Judge R. Markley Dennis, Jr. was born in Moncks Corner, South Carolina in 1947. He is the son of the late R. Markley and Grace Smith Dennis, formerly of Pinopolis, SC.
He attended Berkeley County public schools in Moncks Corner and earned his bachelor of science in business administration in 1970 from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. While at USC, he became a member of the Kappa Alpha Order, Rho Chapter. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia from 1970-1973, receiving his juris doctorate degree in 1973.
Judge Dennis returned to Moncks Corner upon his graduation from law school to practice law with his father; his uncle, Rembert C. Dennis; and his friend Butch Watson, a longtime friend and law school classmate. While practicing law, he remained very involved with his community. He was an active member of the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Sertoma Club and served on various boards and commissions including the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Lowcountry YMCA Board of Directors, Charleston Trident Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Farmers and Merchants Bank Board of Directors and the Trident United Way Advisory Board and Board of Directors. For sixteen years, he was the attorney for the Town of St. Stephens and represented the Berkeley County School District. Since 1982, he has coached the Berkeley High School Mock Trial Team, including state champion teams in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 2000. In 1999, he judged National Mock Trial Competition in St. Louis, MO.
On February 2,1994 he was elected by the General Assembly to the position of Circuit Judge, At-Large, Seat No.2, to fulfill the unexpired term of Judge William Howell. Also in 1994, he attended the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a circuit judge, he serves as a member of the Law Related Education Committee for the South Carolina Bar, and is also a member of Administrative Law Judge Judicial Council and the Circuit Court Judges Advisory Committee.
Judge Dennis is married and has three (3) children and five (5) grandchildren.