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E-Blast Archive Issue

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


Judicial Merit Selection Commission accepting applications
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission is currently accepting applications for the following:
Court of Appeals: Seat 1 and Seat 2
Circuit Court: Fifth Judicial Circuit, Seat 1; and 13th Judicial Circuit, Seat 2
Family Court: Ninth Judicial Circuit, Seat 1
Master-in-Equity: Dorchester County
Correspondence and questions may be directed to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, Jane O. Shuler, Chief Counsel, P.O. Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202, (803) 212-6092. The Commission will not accept applications after noon on Thursday, August 12. For further information about the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and the judicial screening process, click here. To view the list of vacancies in a media release, click here.

Civil appointment funding
The S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense (SCCID) has expended all civil appointment funds for fiscal year 2009-2010, and no funds have been appropriated by the General Assembly for fiscal year 2010-2011. Civil appointment funds are used to pay for PCR (non-capital), SVP, termination of parental rights, abuse and neglect, probate commitments and any other civil action for which payments are authorized. In family court, this includes attorneys serving as counsel or guardians ad litem. To view a letter to all Bar members from SCCID Executive Director T. Patton Adams, click here.

Foundation announces new officers and directors
The Bar Foundation announces the following new officers: Toyya Brawley Gray, President; Wallace K. Lightsey, President-Elect; and Jack D. Griffeth, Secretary/Treasurer. Click here to read more on these lawyers who lead the Bar's philanthropic arm. The Foundation also welcomes two new directors: A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. and Carl L. Solomon. Your Bar Foundation is the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Please join us.

Backpack and school supply drive
The Young Lawyers Division is coordinating efforts with The Cooperative Ministry and WIS News Channel 10 to collect backpacks for Midlands children on Wednesday, July 14, at the fountain in Five Points in Columbia. The drive will take place all day, and WIS will broadcast live from the backpack drive during its evening news programming. Examples of items needed include new backpacks, spiral bound notebooks, loose leaf paper, composition notebooks, binders, pocket folders, scissors, rulers, compasses, protractors, dividers, mechanical pencils, colored pencils, #2 pencils, highlighters, dry erase markers, crayons, 3x5 index cards, Post-It notes, book covers, dictionaries and large boxes of Kleenex. Contact Paul Hoefer at (803) 779-8900 or phoefer@robinsonlaw.com for more information.

Family court form created
By order of July 6, SCCA 457 -- Affidavit -- Failure to Pay Court-Ordered Support Other than Periodic Child Support is approved for use in family courts of South Carolina. To view the full text of the order, click here.

Judges assigned to juvenile drug court
By order of July 12, Hon. Irvin G. Condon, Probate Judge for Charleston County, and the Hon. Tamara C. Curry, Associate Probate Judge for Charleston County, are assigned to preside over the Ninth Circuit Juvenile Drug Court. To view the full text of the order, click here.

Investiture invitation
Bar members are invited to attend the investiture ceremony of Shiva V. Hodges as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of South Carolina on Tuesday, July 20, at 3 p.m. at the Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse located at 901 Richland St. in Columbia. A reception will immediately following at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce located at 930 Richland St.

PMAP -- Your guide to...
Casemaker tips! Quick access to Casemaker free legal research from the Bar is a breeze -- just follow these tips. (1) Log in to the Casemaker secure area on the Bar's website; (2) Leave out any zeroes before your Bar number (e.g. 01234); (3) Be sure to check your junk folder or spam filter if you are expecting but do not receive an e-mail from the Bar to reset your password. For free Casemaker assistance, call 1-877-659-0801 or (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail casemaker@scbar.org.

Advance Sheet update
July 7, 2010
In this personal injury action, the Appellants (Richitelli) did not dispute the trial court's finding they could not, as a matter of law, prove a joint venture or partnership, but did appeal the trial court's ruling that no evidence showed a master-servant relationship existed as to Parker's operation of the wrecker on the date of the accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's findings concerning Appellants' failure to show a master-servant relationship and affirmed the trial court's decision. 
Richitelli v. Motiva Enter., No. 4707, is online.

In this criminal case, Webb appealed his convictions for kidnapping, armed robbery and first-degree burglary, arguing that the trial court erred in (1) allowing the State to refer to Webb as a "wild animal" in its opening statement and closing argument; (2) allowing the State to include facts about Webb's hair in its closing argument; and (3) not allowing defense counsel to fully cross-examine two individuals concerning the charges against co-defendant Gaunt. The court affirmed, finding the solicitor's statements did not infect the trial with unfairness so as to deprive Webb of a fair trial. The court also held that, even assuming the trial court did err in allowing the solicitor's statement regarding the length of Webb's hair, it was harmless error because there was overwhelming evidence of Webb's guilt in evidence. Finally, the court found that the issue of the defense counsel's inability to fully cross-examine two witnesses was not preserved for review. 
State v. Webb, No. 4708, is online.

In this appeal concerning insurance recovery, Murr appealed the circuit court's decision to grant Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company's (Carrier) motion for summary judgment. The court reversed and remanded, finding that because the policy did not define "temporary," there was an ambiguity in the contract and Murr's deposition testimony regarding his use of the vehicle constituted the scintilla of evidence needed to survive a summary judgment motion.
Murr v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 4709, is online.

July 12, 2010
Boan appealed the denial of post-conviction relief (PCR), contending that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance for failing to file a motion regarding the 10-year discrepancy between the oral pronouncement of the sentence and the written sentencing order. The Supreme Court agreed; it reversed and remanded for resentencing only on the offense of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. In its opinion, the Court opined that although it had not previously spoken on the issue of whether an oral pronouncement of a sentence controls over a conflicting written sentencing order, the majority of jurisdictions that have considered this point hold the oral pronouncement controls. The Court found that a trial's fairness is compromised when a trial judge increases a defendant's sentence outside his presence, and due process requires the judge's oral pronouncement control over a conflicting written sentencing order. 
Boan v. State, No. 26832, is online.
   
Chester contended that the trial judge erred in ordering her, the plaintiff in this Tort Claims Act (TCA) suit brought against three state agencies (Respondents), to join other alleged joint tortfeasors as defendants at respondents' request under Rule 19, SCRCP, to afford the respondents their potential right to proportionate liability. The Court agreed with Chester and reversed. The Court held that a ruling which would allow a TCA defendant to compel a plaintiff to join other alleged tortfeasors as defendants in that suit would overturn a firmly entrenched common law principle that says that a plaintiff has the sole right to determine which co-tortfeasor(s) she will sue. 
Chester v. S.C. Dep't of Pub. Safety, No. 26833, is online.

Reinstatement
By order of July 7 the Court has reinstated Charles Wesley Black of Lincolnton, NC, as an Active Member.

Firm announcements

D. Mays Dickey announces the opening of the Law Office of D. Mays Dickey, PA located at 408 N. Church St., Ste. D, Greenville 29601. (864) 642-2091.

Nexsen Pruet announces that Kenn Kopf has joined the firm as Special Counsel in the firm's Charleston office located at 205 King St., Ste. 400, 29401. (843) 577-9440.

Timothy S. VanDenBerg announces the relocation of his office to 4840 Forest Dr., Ste. 6-B, PMB 116, Columbia 29206-4810. (803) 767-6278.