Judge J. Mark Hayes, II is the second of two children born to J.M. and Edith Roland Hayes. He was born and resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina and is a member of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church. Judge Hayes serves as a board member for 721 ministries.
He attended public schools in Spartanburg and graduated cum laude from Wofford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in May of 1980. While at Wofford he was Senior Class President, a member of the Blue Key Society, Phi Gamma Mu, and was President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He was also a member State Student Legislator, and a U.S. Senate Intern for Senator Strom Thurmond. During his junior year at Wofford Judge Hayes was a member of the Judicial Commission and served as Chairman of the Judicial Commission during his senior year.
Judge Hayes received his Juris Doctor in May of 1984. He served on Moot Court Board and was selected as a member of Order of the Barrister. He was the finalist at a USC Mock Trial. While in law school, he worked for the Law Office of O. Fayrell Furr.
Judge Hayes began his legal career in 1984 as a clerk for the Honorable E.C. Burnett, III. In August of 1985 he entered private practice when he joined the law firm of Burts, Turner, Hammett, Harrison & Rhodes where he became a partner in 1987. In January 1991, he and his partner, Ben C. Harrison, established the Harrison & Hayes Law Firm. The firm focused on civil litigation matters and Judge Hayes developed a strong interest in public school law. In January 2000, Judge Hayes and Mr. Harrison formed a new partnership with John B. White, Jr., Danny R. Smith and Donald C. Coggins, Jr. Judge Hayes remained a partner in the Harrison, White, Smith, Hayes & Coggins, P.C. firm until his election to the bench in 2003. In addition to litigation matters, Judge Hayes was responsible for his firm's appellate practice.
He was elected Circuit Court Judge, At-Large, Seat 5 on April 9, 2003. While in private practice, he served on the South Carolina Commission on Lawyer Conduct. He was a member of the American Bar Association, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association and the South Carolina School Board Lawyer's Association. He was also Chairman of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium Commission and its Long Range Planning Committee, which completed a ten million ($10,000,000.00) dollar renovation of the Auditorium in 2001. In 1987, the South Carolina Department of Education recognized and honored Judge Hayes for his contribution to South Carolina public schools.
Judge Hayes is admitted to practice in all South Carolina State Courts, U.S. District Courts of South Carolina, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.