Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
January 29, 2015
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at www.scbar.org. Click here for the most recent CLE Edition, which highlights upcoming CLE opportunities.
Justice Kittredge honored with inaugural award
During last week's Bar Convention Plenary Luncheon, the Hon. John Kittredge was recognized by Chief Justice Jean Toal with the inaugural Chief Justice's Award for outstanding contributions to the legal profession and justice system in South Carolina.
Convention diversity program highlights
On Saturday, January 24, the Bar’s Diversity Task Force presented “Diversity & Inclusiveness: Right Strategy, Right Now!” which featured best practice takeaways on improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Take advantage of some of the published works of speakers Kenneth Imo and Laurent Rikleen, listed below. The seminar was well received, and the Task Force will continue to move forward in its work to expand the commitment to diversity and inclusion in the South Carolina legal community. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Mentors Are Good, Sponsors Are Better
The Needle Moves When Leaders Push It
Solving the Law Firm Gender Gap Problem
A Key to U.S. Competitiveness: Work-Life Balance
Survey results: Pro bono participation and malpractice coverage
In December Bar members were invited to participate in a survey assessing participation in pro bono activities and possession of malpractice insurance coverage. Survey responses have been tabulated, finding that 703 of 1,275 respondents participate in pro bono service by providing direct representation to clients. 454 respondents participate through Bar law related education and pro bono activities. 951 of 1,271 respondents maintain professional liability insurance, with 260 respondents practicing in a position where coverage would not be necessary, such as through a government entity or in-house counsel. The results will aid the work of the Pro Bono Program and Professional Liability Committee. Thank you to those members who completed the survey.
New publications available now!
Follow the links to purchase online, or call Kristie Haustovich at (803) 771-0333 or (800) 768-7787, ext. 126
South Carolina Legal Research and Citation, Third Edition
SC Foreclosure Law Manual, 2014 Supplement
House adopts Third Party Legal Opinion Report
Last week the House of Delegates approved a request from the Corporate, Banking & Securities Law Section to adopt its S.C. Third Party Legal Opinion Report. The report offers state-specific guidelines to assist S.C. lawyers in the preparation of legal opinions.
2015 Columbia Attorney Basketball League
The sixth season of the Columbia Attorney Basketball League begins the week of March 16. Games are played on Monday nights at either Epworth Children’s Home or Eastminster Presbyterian Church. If you are interested in entering a team or joining an existing team, contact Trey Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 20.
Foundation Gala 2015 Wrap Up!
This past Saturday, guests enjoyed food, fellowship and FUNdraising at Gala 2015 — all to support the work of Foundation’s grantees. The evening celebrated lawyers with tremendous accomplishments – the Nifty Fifty Class of 1965; John E. Robinson, the SC Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year; Kimaka Nichols-Graham, the Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year; and Stephen G. Morrison, this year’s Martha’s Moment honoree. Be sure to check out the video segments for each honoree. A special thanks is due to the sponsors, especially event sustainer Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, honorary chair Inez M. Tenenbaum and Justice Costa Pleicones for making Gala 2015 a great success!
Advance Sheet update
January 28, 2015
In answering a certified question from the federal district court, the S.C. Supreme Court held that the public policy exception to the doctrine of at-will employment does not permit a cause of action in tort for employees who are terminated for reporting a suspected crime.
Taghivand v. Rite Aid Corp., Op. No. 27485 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 13), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.
In this mortgage foreclosure action, the Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, finding McKown is not entitled to a jury trial solely because the Bank exercised its statutory right to join him as a party. In the interest of judicial economy, the Court further held that McKown is not entitled to a jury trial based on his counterclaims, which, while legal, are permissive. The Court determined McKown waived his right to a jury trial by asserting permissive counterclaims in an equitable action.
Carolina First Bank v. BADD, LLC, Op. No. 27486 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 21), is available online.
After certifying this direct appeal pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, the Court held that the admission of the challenged statements from the unredacted audiotaped interrogation was an abuse of discretion. The Court determined this error was harmless as it relates to the assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime charges. Regarding the murder charge, however, the Court determined the error was not harmless and reversed and remanded for a new trial. The Court emphasized that caution must be exercised when admitting statements made by an investigator during an interrogation to ensure that all out-of-court statements are either “admissible for a valid nonhearsay purpose or as an exception to the hearsay rule in order to safeguard against an end-run around the evidentiary and constitutional proscriptions against the admission of hearsay.”
State v. Brewer, Op. No. 27487 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 29), is available online.
Justice Beatty concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion. Justice Pleicones dissented in part in a separate opinion.
On appeal, Morris challenged the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress the narcotics discovered during a traffic stop. The Court affirmed, finding the officer had reasonable suspicion to extend the traffic stop and probable cause to search the entire vehicle.
State v. Morris, Op. No. 27488 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 41), is available online.
Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion in which Justice Beatty concurred.
After granting a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the court of appeals, the Court dismissed the writ as improvidently granted.
Cullen v. McNeal, Op. No. 27489 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 50), is available online.
The Court affirmed the decision of the trial court in this wrongful termination case, finding the trial court did not err in: denying appellant’s motions for a directed verdict and JNOV as to McNaughton’s wrongful termination/breach of contract claim; charging and allowing the jury to award McNaughton special damages for her claim; or awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to S.C. Code Section 15-77-300.
McNaughton v. Charleston Charter School for Math and Science Inc., Op. No. 27490 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 52), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.
After hearing oral arguments concerning the practices and procedures for serving arrest warrants on persons incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), the Court concluded that complaints of SCDC inmates concerning adverse impacts resulting from unserved arrest warrants can be resolved by administrative action. The Court republished the pertinent part of a memorandum issued by the S.C. Judicial Department’s Office of Court Administration, which reiterated the policy that all warrants to be served upon inmates who are in the custody of the SCDC be transmitted to the Office of General Counsel. The Court dismissed this matter since the issue raised is now moot.
Hall v. State, Order No. 2015-01-28-01 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed January 28, 2015) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 4 at 70), is available online.
Thomas Grant Eppink, 54, of Columbia died on January 24. An obituary is available online.
Eugene Huggins, 86, of Bennettsville died on January 28. An obituary is available online.
The Committee of Character and Fitness has scheduled hearings on March 24 on the petitions for reinstatement of Robert A. Gamble and Kristie Ann McAuley.
Bruner, Powell, Wall & Mullins, LLC announces that Joey R. Floyd has been named partner in the firm located at 1735 St. Julian Place, Ste. 200, Columbia 29204. (803) 252-7693.
Joye, Nappier & Risher, LLC announces that Wendy A. Hardin has become a partner in the firm. The firm has been renamed Joye, Nappier, Risher & Hardin, LLC and is located at 3575 Hwy. 17 Bus., Murrells Inlet 29576. (843) 357-6454.
The Lovely Law Firm announces that Jarrod M. McPherson has joined the Myrtle Beach office located at 804 N. Oak St., 29577. (843) 839-4111.
Lisa Lee Smith and Matthew D. Sullivan announce the opening of Smith & Sullivan, LLC located at 271 Columbia Ave., Ste. A, Chapin 29036. (803) 941-7256.
The S.C. Department of Education announces that Cathy Hazelwood has been named Deputy Superintendent of General Counsel and Betsy Carpentier has been named the Chief Operating Officer/Chief of Staff and Interim Deputy Superintendent of Education for Innovation and Effectiveness located at 1429 Senate St., Columbia 29201. (803) 734-8500.
David N. “Chip” Truitt announces the opening of the Truitt Law Firm, LLC located at 925 Calhoun St., Columbia 29201. (803) 814-1556.
ADR Commission Meeting, Bar Conference Center
Education Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Law Related Education Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Families Forever Fair, Greenville
Free legal clinic: Family Law Issues (Spartanburg)
Free legal clinic: Family Law Issues (Summerville)
Free legal clinic: Family Law Issues (N. Myrtle Beach)
Free legal clinic: Wills, Estates and Probate (Hilton Head)
Living Above the Bar: Task Force on Attorney Wellness Meeting, Bar Building
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Free legal clinic: Immigration Law Issues (Columbia)
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Free legal clinic: End of Life Issues (Charleston)
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Ask-A-Lawyer, WCSC (Charleston)
Free legal clinic: End of Life Issues (St. George)
Free legal clinic: Family Law Issues (Spartanburg)
Free legal clinic: End of Life Issues (N. Myrtle Beach)
Free legal clinic: End of Life Issues (Chapin)
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