Sumter attorney Tommy Bultman elected as family court judge

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 2/18/18

Thomas M. "Tommy" Bultman, an attorney at Bryan Law Firm of S.C., LLP, will join more than 50 of the states elected public servants after he was elected to family court by South Carolina General …

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Sumter attorney Tommy Bultman elected as family court judge

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Thomas M. "Tommy" Bultman, an attorney at Bryan Law Firm of S.C., LLP, will join more than 50 of the states elected public servants after he was elected to family court by South Carolina General Assembly on Feb. 7.

Bultman is scheduled to start the next path in his law career on March 5.

The managing practitioner at Bryan Law Firm, Bultman will leave behind his duties as a practitioner of law to take the bench.

Bultman, a former Third Judicial Circuit assistant solicitor, has practiced law for nearly 40 years since he was admitted to the S.C. Bar in November 1978.

He decided to run for the judgeship after former Family Court Judge George McFaddin Jr. was appointed to an at-large circuit court judge position in 2017.

A few of Bultman's acquaintances asked if he would be interested in the position, and he submitted his information to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, responsible for screening candidates, after discussing the judgeship with his family.

He was unanimously elected to family court but knew he would get the position after the two other candidates dropped out of the race.

Bultman said he knew he was set to win the judgeship because he found out he would receive the most votes from the general assembly following the commission's screening process. That was very humbling, he said.

Anyone running for judgeship in an appellate or general jurisdiction court must be a U.S. citizen, be between 32 and 72 years old, and have at least eight years of experience as a licensed attorney.

Though Bultman will be taking on a new position, he will find familiarity while serving the public in his new capacity.

Throughout his career as an attorney, Bultman has focused on family law and has presented many cases throughout the state that he will soon be presiding over, such as divorces, juvenile criminal charges, Department of Social Services cases and adoptions.

"I have a good working knowledge of family law," he said. "I've handled all of those cases many a time."

The only fun time a family court judge or lawyer can have is uncontested adoptions, Bultman said. Those are happy days, he said.

During his first two weeks, Bultman will travel to Lexington and Florence counties where he will observe other family court judges and preside over his first cases. Afterward, he will preside over cases in other counties in the state.

Bultman joined Bryan Law Firm as an associate in 1987 and became a partner in 1992.

He is a 1975 graduate of The Citadel, with a bachelor's degree in political science, and a 1978 graduate of University of South Carolina School of Law. He is admitted to practice law before the U.S. District Court of South Carolina; U.S. Tax Court; and Court of Veterans Affairs.

Bultman is also a certified Family Law Mediator and has represented individuals in Social Security and Veterans Affairs disability cases.

He attends St. James Lutheran Church and is also a member of Sumter Rotary Club.

Bultman is married to Marsha S. Bultman and is the father of two daughters and three stepchildren. He has three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.