From 1979 until 1980, Gergel served as a law clerk for a law firm in Columbia, South Carolina, and he was a partner with the firm from 1981 until 1982. Beginning in 1983, and continuing until his nomination to the district court, he was the president and partner with his own law firm (most recently known as Gergel, Nickles and Solomon) in Columbia. He has specialized in personal injury law.
Gergel was the attorney representing the South Carolina Education Association and public school teacher Maggi Hall when her First Amendment Rights were denied her by her Superintendent William Foil of Mullins SC. The case went to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond VA and was considered one of the most important First Amendment cases to come down from the 4th Circuit in over a decade.
The case, Hall vs. Marion School District 2, 1994, upheld the lower court's decision that Mullins District 2 acted illegally in firing Hall for exercising free speech in criticizing her superintendent and school board for reckless spending.
Hall published AFFIRMED: Teachers As Citizens in 2006, detailing her account of harassment by the public school superintendent Bill Foil, school principal Cindy LeGette, Mullins school teachers, the Mullins School Board, and the Marion County School Board. Visit www.FirstAmendmentRights.org to order a copy of this intriguing and significant story.