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Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
August 16, 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.

Next up in the Bar video series: Barbara Chesley
Columbia lawyer Barbara Chesley is featured in the "Proud to be a South Carolina lawyer" video series, designed to present a glimpse into the lives of 12 S.C. lawyers. Click
here to see the video, and "Like" the Bar on Facebook to see an additional video each week and share them with others.

Public hearings scheduled for judicial candidates
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission has scheduled public hearings beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 9 a.m. for the candidates for judicial positions listed on the
media release. Persons desiring to testify at public hearings should furnish written notarized statements of proposed testimony by noon on Wednesday, Nov. 2, to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, Jane O. Shuler, 104 Gressette Bldg., P.O. Box 142, Columbia 29202. Click here to view the screening schedule.

Scam alert
Another version of the attempt to steal monies from a law firm has surfaced. The prospective client (using a false name and identification document) forwards what purports to be a divorce decree and seeks to retain the firm to collect monies owed. A retainer is to be forwarded but likely will have insufficient funds. However, the trust account banking information may have been returned on the back of the negotiated retainer check, so that an effort could subsequently be made to try to raid the trust account. 

Last chance: YLD Backpack Drive ends Thursday

The YLD is coordinating efforts with The Cooperative Ministry and WIS News for the third straight year to donate backpacks and school supplies to schools and students throughout the state. Supplies are being collected through Aug. 18 in Columbia, Charleston, Florence, Goose Creek and Orangeburg. A list of drop-off locations can be found 
hereFor more information, contact Paul Hoefer at (803) 799-8900 or

Membership has its rewards
The Solo and Small Firm Section is offering its members one needs-based scholarship to the 2011 Solo and Small Firm CLE and Annual Meeting "
Exploring the Business Side of Law Firms" on Sept. 23. The event will be held at the Columbia Marriott and features six speakers from this year's ABA TECHSHOW™, in addition to a host of other talented presenters. Attendees will be treated to a luncheon and have the opportunity to explore exhibits from 15 top local and national companies offering software, technology support, office supplies, insurance and more. The scholarship application can be completed here, and the deadline is Saturday, Aug. 20. If you would like to join the SSF Section, the annual cost is only $20. For more information, visit the Section webpage or contact Courtney Kennaday at

You're Invited to the 11th Annual SCALA Vendor Fair and Educational Program
Join SCALA for its 11th Annual Vendor Fair this Thursday, Aug. 18, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Don't miss this opportunity to meet with more than 50 vendors representing the legal and accounting communities. An educational program entitled Positive Change in the Legal Industry, featuring ALA Director Larry Smith will precede the main event from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Attendees will receive complimentary hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine and will have the opportunity to win one of many great door prizes. The fair is free to attend, but registration is requested. Seating for the education program is limited, so register early!

Advance Sheet update
August 10, 2011
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s rulings regarding admissions of evidence including permitting testimony regarding statements by a coconspirator and an instruction to the jury that letters could only be considered as evidence of another defendant’s guilt as a principal in the murders of Deputy Wilson and Constable Ouzts.
State v. Bixby, No. 4768, is available online.

The court upheld the convictions of Brian Garris on armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. The court found that the omission of victim Santiago's photos was not material because nothing indicated Garris was unaware of the extent of Santiago's injuries, the court did not err in denying Garris' motion to suppress the gun found in Garris' jail cell after his arrest on an unrelated charge, the court did not err in denying Garris' request to call an expert to rebut the State's expert's testimony and the court properly denied Garris' Batson motion by determining that the solicitor's stated reasons for striking the jurors were race-neutral.
State v. Garris, No. 4859, is available online.

The court affirmed the trial court's denial of Palmetto Environmental Group's directed verdict motion and concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Palmetto's motion for a new trial nisi remittitur because the record contained adequate evidence to support the jury's verdict.
V.E. Amick & Associates, LLC, v. Palmetto Environmental Inc., No. 4860, is available online.

The court reversed the family court's child custody award and remanded the case for the entry of an order requiring a custody exchange to occur as soon as practicable. The court opined that the family court placed an undue emphasis on the mother's relationship with her paramour and her perceived deceptiveness regarding this relationship, and that the totality of the circumstances set forth in the record indicated that it was in the children's best interests to remain in the mother's custody because she was better able to take care of their needs. Additionally, the court found no exceptional circumstances in the record that required the separation of the parties' children from their half-sister and that it was in the best interest of all three children to stay in the mother's care.
Moeller v. Moeller, No. 4861, is available online.

The court held that the trial court erred in denying Ford's motion for a directed verdict and reversed. 5 Star presented no expert witness to testify that Ford was negligent in designing the switch nor any other evidence that Ford breached its duty of care at the time the switch was designed and manufactured.
5 Star Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 4862, is available online.

The court reversed the trial court's denial of Lexington Insurance Company's motion to set aside the entry of default and vacated the judgment, holding that the service of suit clause did not absolve White Oak of the responsibility to comply with the requirement in Section 15-9-270 that it deliver two copies of its summons and complaint to the Director of the Department of Insurance in order to serve process on Lexington. The court remanded the matter to the trial court so that Lexington can file an answer within 30 days once service of process has been accomplished according to Section 15-9-270.
White Oak Manor Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 4863, is available online.

The court affirmed the ruling of the trial court, finding the appellant failed to provide an adequate record for appellate review. She failed to include her request to charge in the Record on Appeal and failed to present the issue on appeal by not including the entire jury charge in the Record on Appeal.  
Beverly S. v. Kayla R., No. 4864, is available online.
Judge Cureton dissented on this opinion.

The court reversed the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission’s decision that Shatto was an employee of McLeod Regional Medical Center using the four-factor test from Wilkinson. The court remanded for further proceedings on the issue of whether Shatto was an employee of Staff Care.
Shatto v. McLeod Regional Medical Center, No. 4865, is available online.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, finding that Lieutenant Creamer's notes were cumulative and insubstantial and did not affect the result of the trial and the defendant's contention that the trial court erred in admitting his written statement was an argument abandoned on appeal.
State v. Lindsey, No. 4866, is available online.

The circuit court erred in denying the defendant's motion for a new trial after the jury mistakenly received two statements made by the defendant during deliberations that were not admitted into evidence during trial. The submission of his written statements was prejudicial and improperly influenced the jury because all 12 jurors were exposed to his statements, no curative instructions were given because the error was only discovered after the jury verdict, the weight of the evidence against Hill was not overwhelming and the defendant did not confess to the crime at trial.
State v. Hill, No. 4867, is available online.

The court affirmed the family court's order directing that the qualified domestic relations order be prepared using the shared plan method, finding the evidence supported the family court's determination.
Keefer v. Keefer, No. 4868, is available online.

August 11, 2011
This case was originally heard November 4, 2010. The order filed June 29, 2011, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled August 11, 2011. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the award of permanent periodic alimony was proper, finding that the family court erred in awarding the wife retroactive alimony on its own initiative more than 10 days after the final decree of divorce and finding that the family court did not err in using the date of filing to determine the value of the parties' retirement accounts.
Wannamaker v. Wannamaker, No. 4848, is available online.

August 15, 2011
The Court held the Workers' Compensation Commission did not abuse its discretion in denying motions by the employer and its carrier for a continuance or to hold the record open for the depositions of two witnesses to be taken.
Trotter v. Trane Coil, No. 27024, is available online

The Court affirmed the decision of the ALC. Based on the limited challenge raised by Tykat, its leasehold interest was subject to ad valorem taxation under the plain language of Section 12-37-950 of the S.C. Code of Laws. The Court was bound to apply the statute as written, and the Summers–Wasson line of cases does not alter this result. The Court further affirmed the denial of Clarendon County's request for attorneys' fees and costs.
Clarendon Cnty. v. TYKAT Inc., No. 27025, is available online.

The Court upheld the circuit court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of the S.C. Department of Transportation, opining that the median closure in this case did not work a material injury to Hilton Head Automotive’s (HHA) easements of access to Highway 278 and therefore did not amount to a physical taking of HHA's property. Additionally, HHA failed to create a genuine issue of fact as to its collateral claims. 
Hilton Head Automotive LLC, v. SCDOT, No. 27026, is available online.

The Court upheld the petitioner's convictions but modified the Court of Appeals' analysis with respect to certain evidentiary issues. The Court clarified that Rule 106, SCRE, does not require that the writings at issue be created contemporaneously or in response to one another, and S.C. Code Section 16-3-659.1 does not bar evidence of sexual conduct between the victim of a sexual crime and the accused, so long as that evidence is otherwise admissible. 
State v. Tennant, No. 27027, is available online.

Firm announcements
Eric Erickson announces that Sea Island Criminal & Traffic Law, LLC is now Erickson Law Firm, LLC and has relocated to 300 Ribaut Rd., Beaufort 29902. (843) 522-9164.

Foster Law Firm, LLC
announces the relocation of its Charleston office to 895 Island Park Dr., Ste. 202, Daniel Island 29492. (843) 972-0313. The Greenville office remains at 601 E. McBee Ave., Ste. 104, Greenville 29601. (864) 242-6200.

Former circuit court judge, U.S. Attorney and SLED Director Reggie Lloyd announces the opening of Lloyd Law Firm, LLC located at 223 E. Main St., Rock Hill 29730. (803) 909-8707.

McNair Law Firm, PA
announces that Bill Sitton Jr. has joined the Charlotte office located at 301 S. Tryon St., Ste. 1615, Charlotte, NC 28282. (704) 347-1170.

Wilson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA announces that J. Kevin Couch, Katharine D. Phipps and Wesley J. Shull have joined the firm located at 872 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville 29607. (864) 527-3280. 

August 17
Annual Meeting of Chairs, Bar Conference Center

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

August 30
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Lawyer Image Task Force Meeting, Bar Conference Center

September 9

Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

September 15
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building  

To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at or (803) 799-6653, ext. 137.

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