Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
July 26, 2012
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.
S.C. Bar annual report available online
The Perspectives annual report, which outlines accomplishments from the 2011-12 Bar year, is available online. Click here to access the report and learn about the Bar's efforts in the areas of membership services, continuing legal education, public services and law related education, as well as the work of the Young Lawyers Division.
On the website
The Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory has been updated! Participating lawyers listed in the directory provide brief telephone consultations (up to 10 minutes) at no charge to other Bar members on specific areas of law. The directory is meant to encourage and facilitate appropriate lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, referrals and associations. It is not intended as a referral guide for the public. To access the Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory, please visit www.scbar.org/L2L.
Revised Ethics Advisory Opinion issued
The Ethics Advisory Committee has issued a revision of opinion 12-09, previously published in the June 28 E-Blast. The text of all opinions is available here.
12-09 An out of state law firm may advertise on billboards in South Carolina and include pictures of firm members not licensed in South Carolina, provided the billboard meets all S.C. advertising regulations.
Chief Justice Jean H. Toal has ordered that Rule 24, S.C. Rules of Family Court, be temporarily suspended until further notice. This order is effective immediately and does not affect the enforcement of non-Title IV-D child support cases. To view the complete order, click here.
PMAP–Your guide to …
Windows 7 shortcuts. Many Windows 7 users are unaware of Jump Lists–a great feature that takes you directly to frequently visited websites and more by right-clicking on an open item in the taskbar (located along the bottom of your screen). For example, see a list of recently viewed documents by right-clicking Word in the taskbar. Or, quickly jump to frequently visited websites by right-clicking Internet Explorer in the taskbar. For more information and tips on making the most of Jump Lists, click here. For free practice management advice, call (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina invites you to the closing of its two-year project on the importance of independence and diversity in the state judicial system. The event will feature a public forum titled "The State of the Judiciary in South Carolina: From Research to Reality" and will take place on Aug. 7 at the USC School of Law Auditorium in Columbia. There will be a 6 p.m. reception followed by the forum at 7 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the S.C. Women Lawyers Association. RSVP by Aug. 3 to Angel Warren at email@example.com. For more information, click here.
Advance Sheet update
July 26, 2012
The Court affirmed the family court order denying the private adoption of an Indian child and the award of custody to the biological father. Because this case involves an Indian child (Baby Girl), the Indian Child Welfare Act applies and confers conclusive custodial preference to the Indian parent. The father did not consent to Baby Girl's adoption, and the Court could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that custody by him would result in serious emotional or physical harm to Baby Girl. Thus, under the federal standard, the father's parental rights could not be terminated.
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation, No. 27148, is available online.
Justice Kittredge dissented in a separate opinion in which Justice Hearn concurred. Justice Hearn also dissented in separate opinion in which Justice Kittredge concurred.
July 25, 2012
The S.C. Supreme Court held that the assignee of a note and mortgage may recover the surplus funds generated by the foreclosure of a prior mortgage even if it was not a lienholder of record at the time of the sale, per Rule 71(c), SCRCP. The court further clarified its decision in Matrix Financial Services Corp. v. Frazer, 394 S.C. 134, 714 S.E.2d 532 (2011), and held that because the mortgage was filed before Matrix, whether it was closed without the services of an attorney would not bar the assignee from receiving the surplus funds.
BAC v. Kinder, No. 27146, is available online.
In this declaratory judgment action on writ of certiorari, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that the petitioner was entitled to underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage under his employer’s policy for an accident. The employer’s policy concerning UIM coverage provides that a “covered person” is one “occupying [the insured’s] covered auto.” The Court held that the petitioner met the definition because, while the petitioner was outside of the vehicle when the accident occurred, the trial court found evidence to support actual physical contact between him and the vehicle, and thus he was occupying the vehicle at the time of the accident.
S.C. Farm Bureau v. Kennedy, No. 27147, is available online.
In this case arising from real estate agents suing to collect unpaid commissions, the S.C. Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court. The respondents entered into a contract with Advantage Real Estate, Inc. (Advantage) to sell condominiums; additionally, Advantage entered into a sales and marketing contract with Paradise Grande, LLC, which the appellant managed. The project never materialized. The court held that there was no evidence in the record to support a jury's finding that the appellant had knowledge of the contract between the real estate agents and Advantage, and thus no evidence that he tortiously interfered with the real estate agents’ contracts. Finally, the court held that the record did not support the jury's award of punitive damages.
Broach v. Carter, No. 5006, is available online.
The court affirmed the trial court’s grant of the respondent’s directed verdict motion on the appellant’s negligent supervision claim in this case arising from a prison guard assaulting the appellant while she was an inmate. No evidence existed to indicate that the respondent was grossly negligent in its supervision of the guard. Rather, the guard was acting in his own capacity with no prior indication that he would commit such crimes.
Hamilton v. Charleston County Sheriff’s Dept., No. 5007, is available online.
Judge Short dissented in a separate opinion.
In this personal injury case arising from a collision between a train and an automobile, the court affirmed the circuit court. The court held that evidence regarding the removal of trees at the railroad crossing and the removal of vegetation planted at a railroad right-of-way was inadmissible under Rule 407, SCRE, because both actions were subsequent remedial measures. The court further held that the jury charges the trial court gave conformed to the substance of the appellant’s proposed instructions, were accurate depictions of the law and were not in error.
Stephens v. CSX Transp., No. 5008, is available online.
Judge Short concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.
Affirming the trial court, the court held that there was no error in allowing a police officer to identify the defendant from photographs the victim’s deer camera took, admitting a disk of photographs taken from the deer camera and denying defendant’s post-trial motion for a new trial when all of the elements for first-degree burglary were not met. The officer’s testimony was admissible as lay witness testimony under Rule 701, SCRE, and did not violate Rule 403, SCRE. Also, the photographs were considered “originals” per Rule 1001, SCRE, and thus admissible. Also, the court held that a jury could infer that all of the elements of the crime of first-degree burglary were met.
State v. Mitchell, No. 5009, is available online.
The court held that the circuit court did not err in finding that the appellants were entitled to attorney’s fees based on an hourly rate rather than a contingency fee agreement. The circuit court correctly applied Layman v. State, 376 S.C. 434, 658 S.E.2d 320 (2008), to the Eminent Domain Procedure Act at issue in this case and found that since the Act explicitly requires an attorney to state his hours, it is improper to award a percentage-of-the-recovery in attorney’s fees. The circuit court also did not err in failing to determine whether the requested attorney’s fees were reasonable pursuant to Jackson v. Speed, 326 S.C. 289, 486 S.E.2d 750 (1997), because the circuit court was not required to first make a determination regarding the reasonableness of the contingency fee agreement.
SCDOT v. Revels, No. 5010, is available online.
On this appeal from the final order of the Administrative Law Court, the court reversed the denial of the appellant’s application to construct a bridge to property she owns on Folly Island, S.C. The property is part of Folly Island, which is expressly excluded from the definition of a coastal island, and thus is not subject to the Small Islands Regulation. Additionally, the permit application complies with the Transportation Regulation.
Dreher v. SCDHEC, No. 5011, is available online.
As previously published in the July 19 E-Blast, the Hon. A. Lee Chandler, 89, of Darlington died July 18. His obituary can be found here.
Sarah Moseley Wilcox died June 14. Her obituary can be found here.
The Court has acknowledged the resignation of James Avram Epstein as no longer being eligible to practice under Rule 405.
By order of July 19 the Court has appointed Michael S. Seekings as trustee for the practice of John Michael Mitchum, deceased.
T. Harper Collins announces the opening of Harper Collins, LLC located at 2315 N. Main St., Ste. 115, Anderson 29621. (864) 226-5617.
Kennedy Law Firm, LLC announces that Nancy T. Jordan has joined the firm as an associate located at 125 E. Church St., Batesburg-Leesville 29070. (803) 532-4100.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP announces that Alonzo Chisolm has joined the Greenville office as an associate located at 104 S. Main St., Ste. 900, 29601. (864) 250-2300.
The Stevens Firm, PA, Family Law Center announces that Jenny R. Moser has become partner in the firm and that she has merged her practice with the firm located at 1188 Asheville Hwy., Spartanburg 29303. (864) 598-9172.
Dispute Resolution Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Law Related Education Committee Retreat, Nelson Mullins (Columbia)
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Foundations of Democracy Training, Bar Building
Community Association Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Employment and Labor Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Memory Hold the Door Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Real Estate Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Family Law Section Council Meeting, TBA
Tax Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Military and Veterans Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Annual Meeting of Section and Committee Chairs, Conference Center
Senior Lawyers Division Executive Council Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building
Middle School Mock Trial Skills Workshop, USC School of Law
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