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Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
July 19, 2011
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at
www.scbar.org.
The South Carolina Bar is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

Board of Governors meets
The Board of Governors met July 14 by conference call. The Board voted to use a portion of the Indigent Service Fee collection to fund a deficit in IOLTA funding for the Ask-A-Lawyer and free legal clinic programs. The Board also voted to seek supplemental funding from the Bar Foundation to support Law Related Education programming. A request to be a sponsor for an ABA event in South Carolina focusing on solo and small firm practitioners was approved. The Board adopted a member benefit proposal that will offer members a 10 percent discount on Clio practice management services.

Court of Appeals Docketing Office and Reception Desk temporarily moved
Due to upcoming renovations in the Calhoun Building, the Docketing Office and Reception Desk for the S.C. Court of Appeals will be temporarily moved to the Edgar Brown Building, 1205 Pendleton St. Beginning Tuesday, July 19, the Court asks that all hand-delivered filings be brought to the new location.

Judicial Case Management System reaches milestone
An article on Government Technology's website highlights the recent completion of statewide implementation of the Judicial Case Management System in the circuit and magistrate courts in all 46 counties. 

Check Out Casemaker Elite
 
Bar members have long known about and used Casemaker – the legal research service that is a benefit of Bar membership. Just recently, Casemaker revealed the beta release of its new version, Casemaker Elite. The “beta” means it is nearly ready, but not quite. Casemaker Elite has an improved, “Google-like” interface. While Casemaker 2.2. is still available, you can try Casemaker Elite for yourself and let us know what you think. You will need to create your own temporary login and password, as the beta version does not recognize current Bar information. To do this, login to Casemaker 2.2, then click on the “Signup” link at the very top of the webpage. Look for “Sign Up for Casemaker Elite” below the password block and click on that to get started. E-mail casemaker@scbar.org
 if you need assistance. 

Revised Family Court Civil Contempt Forms
The S.C. Supreme Court has ordered that revised forms SCCA 434—Clerk’s Affidavit and SCCA 437—Civil Contempt Order are approved for use in the family courts. Previous versions of these forms are obsolete.

YLD to host backpack drive
The YLD is coordinating efforts with The Cooperative Ministry and WIS News Channel 10 to donate backpacks and school supplies to schools and students throughout the Midlands. Items can be dropped off at the S.C. Bar located at 950 Taylor St. and must be received by Thursday, Aug. 11. Additional drop-off locations will be listed at www.scbar.org soon. For more information, contact Paul Hoefer at (803) 779-8900 or phoefer@robinsonlaw.com.

S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense seeks candidates for Circuit Public Defenders
Candidates seeking to apply for a four-year term as the Circuit Public Defender in the 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th and 16th Judicial Circuits should go to www.jobs.sc.gov (beginning August 1) to complete on online application and receive further details. Contact Hugh Ryan at (803) 734-1338 with questions.   

Advance Sheet update
July 13, 2011

The S.C. Court of Appeals held the determination regarding whether a valid arbitration agreement existed was a "gateway matter" that the circuit court could properly consider, as opposed to submitting it to an arbitrator. The court affirmed the trial court’s finding that the merger clause contained in the employment offer letter operated to supersede the arbitration clause contained in the employment application. Accordingly, there was no arbitration clause to enforce, and the circuit court properly denied the motion to compel arbitration. The court also affirmed the circuit court’s denial of Appellants' motion to compel arbitration on the alternative basis that Appellants waived their right to enforce the arbitration agreement since more than 18 months had elapsed. 
Davis v. KB Homes of S.C., Inc., No. 4851, is available online.

The court agreed with the trial court that Mrs. Stiltner had the implied authority to transact matters concerning Mr. Stiltner's automobile insurance coverage provided her actions did not change Mr. Stiltner's existing coverage and she consulted with Mr. Stiltner before acting. The court further held, however, that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Mrs. Stiltner acted within her scope of authority when she rejected UIM coverage on Mr. Stiltner's insurance policy. The court remanded this matter for a trial on the merits. The court rejected USAA's arguments that it was entitled to summary judgment on the ground of ratification and that Mrs. Stiltner should be estopped from denying rejection of UIM coverage on her own behalf.
Stiltner v. USAA Cas. Ins. Co., No. 4852, is available online.

July 18, 2011
The S.C. Supreme Court found that the Court of Appeals erred in holding the Department of Social Services (DSS) failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that the mother willfully failed to support the child. The mother’s failure to complete a vocational rehabilitation program or GED program, combined with drug use and a long history with DSS, showed an indifference to the child and a desire to forgo parenting responsibilities. The Court held that termination of parental rights was in the best interest of the child in this case.  
S.C. Dep’t of Soc. Serv. v. M.R.C.L., No. 27007, is available online.

Discipline
By order of July 14 the Court has placed William Ashley Boyd on interim suspension.

By order of July 18 the Court disbarred Gilbert S. Bagnell for misconduct which included failing to pursue a matter on behalf of a client, failing to communicate with that client, failing to return the client's file and failing to respond to a subpoena for documents by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
 
By order of July 18 the Court suspended James Gerald Longtin for nine months and imposed additional conditions for misconduct which included failing to file motions as requested by trial judges, failing to return client files, failing to respond to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, continuing to practice in federal court while suspended therein, failing to timely pay a law firm for expenses related to an appeal and failing to record a deed. The Court reminded the bar that the disciplinary process should not be used as a mechanism to collect debts.

Reinstatement sought
J.M. Long III has filed a petition for reinstatement. Comments may be mailed to the Committee on Character and Fitness no later than September 12.

Trustee appointed
By order of July 18 the Court has appointed John R. Hetrick as trustee for the practice of James Gerald Longtin.
 
Firm announcements
Buist, Byars & Taylor, LLC announces that Maria E. Kiehling has joined the firm as an associate located at 652 Coleman Blvd., Ste. 200, Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 856-4488.

Kristy Grafton Goldberg announces the opening of the Law Office of Kristy Goldberg, LLC located at 1720 Main St., Ste. 301, Columbia 29201. (803) 252-2299.

The Office of the Secretary of State announces that Meredith A. McMillan has joined the office as a staff attorney located at 1205 Pendleton St., Ste. 525, Columbia 29201. (803) 734-0208. 

Calendar
July 21
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

July 22
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Columbia

July 28
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

July 29
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

August 2
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 3
Corporate Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 8
Employment Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 9
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 10
Government Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call


To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Latoya Jackson in Membership Services at
ljackson@scbar.org or (803) 799-6653, ext. 137.

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