Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
August 2, 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.
Free Business Center
Need the ability to connect while out of the office? We do that! The Bar Conference Center houses a business retreat center with the amenities necessary to keep you connected to your office and your clients, including free wireless Internet, while attending Bar CLEs or serving on a section or committee. Be sure to check it out next time you're in the building!
Updated senior handbook available
The Bar's Public Services Division has updated the S.C. Senior Citizens Handbook, a free guide to laws and programs affecting senior citizens. The handbook was made possible by assistance from members of the S.C. Bar Elder Law Committee and grant funding from the Administration on Aging made available through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging. Please click here to access the handbook.
PMAP–Your guide to …
Going paperless. One of the main ingredients needed for a paperless law office is a good scanner. The Fujitsu ScanSnap line is getting great reviews. These scanners are now integrated with Clio so you can scan documents directly into the Clio cloud-based system. Fujitsu also has a great ScanSnap Community website filled with tips and tricks. If you are attending the 2012 Solo & Small Firm CLE and Annual Meeting, Small Firms, Big Opportunities, on Sept. 14, you could even win a Fujitsu ScanSnap! PMAP is practice management advice for Bar members. For more information, call (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to school–not just for the kids!
Bar Foundation grantees are offering events throughout the fall that provide helpful information for those needing legal guidance. For example, the S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program's Legal Lessons: A Series for the Public is a seven-week course designed to give participants an overview of the S.C. legal system and is being held in Beaufort, Spartanburg and Graniteville. In addition, several educational clinics and training sessions for the community are available during August. For the complete listing of events hosted by friends and grantees of the Bar Foundation, click here. Contact the person or organization listed next to the event for more information. Events like these helped our grantees assist more than 10,200 low income South Carolinians last year. Please join us as we continue to be the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice.
ODC releases annual reports
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel has released its 2011-2012 Annual Report of Judicial Discipline and Annual Report of Lawyer Discipline. For more information on the ODC or to view past reports, click here.
Richard J. Breibart of Lexington, SC, was suspended from the practice of law by the S.C. Supreme Court on June 1, 2012. Richard M. Breibart, an attorney licensed to practice law in Alabama, is neither related to nor associated with Richard J. Breibart, and is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the S.C. Supreme Court.
Advance Sheet update
August 1, 2012
In this workers’ compensation appeal, the S.C. Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of an appeal as interlocutory and held that the Administrative Procedures Act governs appeals from the circuit court in Commission cases, and Section 1-23-390 limits appeals to those from final judgments. Applying the Final Judgment Rule from Montjoy v. Asten-Hill Dryer Fabrics, 316 S.C. 52, 446 S.E.2d 618 (1994), and the definition of “final judgment” from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority v. S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, 387 S.C. 265, 692 S.E.2d 894 (2010), the Court of Appeals’ order remanding the matter to the Commission did not constitute a final judgment and was not immediately appealable.
Bone v. U.S. Food Serv., No. 27153, is available online.
Justice Hearn dissented in a separate opinion in which Justice Kittredge concurred.
The Court affirmed, as modified, the Court of Appeals in this breach of contract suit regarding an employee who started his own company using the respondent’s proprietary information. Applying a reasonableness standard of enforceability, the Court held that the holdover and confidentiality agreements in the petitioner’s contract with the respondent were valid. The invention assignment clause is neither overbroad nor unduly harsh or oppressive, and the confidentiality provision is reasonable.
Milliken & Co. v. Morin, No. 27154, is available online.
The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in this insurance case. When the appellant’s vehicles were damaged while under the respondent’s care, the court held that the respondent’s insurance policy was not triggered, as the policy did not name the appellant initially and an endorsement to the policy only provided the appellant with liability coverage. Further, the court held that the appellant did not have a bad faith claim against the respondent because the policy did not cover the appellant.
BMW v. Complete Auto Recon Servs., No. 5012, is available online.
In this workers’ compensation appeal, the court affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Appellate Panel. The court held that the strength category portion of the functional capacity evaluation, which a computer system generated, could be admitted into evidence, as the S.C. Rules of Evidence do not apply to proceedings before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The court also held that there was no error in finding that the appellant did not have a permanent and total disability (PTD). The appellant did not have a PTD under Section 42-9-10 of the S.C. Code because there was substantial evidence proving she did not meet the statute’s definition. Further, though the appellant did sustain a 50 percent impairment to the use of her back, her condition did not meet the PTD under Section 42-9-30(21) because the respondent rebutted the presumption of PTD. Finally, there was no error in granting the respondent credit for all temporary total disability compensation paid after the appellant reached maximum medical improvement.
Watson v. Xtra Mile Driver Training, No. 5013, is available online.
Judge Geathers concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.
The court reversed the Administrative Law Court’s decision and remanded this matter concerning the suspension of an on-premises beer and wine permit. The court held that while a stipulation requiring installation of a decibel monitoring device was not ambiguous, the ALC did err in using the other evidence to impose its penalty because it penalized the appellant for violations the Department of Revenue did not cite.
SCDOR v. Sandalwood Social Club, No. 5014, is available online.
On this appeal of the appellant’s convictions for voluntary manslaughter and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, the court reversed and remanded. The court held that allowing the state to comment on the appellant’s post-arrest silence was in violation of Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610 (1976), and that this error was prejudicial.
State v. Williams, No. 5015, is available online.
In this declaratory action challenging Greenville County’s “County Council Reserves” account as an unlawful delegation of legislative power, the court reversed. The circuit court incorrectly relied on Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Sunnen, 333 U.S. 591, 598 (1948), when deciding that res judicata did not bar the present case because Sunnen addressed collateral estoppel rather than res judicata, and its application was later limited. The court then held that res judicata did bar the present action because the respondent had brought the same action in 1996.
SCPIF v. Greenville County, No. 5016, is available online.
The court affirmed this appeal from the conviction of a felony DUI. The court held that the circuit court did not err in denying the appellant’s motion to dismiss based on the arresting officer’s not providing an affidavit in compliance with Section 56-5-2953 of the S.C. Code requiring video recording of the breath test and conduct at the incident site. Subsection B of Section 56-5-2953 delineates exceptions, and under these exceptions, an affidavit was not required because the video recording was not required. The court also held that probable cause existed to arrest the appellant for felony DUI, and thus there was no error in denying the appellant’s motion to suppress the blood test evidence pursuant to Section 56-5-2946. Finally, the court held that the circuit court did not err in charging the jury on Section 56-5-2950(A), because the jury instruction made clear that the court was not making any statements related to the facts. The issue of whether the circuit court erred in denying the appellant’s motion for a mistrial based on prejudice caused by severing his charges was not preserved for appeal.
State v. Manning, No. 5017, is available online.
In this dispute arising between family members over a tract of land, the court affirmed the decision of special referee and held that the respondent was the exclusive owner of the property. The respondent established ownership through adverse possession, and there was ample evidence to support that she resided on the property for the required 10 years. The court further held that the appellant’s defense of res judicata was not preserved for review.
Dawkins v. Mozie, No. 5018, is available online.
In this appeal where the respondent brought a declaratory action seeking to have himself removed from the sex offender registry because the requirement that he register as a sex offender constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the court reversed the circuit court's order removing the respondent. The court held that the respondent did not properly raise a claim for equitable relief; rather, his complaint alleged two legal causes of action. Further, the court held that there are statutory methods for the respondent to be removed from the registry, and he does not qualify for them.
Johnson v. SLED, No. 5019, is available online.
By order of July 26 the Court has placed Shana Denice Jones-Burgess on interim suspension. Joseph O. Burroughs Jr. is the trustee.
By Order of August 1 the Court publicly reprimanded Charles Thomas Brooks III (with additional conditions) for misconduct which included overbilling the S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense.
By order of August 1 the Court disbarred Robert E. Hemingway Sr. (retroactive to January 10, 2006) for misconduct which included willful violation of another state’s court order, failure to perform monthly reconciliations of his trust accounts, improper disbursement of estate funds, and failure to timely and properly close an estate.
By order of August 1 the Court disbarred George E. Lafaye III (retroactive to April 21, 2011) for misconduct which included failing to disclose the existence of a second trust account to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, misappropriating fees from trust accounts and making false representations to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
By order of August 1 the Court imposed a one year suspension on George Thomas Samaha III for misconduct including charging excessive fees, failing to cooperate during probate court proceedings, making a false statement under oath and engaging in a conflict of interest.
Gaffney Lewis & Edwards, LLC announces that Robert C. Blain has joined the firm as an associate in the Isle of Palms office located at 1022 Carolina Blvd., 29451. (803) 790-8838.
The Law Office of Andrew Farley, LLC announces its relocation to 201 W. Main St., Ste. 201C, Lexington 29072. (803) 359-0428.
Sottile & Hopkins, LLC announces that Katie Hinson Lewis has joined the firm as an associate located at 1037-G Chuck Dawley Bvld., Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 884-1464.
Talley Law Firm, PA announces that Joshua J. Hudson has joined the firm located at 2500 Winchester Place, Ste. 100, Spartanburg 29301. (864) 595-2966.
Waters & Kraus, LLP announces that R. Walker Humphrey II has joined the Dallas, Texas office located at 3219 McKinney Ave., 75204. (800) 226-9880.
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, Conference Call
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
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at email@example.com or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at www.sccourts.org/ais.