Michael Nettles was born in Lake City, South Carolina, in 1959, to E. LeRoy Nettles, Sr. and the late Beverly Herlong Nettles.
He grew up in Lake City, a small town in southern Florence County. He completed high school in 1977 and graduated cum laude from Wofford College in 1981, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Michael earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina in 1984.
Following his graduation, he returned to Lake City where he joined his family in the general practice of law. He became a partner with his father, E. LeRoy Nettles, Sr., his brother, E. LeRoy Nettles, Jr., his sister, Marian D. “Missy” Nettles Jay, Elbert K. Turbeville, and Larry G. Reddeck. Michael remained a partner in this firm until his election to the bench on February 2, 2005.
Michael was married to the late Donna Hick Nettles and has 3 wonderful children Megan Cain, Lauren Nettles and Jason Nettles. He has 4 grandchildren.