Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
June 13, 2013
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.
CLE series wins 2013 ACLEA Best Award
The "Whipping Up Some Justice" CLE seminar series featuring the Hon. Leslie Riddle was selected for the Association of Continuing Legal Education's Award of Professional Excellence. The award will be presented to the S.C. Bar in August.
Probate Code Revision bill passed
S. 143 (Probate Code) was signed into law by Gov. Haley on Friday, June 7, and will become effective Jan. 1, 2014. Thank you to all who worked diligently over the past few years to help in the drafting and passage of the bill. S. 143 can be viewed on the S.C. Legislature website.
SCHELP provides mortgage assistance to clients
Did you know that South Carolina received more than $295 million from the U.S. Treasury to help families stay in their homes? These funds are part of the S.C. Homeownership and Employment Lending Program (SCHELP). Do you have clients who need help with their mortgage due to unemployment, underemployment or divorce? S.C. Legal Services can provide assistance to your clients who qualify. For more information, visit www.schelp.gov or contact Andrea Loney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 744-4179.
PMAP Practice Pointer
Networking at various events is a great way to develop professional contacts and bring in more referrals for your practice. Not the best at in-person networking? Read Conquering Networking Jitters for tips on how to make the most of your next opportunity. Build your confidence even more with the free Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder. After you’ve brushed up on your networking skills, try them out at the 2013 Solo & Small Firm Conference—the networking luncheon is included in the price. PMAP offers free advice to law firms; contact email@example.com.
New law to protect students
On Friday, June 7, Gov. Haley signed a bill into law protecting student athletes from the dangers of concussions. Schools are now required to create policies to remove injured students from play if a concussion is suspected; students must also be cleared by medical provider before they can return to play. Read the complete article from The State online.
Applications being accepted for Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund
The USC School of Law is accepting applications for its annual distribution of funds from the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund. This fund was established in 2001 by retired USC Law Professor William McAninch to help alleviate the high debt incurred by young lawyers dedicated to serving the public sector. Applications are due June 30. The application, rules and FAQs are available online or by contacting Pamela Robinson at (803) 777-3405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advance Sheet update
June 12, 2013
The S.C. Supreme Court certified this appeal from the Court of Appeals pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, and affirmed. The Court held, inter alia, that the circuit court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of the Board as the facts of this case were undisputed and the Board had established its entitlement to immunity as a matter of law. Specifically, the Court determined the Board’s action in promulgating the emergency regulation was exempt under the provisions of the TCA involving legislative or quasi-legislative decisions. Alternatively, even if the Board was not immune, Health Promotion could not sustain a cause of action for a violation of the SCUTPA as the Board’s promulgation of the emergency regulation was not an action “in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”
Health Promotion Specialists v. S.C. Board of Dentistry, Op. No. 27263 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 16), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.
In this dispute concerning a mortgage life insurance policy, the Court determined the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court’s order because, "applying our rules of insurance policy construction, methamphetamine is not a narcotic within the meaning of [the policy]."
Hutchinson v. Liberty Life Insurance Co., Op. No. 27264 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 31), is available online.
The Court granted Medlock’s petition in its original jurisdiction and held that a non-attorney may present claims against an estate and petition for allowance of claims in the probate court on behalf of a business entity without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
Medlock v. University Health Services, Op. No. 27265 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 35), is available online.
In this action challenging the constitutionality of the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank, the Court determined the petitioners had standing to bring this challenge under the public importance exception, but nevertheless found the composition of the Bank’s Board of Directors constitutional under both a dual office holding and separation of powers challenge.
S.C. Public Interest Foundation v. S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank, Op. No. 27266 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. at 38), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in result in a separate opinion. Justice Kittredge concurred in a separate opinion in which Chief Justice Toal concurred.
This case involved dual domestic actions instituted in Alabama and South Carolina. The Court held the Alabama court’s grant of a divorce should be afforded full faith and credit since the court had jurisdiction to enter an order granting the husband a divorce based on the provisions of Ala. Code Section 30-2-5. As to the issue of personal jurisdiction and its effect on the financial issues of equitable division and alimony, the Court determined the Alabama court was incorrect in its determination that personal jurisdiction was established over the wife. However, because the wife entered a notice of limited appearance in Alabama to litigate the issue of personal jurisdiction and failed to appeal the Alabama court’s erroneous finding of personal jurisdiction, she became bound by the Alabama forum’s decision in that regard and its determination is res judicata. Accordingly, the Court concluded the husband’s Rule 60(b) motion to vacate the S.C. orders concerning equitable division, alimony and attorney’s fees should have been granted. Consequently, the Court reversed and remanded this case to the family court for entry of an order in accordance with this decision.
Ware v. Ware, Op. No. 27267 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 57), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.
In this mechanic’s lien foreclosure action brought against the owners, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s order granting the respondent summary judgment. The Court determined summary judgment was appropriate because there was no issue of fact as to the relevant date for determining the value of the “improvement made” under S.C. Code Section 29-5-40 and there was no evidence the owners had incurred any damages from the general contractor abandoning the job. The Court also found no error in the trial court’s failure to credit the owners for payments they made to Premier’s other subcontractors between receiving notice of the subcontractor’s lien and firing Premier.
Action Concrete Contractors, Inc. v. Chappelear, Op. No. 27268 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 72), is available online.
Rainey brought this action in circuit court seeking declarations that Gov. Haley, during her service as a member of the House of Representatives, committed violations of the State Ethics Act. The Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction, finding—absent one narrow exception inapplicable to the case at bar—the House Ethics Committee has exclusive jurisdiction to hear complaints of ethics violations against its own members.
Rainey v. Haley, Op. No. 27269 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 79), is available online.
Justice Beatty concurred in result in a separate opinion in which Justice Hearn concurred.
Alea London Limited (Alea) appealed the circuit court’s denial of its Rule 60(b), SCRCP, motion to set aside the order of a special referee that granted Narruhn an assignment of rights in supplemental proceedings held in conjunction with another lawsuit. The Court held the circuit court erred in determining both that the Rule 60(b) motion was untimely and that the circuit court was without authority to rule on the motion. Nevertheless, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s decision to deny the motion, finding Alea lacked standing to make a Rule 60(b) motion since it was not a party to the challenged judgment. Lastly, since the Court ultimately found no error in the circuit court’s decision to deny the motion based on standing, the Court determined the issue as to whether the referee erred in granting an assignment of rights to Narruhn was not properly before it.
Narruhn v. Alea London Ltd., Op. No. 27270 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 96), is available online.
Acting Chief Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion. Justice Kittredge concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.
This opinion, originally filed March 6, 2013, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled on June 12. The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the administrative law court’s decision finding: the appellants lacked standing to challenge DHEC’s decision authorizing coverage for certain land-disturbing activities under a State General Permit; the 401 certification issued by DHEC was sufficient to satisfy the requirements for a valid 404 permit and coverage under the State General Permit; and the proposed stormwater control activities were coverable under the State General Permit.
Town of Arcadia Lakes v. SCDHEC, Op. No. 5095 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 110), is available online.
The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s grant of WRA’s motion for summary judgment, finding the applicable statute of limitations had run on all of Graham’s causes of action.
Graham v. Welch, Roberts and Amburn, LLP, Op. No. 5141 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 128), is available online.
On appeal from the circuit court, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held the circuit court erred in allowing forfeiture of Albin’s motor home pursuant to Subsections (3) and (4) of S.C. Code Section 44-53-520(a) since the amount of marijuana found in the motor home was less than that required for the forfeiture of a motor vehicle pursuant to Subsection (6) of Section 44-53-520(a). The court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of Albin’s counterclaims against SLED since SLED was not a party to the instant action.
Hembree v. One Thousand Eight Hundred Forty-Seven Dollars, Op. No. 5142 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 134), is available online.
In this appeal of a circuit court’s order denying the appellants’ motion to compel arbitration, the court found the circuit court erred in determining the appellants waived their right to enforce the arbitration clause in the purchase contract by engaging in litigation for more than two years before filing a motion to compel arbitration. In arriving at its holding, the court considered the following: that the appellants raised the issue of arbitration since the inception of the action; the Carlsons did not suffer any prejudice as a result of the delay; the appellants did not engage in any discovery before filing the motion; and the appellants did not file the motion sooner because they were waiting on the resolution of the Right to Cure Act issue. The court reversed the circuit court’s order upon finding the Carlsons’ remaining sustaining grounds lacked merit.
Carlson v. S.C. State Plastering, LLC, Op. No. 5143 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 12, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 142), is available online.
George Harold Kearse, 84, of Allendale died June 10. His obituary can be found here.
By order of June 4 the Court placed Amy Marie Parker on interim suspension. Timothy E. Madden is the trustee.
By order of June 4 the Court reinstated Tracy Reed Evans as a Regular Member.
By order of June 6 the Court reinstated William F. Able as a Regular Member.
Cedric A. Cunningham, Attorney at Law, LLC announces that it is now Kinlaw and Cunningham, PA located at 309 Mills Ave., Greenville 29605. (864) 509-6249.
Collins & Lacy, PC announces the relocation of its Greenville office to 110 W. North St., Ste. 100, 29601. (864) 282-9100.
Edgeworth & Co. Law Firm, LLC announces its relocation to 10698 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island 29585. (843) 693-0443.
Jonny D. McCoy announces the opening of Law Office of Jonny D. McCoy, LLC located at 1240 21st Ave. N., Ste. 105, Myrtle Beach 29577. (843) 848-7325.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP announces that Nicholas G. Green has joined the New York office located at 51 W. 52nd St., New York City 10019. (212) 506-5373.
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
S.C. Supreme Court Institute, Columbia
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Conference Center
Project Citizen Training, Bar Building
Diversity in the Bar Task Force Meeting, Bar Building
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
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