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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.


Lawyers Desk Book coming soon!
The 2010-2011 Lawyers Desk Book will be mailed to all active Bar members in mid-August. The Bar will start taking orders for extra copies on August 16; the books and CD-ROMs are $25 plus applicable sales tax. Visit www.scbar.org/deskbook for ordering information.
 
Important update for CLE seminar
Changes in Consumer Debt Collections, July 23
Faculty: Susan B. Berkowitz, Dr. Eric M. Berman, Danny R. Collins and Edward E. Gilbert
This seminar will still be held at the USC School of Law but will be in Room 138, not the auditorium. The Buck Mickel Center site in Greenville has been canceled.

Orders of Reference in foreclosure cases
By order of July 15 a circuit court judge and/or the clerk of court is allowed to sign an Order of Reference in foreclosure actions, default cases or an action where the parties consent. In most instances, it will promote judicial efficiency for the clerk of court in each county to sign Orders of Reference referring these matters to either the master-in-equity or a special referee in his/her county. To view the full text of the order, click here.

$1.1 million put to work
The Bar Foundation has awarded $1.1 million in IOLTA and S.C. Bar opt out funds to 18 organizations for the period July through December 2010. Foundation grants typically are one year in duration. The combination of historically low IOLTA revenues and the effective date of the new comparability rule led the Foundation to pursue six-month awards. Subsequent grants will be made for the period January to June 2011. With your help the Bar Foundation will attempt to bridge the gap until IOLTA funding stabilizes. Your Bar Foundation is the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Please join us.

Job opportunity
The Bar is seeking a Recovery Counselor to work with the Lawyers Helping Lawyers program. The position is part time and requires a master’s degree in the human service field with five years of related experience. For additional information, please click here. Resumes should be sent to ljohnson@scbar.org.

PMAP -- Your guide to...
Software comparisons. Choosing the right law office software can be tricky. How do you know you're getting the right product for your firm? One way is to review the handy online comparison charts provided by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. The charts compare top software products in several areas, including case management and time & billing. Comparison areas including pricing and functionality. For even more assistance with choosing software, contact Courtney Kennaday with your questions at (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or pmap@scbar.org.

Advance Sheet update
July 14, 2010
Rios appealed his conviction for murder, arguing that the trial court erred in (1) denying his request to suppress two statements he made to investigators because he did not knowingly and intelligently waive his Miranda rights because of cultural and language barriers and (2) failing to charge the jury on involuntary manslaughter and self-defense.  The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the statements Rios made, since evidence showed that Rios was able to communicate in both Spanish and English. The issue of the jury charges was conceded in the trial court, and Rios thereby waived his right to allege error on appeal. 
State v. Rios, No. 4710, is online.

In the underlying domestic case, Respondent Daughter-in-Law (Broome) had accessed e-mails from Husband's Yahoo e-mail account and given them to Wife, Wife's attorney and a private investigator (PI). Husband sued, alleging invasion of privacy and a number of statutory violations, including violations of the Stored Communications Act. The circuit court granted Respondents' summary judgment motions, finding that the Yahoo e-mails were not stored by an "electronic communication service" (ECS) and were not stored "for purposes of backup protection", and denying Husband's motion to amend his complaint to add Thomas Neal as a party defendant. Husband appealed; the court affirmed the circuit court's grant of summary judgment as to Wife, PI and PI's firm, as well as the circuit court's denial of Husband's motion to amend his complaint to add a party defendant. The court found the circuit court erred in concluding Yahoo was not an ECS. Additionally, the court reversed the circuit court's grant of summary judgment as to Broome and remanded the case for further proceedings. 
Jennings v. Jennings, No. 4711, is online.

July 19, 2010
In this personal injury case involving multiple insurers, the Fowlers (Respondents) filed a declaratory judgment action to determine the available insurance coverage under the commercial liability policy issued by Selective Insurance Company (Selective) for the Hunters (Defendants). The Supreme Court granted certiorari to review whether the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment as to the claims for professional negligence and for equitable indemnification. The Court affirmed on both issues. With respect to the professional negligence claim, the Court found that South Carolina courts favor settlement and there was no evidence of collusion between the parties. The Court also agreed with the appellate court that competing sets of guidelines raised a genuine issue of material fact as to damages precluding summary judgment on the equitable indemnification claim. 
Fowler v. Hunter, No. 26834, is online.

The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina certified two questions to the S.C. Supreme Court. The questions concern how, if at all, the Filed Rate Doctrine applies to Plaintiffs' claims. The Filed Rate Doctrine was adopted by the Court in the case of Edge v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, 366 S.C. 511, 623 S.E.2d 387 (2005), and "was originally a federal preemption rule which provided that rates duly adopted by a regulatory agency are not subject to collateral attack in court."  In addressing the issues, the Court made no judgments regarding the merits of Plaintiffs' underlying claims. Answering the first question narrowly, the Court found that because the workers' compensation policies at issue were exempt commercial policies, Defendants' submissions to the DOI in 2001 did not invoke the regulatory authority of the DOI and the filed rate doctrine does not bar Plaintiffs' claims. Because the Filed Rate Doctrine does not apply so as to bar Plaintiffs' claims, the Court declined to answer the second certified question. 
Temporary Serv. v. American Int'l Group, Inc., No. 26835, is online.

Discipline
By order of July 16 the Court placed Michael Davis Moore on interim suspension.  Dale Van Slambrook is the trustee.

Reinstatement
By order of July 13 the Court reinstated Spencer Davis Langley as an Active Member of the Bar.

Firm announcements
J.J. Andrighetti announces the opening of the Andrighetti Law Firm located at 707 E. North St., Greenville 29601. (864) 370-8088.

Shipley Law Firm, PC announces that Vanessa Cooper Shipley has joined the firm located at 445 Meeting St., W. Columbia 29169. (803) 794-7588.

Fifth Circuit Public Defender Douglas S. Strickler announces that E. Fielding Pringle has been appointed Chief County Public Defender for Richland County with offices located at 1701 Main St., Columbia 29201. (803) 765-2592. Jennifer Davis has been appointed Deputy Public Defender of Richland County.