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Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
July 26, 2011
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at
The South Carolina Bar is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

S.C. lawyers to appear in online videos
Beginning next week, the Bar will launch a series of brief videos featuring 12 local lawyers. The videos present a glimpse into the lives of lawyers and their commitment to their clients and the community. The first of 12 videos will be released Aug. 1 through the
Bar's Facebook page and website. Be sure to check it out and see if it's someone you know! "Like" the Bar at or visit

PMAP -- Your guide to...
Trust accounts. Rule 1.15(h) of the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct mandates that all lawyers with a trust account must file a written directive with their bank requiring the bank to report any non-sufficient funds (NSF) transactions. If you have an IOLTA account, please confirm with your bank that you have a directive filed. It is the duty of the lawyer to make sure this has been done. Do not assume that all banks do it automatically. If the Commission on Lawyer Conduct discovers an overdraft that was not reported by the bank, the lawyer may be disciplined for both the Rule violation that caused the overdraft and the failure to file a directive with the bank. If you need a form directive, you can find two online here.

Ethics Advisory Opinion summary
The Ethics Advisory Committee has issued a new opinion. The text of all opinions is available online at
The use of "daily deal" websites to sell vouchers for discounted legal services does not violate the Rule 5.4(a) prohibition on charging of legal fees. The attorney is cautioned that use of such websites must be in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 and could lead to violations of several other rules if logistical issues are not appropriately addressed.

Nominations sought for Compleat Lawyer Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 Compleat Lawyer Awards. Established in 1992 by the USC School of Law, the awards recognize up to nine outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to the legal profession and exemplify the highest standard of professional competence, ethics and integrity. The postmark deadline for nomination submission is Nov. 1. Click
here for details and nomination materials.

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On the website
Employers and jobseekers: ads for positions available are posted to the Bar's online
Career Center. To post an ad, e-mail The ad will be posted within 1-2 business days, and there is no charge for this service.

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 (beginning Aug.1) to complete an online application and receive further details. Contact Hugh Ryan at (803) 734-1338 with questions.

Advance Sheet update
July 20, 2011
The S.C. Court of Appeals found that the Workers' Compensation Commission did not err in finding an agency relationship since there was sufficient factual evidence in the record. Because the commissioner is the ultimate fact finder, the court upheld the finding that the manager advised the employee he would be covered under workers' compensation. The commissioner placed liability on the appropriate party. The decision by the Appellate Panel estopping both Gevity and Harris Carpets from denying coverage was supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence in the record.
Langdale v. Harris Carpets, No. 4853, is available

The court found the evidence showed that the wife was threatened and abused throughout the marriage and after the divorce, which prevented her from bringing an alimony action. The court stated the record does not support a finding that at some point the threats and abuse stopped and only the wife's inability to hire counsel prevented her from bringing the action. Accordingly, the court found the family court erred in denying the wife's claim for alimony and remanded the case.
Ross v. Ross, No. 4854, is available
Judge Pieper concurred in a separate opinion.

July 25, 2011
The S.C. Supreme Court held that the circuit court erred when it included matters outside the complaint in deciding this motion to dismiss. The Court found that the Appellant School District stated a sufficient prima facie case that Act 189 was unconstitutional special legislation. However, the Court declined to express any opinion regarding the ultimate constitutionality of Act 189. The Court affirmed the dismissal of the governor as a party to this action.
Charleston Cnty. Sch. Dist. v. Harrell, No. 27011, is available
Chief Justice Toal dissented in a separate opinion.

The Court reversed the decision of the post conviction relief (PCR) judge and reinstated the respondent's guilty plea because the record did not support the PCR judge's finding that the respondent received ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to her guilty plea. The Court concluded that any alleged deficiency in plea counsel's representation was cured by the plea colloquy.
Holden v. State, No. 27012, is available
Justice Hearn did not participate in this decision.

The Court granted cross-petitions in this case. As to the County's appeal, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held the trial judge properly granted a directed verdict to the County on the claims for negligence and negligent misrepresentation. The Court found it would be an impossible burden on the County to ensure all information given by County employees would be 100 percent accurate or be faced with tort liability. As to Carolina Chloride's appeal, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals, which upheld the exclusion of Brown's deposition since it was not preserved for review. The Court also upheld the grant of a directed verdict to the County on the claim for inverse condemnation. The Court agreed that there was no regulatory taking.
Carolina Chloride Inc. v. Richland Cnty., No. 27013, is available

The Court found the State presented sufficient evidence to support a forgery conviction. Because the forged document did not involve a dollar amount and the State did not present evidence of a definitive dollar amount, the Court held the trial judge erred in sentencing the appellant for a felony conviction. Accordingly, the case was remanded to the circuit court for sentencing on the misdemeanor.
State v. Brandt, No. 27014, is available

The Court found that section 24-21-410 of the S.C. Code does not give the courts the authority to suspend sentences for crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment, including crimes that include lesser sentences than death or life imprisonment. Therefore, the Court affirmed the circuit court's order finding that a sentence for a conviction of first degree burglary may not be suspended according to section 24-21-410 of the S.C. Code.
State v. Jacobs, No. 27015, is available

By order of July 25 the Court imposed a one year suspension on Mark Felker Dahle based upon the one year suspension he received from the Supreme Court of Florida.

Reinstatement sought
The Committee on Character and Fitness has scheduled a hearing on Aug. 24 on the petition of Michael James Sarratt to be reinstated. Individuals may appear in support of or opposition to the petition.

Firm announcements
Ellis, Lawhorne & Sims, PA announces that Will Umbach has joined the firm as an associate located at 1501 Main St., 5th Floor, Columbia 29201. (803) 254-4190.

Hilliard Law Firm, LLC
announces that Katie Loignon has joined the firm as an associate located at 408 Cleland St., Georgetown 29442. (843) 527-1500.

Jason A. McGrath and James M. Spielberger announce the formation of McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC located at 1260 Appling Dr., Unit 307, Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 647-7022.

McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley, PA
 announces that Janet Brooks Holmes and Peter Leventis IV have become partners in the firm located at 1303 Blanding St., Columbia 29201. (803) 256-4645.

Paul Ribeiro announces the closure of Ribeiro Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Ribeiro has joined Wigger Law Firm, Inc. as an associate located at 8086 Rivers Ave., Ste. A, N. Charleston 29406. (843) 553-9800.

Rogers, Townsend & Thomas, PC announces that Teri Stomski and Michael Eisenrauch have become special counsel to the firm located at 220 Executive Center Dr., Columbia 29210. (803) 771-7900.

Spartanburg County announces the hiring of Lisa R. Claxton as county attorney, John H. Harris as deputy county attorney and Virginia "Ginny" Dupont as associate county attorney located at 366 N. Church St., Ste. 1000, Spartanburg 29303. (864) 596-2526.

In memoriam
Emil W. Wald, 76, of Rock Hill died on July 24. His obituary can be found here.


July 28
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

July 29
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Nelson Mullins, Columbia

August 2
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 3
Corporate Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 8
Employment and Labor Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 9
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 10
Government Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 12
Consumer Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 15
Administrative and Regulatory Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

August 17
Annual Meeting of Chairs, Bar Conference Center

August 19
Trial and Appellate Advocacy Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

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