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Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
August 23, 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.
Zandra Johnson: Proud to be a S.C. Lawyer
Greenville lawyer Zandra Johnson 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.
Bench and Bar survey
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission requests input in the General Assembly's screening of candidates for judicial office. The Commission must determine whether each candidate for judicial office is qualified to serve, and in this regard it seeks the opinion of practicing attorneys, members of the judiciary, clerks of court and sheriffs as to each candidate's fitness for the bench. Please note that this request is separate and distinct from the survey responses requested by the Bar's Judicial Qualifications Committee. Please return this questionnaire via U.S. Mail or e-mail by noon on Thursday, Sept. 29. Contact the Commission directly with questions at (803) 212-6623. To view the list of candidates, click here.
Supreme Court approves revised forms
The Supreme Court has approved Form SCCA 720, Notice of Civil Appeal, and Form 763, Notice of Order and Public Sale of Vehicle, for use in civil actions and vehicle public sales filed in magistrate court. The Court also ordered that Form SCCA 720, Notice of Civil Appeal, amends Form Number 21 of Rule 24 of the S.C. Rules of Magistrate Court. Please click here for more information and links to the forms.
Amendments to Appellate Court Rules
By order dated Aug. 22, the Supreme Court has issued amendments to the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, after having received proposals made by the Commission on Lawyer Advertising. The Court amended Rules 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 of the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR. These amendments are effective immediately and can be viewed here.
PMAP - Your guide to...
Disaster preparedness. Hurricane season won't be over until the end of November, as evidenced by Hurricane Irene threatening the east coast. Be prepared and review your firm's disaster plans, including how to notify employees in the event of a disaster and how to protect client files. The Bar's free Prepare handbook is available to assist your firm in disaster planning. To request your copy of Prepare, visit our disaster preparedness page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on disaster preparedness in South Carolina, visit the S.C. Emergency Management Division or the Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide. PMAP is practice management advice for Bar members. Contact Courtney Kennaday at email@example.com or (803) 799-6653, ext. 183.
Law Video Awards
Is your firm using video for its marketing efforts and getting results? If so, the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management Section wants to know about it! Enter your video in the first-ever Law Video Awards. Submissions must be received by Thursday, Sept. 15. Click here for the submission guidelines.
Advance Sheet update
August 22, 2011
In this commercial general liability (CGL) policy dispute, the Court issued an opinion on Jan. 7, 2011, finding no coverage. Subsequent to the rehearing the Court withdrew the initial opinion and issued this opinion, finding the CGL policies provide coverage for the stipulated progressive property damages. The Court affirmed the trial court's finding that coverage was triggered by an "occurrence." The Court overruled Century Indemnity and imposed a "time on risk" approach to defining the scope of each CGL insurer's obligation to its insured in a progressive damage case. The Court opined that this equitable approach best harmonizes with policy language limiting coverage to the "policy period" and that "time on risk" framework lends itself to a logical default formula that is easily applied when the actual quantum of damage incurred during each policy period is not known. The case was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Crossmann Cmty. v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co., No. 26909, is available online.
The S.C. Supreme Court found the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment as to the appellant's strict liability and common law negligence claims. To be liable as a property owner, the respondent would have to have exercised control over the premises and assumed some duty to care for or keep the dog. This case is distinguishable because other cases did not involve attacks occurring in common areas and there is evidence the landlord had actual knowledge of the dog's vicious propensity. The Court found the circuit court properly granted summary judgment as to the appellant's attractive nuisance claim because a dog cannot be considered an "artificial condition" under an attractive nuisance theory.
Clea v. Odom, No. 27029, is available online.
The Court reversed the circuit court’s order dismissing the appellants' claim under Rule 12(b). The Court opined that the Ohio bankruptcy order's "free and clear" sale of Eagle I's assets did not deprive the appellants of the ability to bring this state court action. The appellants' claim did not arise under either the Agreement or the order, nor did their claim arise under 11 USC §101(5) or relate to Eagle I. Instead the claim was predicated upon the respondent's post-sale conduct which, the appellants contend, expose it to successor liability under S.C. state law; therefore, the circuit court erred in dismissing this suit under Paragraph 22 of the Ohio bankruptcy order.
Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Eagle Windows & Doors, Inc., No. 27030, is available online.
The Court found the respondent's failure to file a Form 30 with the Commission within 14 days of receiving notice of the single commissioner's order deprives that body of appellate jurisdiction, which is consistent with the general rule that an appellate body may not extend the time to appeal.
Allison v. W.L. Gore & Assoc., No. 27031, is available online.
August 23, 2011
The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a directed verdict on punitive damages, the jury charge on punitive damages and the denial of the appellant's post-trial motions. The court also affirmed the imposition of punitive damages but found the amount excessive and in violation of due process, and reduced the award from $3.5 million to $2 million.
Hollis v. Stonington Dev., No. 4869, is available online.
The court affirmed the trial court’s determination that the appellant failed to rebut the State's presumptive ownership of the marshland adjacent to his property since it is supported by evidence in the record. The court also affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that the 1786 surplus grant and plat lacked evidence of the requisite intent to convey tidelands.
Grant v. State of S.C., No. 4870, is available online.
The court found the evidence in the record supported the trial court's determination that Officer Lutz had reasonable suspicion to stop the appellant and upheld the drug convictions, consistent with the recent decision by the S.C. Supreme Court in State v. Corley, 392 S.C. 125, 708 S.E.2d 217 (2011).
State v. Burgess, No. 4871, is available online.
The court upheld the trial court's decision not to suppress drugs, found as a part of a traffic stop, as fruit of an illegal search. The trial court properly held reasonable suspicion existed to extend the stop for a reasonable investigation of criminal activity. The evidence supported the trial court's finding that the officers had probable cause to search anywhere in the vehicle where marijuana could be located and the trial court properly admitted the drug evidence discovered in the trunk.
State v. Morris, No. 4872, is available online.
The court found the Administrative Law Court (ALC) properly considered the appropriate factors, both from Section 44-7-230(A) and from Section 802 of Regulation 61-15, when it concluded Coastal's changes to its MRI project were not substantial. The court found substantial evidence in the record existed to support the ALC's conclusion.
MRI at Belfair, LLC v. S.C. Dep’t of Health and Envtl. Control, No. 4873, is available online.
Charles S. Bradford, PA announces that Daniel H. Harshaw has joined the firm located at 4 E. Liberty St., P.O. Box 977, York 29745. (803) 684-4888.
Davis Law Firm announces the opening of its second office located at 1708 N. Main St., Ste. 105, Columbia 29201, (803) 779-2000, and that Steve (Christopher) Davis II is the attorney. Steve Davis Sr. will remain attorney in the Moncks Corner office located at 431 E. Main St., 29461. (843) 761-7727.
Gabriel Paul Joseph III announces the relocation of Joseph Law Firm, PA to 55 Broad St., Ste. 100, Charleston 29401. (843) 345-3282.
By order of August 22 the Court imposed a six month suspension on Craig J. Poff for misconduct which included improperly disclosing confidential client information to a third party, mishandling his trust account, engaging in fee-sharing with his assistant and aiding that assistant in misrepresenting her income to the government.
By order of August 17 the Court placed Rose Marie Cooper on interim suspension. Robert Michael Drose is the trustee.
By order of August 19 the Court reinstated Charles E. Johnson to active practice, subject to conditions of mentoring and quarterly reporting.
Jack Thomas Mauldin Jr., 67, of Mt. Pleasant died Aug. 8. His obituary can be found here.
Framptom W. Toole Jr., 87, of Aiken died July 10. His obituary can be found here.
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Lawyer Image Task Force Meeting, Bar Conference Center
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171.