society

“The Animal Society has done so much good in such a bad situation,” said attorney Ken Harrell, managing partner at law firm Joye. “The people of Charleston are extremely lucky to have a world-class animal rescue organization right here in our backyard.

Harrell makes remarks to the Charleston Animal Society.

“Our firm has been a proud supporter of theirs for 15 years, but getting a first-hand view of how they have gone beyond in these tragic circumstances made us think. We knew we had to recognize the good that they did for our client and his dogs, as well as the thousands of others in our community during their time of great need.

The company’s $100,000 donation comes from its part of a confidential settlement in a personal injury case brought by Scott’s estate. His family received their full share of the settlement.

Corporate generosity has a big impact

The Charleston Animal Society says it is still impressed with the generosity of Joye Law Firm’s donation to help animals get a different kind of joy in the playground.

“It never ceases to amaze me how much light and love can come out of such a dark and sad situation,” said Kay Hyman, director of the organization’s community engagement program. “Johnny loved his dogs and just wanted to know they would be taken care of before he died.

“His devotion to his dog family and the honest representation of his wishes by the law firm of Jeff Gerardi and Joye will leave a legacy of hope for animals for years to come.”


President and CEO Joe Elmore agreed.

“We see so much pain and suffering in animals, most often caused by humans,” he said. “However, we are also seeing more people, like our friends at Joye Law Firm, stepping in every day to help us alleviate pain and suffering.

“Without compassionate people, the fate of animals would be a dark, dark place. Joye Law Firm is a light for animals.

About Joye Law Firm

Joye Law Firm has been providing legal services to the people of South Carolina for over 50 years. Founded in 1968, the law firm has offices in North Charleston, Columbia, Clinton, Myrtle Beach and Summerville.

As part of the firm’s commitment to community service, Joye Law Firm has established Joy in the community—a year-round program that includes scholarships and other community activities that the firm supports. The initiative is designed to enrich the lives of everyone involved and raise awareness of the needs of members of the communities we serve.