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E-Blast Archive Issue

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
August 31, 2010
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at www.scbar.org.

The So
uth Carolina Bar is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

Nationally-recognized attorneys to speak at 2011 Convention
Mark your calendars and reserve your hotel room today for the 2011 Bar Convention, scheduled for January 20-23 at the Hilton Head Island Marriott Resort and Spa. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear from New Jersey attorney Patricia Apy, who represented David Goldman in the custody case that captured the world’s attention. Apy will discuss the legal battle that raged between jurisdictions as her client sought to gain custody of his son, Sean, from Brazil. In addition, Reid F. Trautz will speak at the Law Office Technology seminar. Trautz, co-author of The Busy Lawyer's Guide to Success: Essential Tips to Power Your Practice, is a nationally recognized advisor, author and presenter on business process improvement, law practice technology, attorney-client communications, ethics and risk management. Visit www.scbar.org/convention for hotel information, and stay tuned for additional details--the Convention website with a complete schedule, general information, sponsors, exhibitors and much more will go live next week.

Free events by Foundation grantees
It's back to school and back to many opportunities provided by S.C. Bar Foundation grantees. September's entire list of activities can be viewed here. Events include multiple Ask-A-Lawyer clinics and several Intake Days for S.C. Legal Services, as well as training dates for LRE Mock Trial and We the People competitions. Your Bar Foundation is the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Please join us.

PMAP -- Your guide to...         
Avoiding check scams. The Bar has received notification from several members that they have been targeted in the rash of check scams reported worldwide. Here are some "red flags" to look out for:
- A new "client" contacts you by e-mail (possibly with a debt collection matter or the "client" sends you a retainer check).
- One of the parties may be overseas.
- The debt or other obligation resolves itself rather quickly and easily without much effort by you.
- There is a very convincing certified check (which your bank may tell you is good).
- The amounts being collected are typically large (more than $100,000).
Unfortunately, lawyers elsewhere have deposited the certified checks and disbursed the funds before learning that the check was a forgery. For more on avoiding check scams, visit the S.C. Small Firm blog: Scams against lawyers and Fraud against lawyers. Contact Courtney Kennaday at (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or pmap@scbar.org with any additional information or questions.

Blue Ribbon Review Panel appointed
USC Provost Amiridis has appointed a Blue Ribbon Review Panel to provide an external review and to assist the University and the School of Law in the process of strategically planning the school's future. For a listing of panel members, click here.

Register of Deeds now available electronically
The Lexington County Register of Deeds office is now accepting the recording of real estate documents by electronic means. Contact eRecording Partners Network to take advantage of introductory offers.

Advance Sheet update
August 25, 2010
The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Dr. Feldman and Columbia Heart Clinic (Respondents) on William and Ann Melton's (Appellants) causes of action for medical malpractice, negligent misrepresentation, abandonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court held Respondent's dismissal of Appellant as a patient two days before Appellant's scheduled surgery was not sufficient evidence of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court further held that medical abandonment should be recognized as a medical malpractice claim. Summary judgment on the medical malpractice claim was affirmed because Appellant did not establish proximate cause nor did Appellant establish that Respondent departed from the generally accepted standard of care in her field. Appellant asserted that expert testimony was unnecessary and the standard of care required by Respondent fell under the common knowledge exception; however, the court found the proper operation of a cardioverter-defibrillator would be beyond the average person's knowledge.
Melton v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 4729, is available online.

The court held a Rule 12(b)(8) dismissal was inappropriate. The court distinguished this action from a previous action because Appellants brought a new cause of action, sought different relief in the writ of mandamus and named council members (Respondents) in their individual rather than official capacities. The court found Appellant's complaint stated sufficient facts to allege civil conspiracy and reversed dismissal of the claim. The intracorporate conspiracy doctrine did not apply because Respondents were named in their individual capacities. Because Respondents were not named in their official capacities, the court held that a writ of mandamus could not be issued against them and Appellants had no cause of action under the Freedom of Information Act. The court affirmed denial of an injunction because no private right of action was created by Section 4-9-660 of the S.C. Code and there was no irreparable harm threatened. The court held the circuit court properly declined to rule on the consolidation of actions because Respondents were represented by different attorneys on each action and the ruling would have been the result of impermissible ex parte communications.
Cricket Cove Ventures, LLC v. Gilland, No. 4730, is available online.

Appellants brought this action against the Town of Lexington (the Town) seeking an order requiring the Town to provide water and wastewater services to Appellants' parcel in Lexington County, outside the Town's territorial limits. The court reversed the circuit court's ruling that Appellants' complaint did not allege facts showing the Town had a duty to provide water or wastewater services to Appellants' property. Appellants' pleading stated claims for breach of contract based on a Water Line Easement that contracted for the provision of water service and violation of equal protection rights based on allegations that the Town routinely provided water and wastewater services to other properties outside its municipal boundaries. The court affirmed the circuit court's conclusion that the Town's duty was not based on the Town's ordinances or its status as a designated management agency. The court also concluded the circuit court erred in ruling Appellants did not plead sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action for equitable estoppel and in dismissing their causes of action for mandamus, injunction and declaratory relief.
HHHunt Corp. v. Town of Lexington, No. 4731, is available online.
Justice Pieper concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.

August 30, 2010
Timmons opened an investment account with J.C. Bradford & Co. (Bradford) and named her daughter, Starkey, as her attorney-in-fact. Respondent UBS became the successor-in-interest to Bradford. Timmons executed an investment service contract with UBS which included an arbitration clause. Starkey, a UBS employee, removed more than $129,000 from Timmons' account and used the money for her own benefit. The Court of Appeals held UBS was entitled to arbitration. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding the complaint did not support a finding that UBS did anything illegal or outrageous in permitting Starkey, an individual acting pursuant to a durable power of attorney, access to the funds and assets in Timmons' account.
Timmons v. Starkey, No. 26874, is available online.
Chief Justice Toal dissented in a separate opinion.


Discipline
By order of August 16 the Court disbarred Samuel Francis Crews III for misconduct which included misappropriation of client funds, putting clients' personal property to his own use and engaging in self-dealing transactions with regard to clients' real estate. The Court ordered payment of costs of the proceedings and restitution to clients and the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. The Court also addressed several procedural arguments.

By order of August 25 the Court placed Jonathan L.B. Davis on interim suspension. J. Calhoun Watson was appointed as the trustee.

Reinstatement sought
The Committee on Character and Fitness invites comment by October 22 on the petition for reinstatement of Joseph W. Ginn III.
 
Trustee appointed
By order of August 26 the Court has appointed Amy E. Armstrong as trustee for the practice of James S. Chandler Jr., deceased.

Firm announcements

J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc.
announces that Glenn R. Goodwin has joined its Legal Department as Senior Managing Counsel, Labor and Employment, located at 6501 Legacy Dr., MS-1108, Plano, TX, 75024. (972) 431-5006.

Courtney Clyburn Pope and Jason M. Price announce the formation of Clyburn Pope & Price, LLC located at 319 Hampton Ave., Aiken 29801, with mailing address P.O. Box Q, Aiken 29802. (803) 644-1110.

Lucy Clark Sanders
announces that she has joined the Foster Law Firm, LLC located at 3875 Faber Place Dr., Ste. 204, N. Charleston 29405. (843) 744-3033.

David C. Shea, PA announces that Emma I. Bryson has joined the firm located at 1916 Henderson St., Columbia 29201. (803) 779-3099.

In memoriam

William Ellison Long Jr., 81, of Anderson died on August 25, 2010. His obituary can be found at The Greenville News website.

Dale L. DuTremble, 62, of Charleston died on August 30, 2010. His obituary can be found at The Post and Courier website.

Calendar
September 8

Environment & Natural Resources Section Council meeting, Conference Call

September 10
Elder Law Committee meeting, Bar Building

September 16
Board of Governors meeting, Bar Building
Senior Lawyers Division meeting, Nexsen Pruet, Columbia
Family Law Section Council meeting, Bar Building

September 17
Trial & Appellate Advocacy Section Council meeting, Conference Call