E-Blast Archive Issue

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! January 13, 2011
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at

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

Author and Legal Technologist Ross L. Kodner to Speak at next week's Bar Convention
Ross Kodner, attorney, ABA author and acclaimed speaker, will be the featured presenter at the Law Office Technology Seminar next Thursday at the Bar Convention. Mr. Kodner is the co-author of "How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times" and is a contributor to the ABA "Solo & Small Firm Technology Guide" each year. He has conducted more than 1400 CLE sessions since the mid-1980's. A recipient of the "Technolawyer Consultant of the Year," Mr. Kodner is filling in for Reid Trautz, who is unable to attend. Mr. Kodner appeared at two prior Bar Conventions, where his fun and informative presentations were well-received. Lawyers, paralegals and law office staff will enjoy and benefit from this presentation.

Judicial Merit Selection Commission releases report
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission has released a report for the Fall 2010 Judicial Candidates. Judicial candidates are prohibited from asking for your commitment until noon on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, when the report becomes final. Members of the General Assembly are not permitted to issue letters of introduction, announcements of candidacy, statements detailing a candidate’s qualifications or commitments to vote for a candidate until January 18, 2011. To view the report, click here.

Seminar location updates for "Anatomy for Lawyers" this Friday, January 14
The Myrtle Beach site has been moved to Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Conway Campus, Bldg. 200, Rm. 216, Hwy. 501 East, Conway.

Due to inclement weather, the Buck Mickel Center at Greenville Tech will be closed for this Friday's program. The Bar has made arrangements with the Commission on CLE for those who are registered to attend the program by live webcast. We are contacting those registrants today with viewing instructions. In the meantime, please direct all questions to Terry Burnett at (803) 576-3780.

Bar Foundation awards $1.3 million in grants
The S.C. Bar Foundation
announces $1.3 million in grants for January to June 2011, totalling $2.4 million for fiscal year 2011. The Foundation is proud to announce continued support for legal services, law related education and administration of justice initiatives. Eighteen organizations have been awarded funds. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $42 million to various legal-related organizations that work on behalf of the justice community. Grants are made possible by the Interest On Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program, as well as by donor support. Your Bar Foundation is the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Please join us.

Bar Conference Center receives Silver LEED certification
The Bar is pleased to announce that it has received Silver LEED certification for its new conference center, which houses CLE staff offices and meeting space for CLE and other Bar-related programming. The building allows for environmentally friendly construction, operation and maintenance, earning a maximum of 37 credits over five categories in the LEED certification process.

Panel event celebrating MLK Day to be held at USC School of Law
The USC School of Law's Black Law Students Association is hosting "A Legacy of Empowerment" to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the USC School of Law Auditorium. The panel of speakers, moderated by
WIS-TV News Anchor Judi Gatson, includes Former Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney Jr., Ernest "Chip" Finney III and Jerry Leo Finney. There will be a reception immediately following the event in the law school lobby.

Advance Sheet update
January 13, 2011
The S.C. Supreme Court reviewed and affirmed this appeal from a capital plea and sentencing. Because the appellant's childhood sexual abuse was already presented, the appellant was not prejudiced by not allowing further testimony on the subject from the appellant's aunt.
State v. Bryant, No. 26906, is available online.

Harleysville issued a commercial general liability policy (CGL) to Crossman, developers of condominiums. The Court reversed the trial court’s holding that the homeowners' claims fell within the definition of an "occurrence" and found coverage existed for Crossman's claims. The Court, in analyzing whether a claim is covered under a CGL policy, first focused on whether there has been an "occurrence."  It concluded that 1) damage that does not arise from a fortuitous event is not an "occurrence;" 2) damages to the insured's project that are the natural and probable consequences of faulty workmanship do not constitute an "occurrence;" and 3) for faulty workmanship to give rise to potential coverage, the faulty workmanship must result in an "occurrence," that is, an unintended, unforeseen, fortuitous or injurious event. If there has been an "occurrence," then the Court will look to whether there has been "property damage" as defined by the policy.
Crossman Communities v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co., No. 26909, is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.

In this direct appeal, the Court reversed and remanded the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for Respondent in a breach of contract action because a genuine issue of material fact existed. The Court found that there was evidence that title insurance was available and whether the Seller took the necessary steps to correct the Purchaser’s objections is a question of fact. Therefore, summary judgment is not appropriate at this stage.
M&T Group, LLC v. Palmetto Point, No. 26910, is available online.

Reinstatement sought
Kenneth B. Massey has filed a petition for reinstatement. The Committee on Character and Fitness invites comment on the petition no later than March 7, 2011.

By order of January 7 the Court disbarred Heather Anne Glover for abandoning the practice of law.
By order of January 7 the Court imposed a nine month suspension with a condition on Michael James Sarratt on the basis of a conviction for simple assault.
Firm announcements
Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP announces that Sarah E. Wetmore and Kathy A. Carlsten have become partners of the firm located at 40 Calhoun St., Ste. 400, Charleston 29401. (843) 727-0307.

David K. Haller
announces that Haller Law Firm has relocated to 505 Belle Hall Pkwy., Ste. 101, Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 606-2457.

McAngus Goudelock & Courie
announces that Stuart Moore and Charles O. "Bo" Williams have become members of the firm's Columbia office located at 1320 Main St., 29201. (803) 779-2300. The firm also announces that Mikell Wyman has become a member of the firm's Charleston office located at
78 Wentworth St., Ste. 200, 29401. (843) 576-2900.

McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley PA
announces that Brandon P. Jones has become an associate of the firm located at 1303 Blanding St., Columbia 29201. (803) 256-4645.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP announces that Merritt Abney, Jay Claypoole, Robbie Whelan and Eleni Roumel have become partners in the Charleston office located at 151 Meeting St., 29401. (843) 853-5200.

Robin Grossman Poliakoff 
announces the opening of Poliakoff Law Firm, LLC located at 191 Rutledge Ave., Charleston 29403. (843) 367-5490.

Sowell Gray Stepp & Lafitte, LLC
announces the Tiffany Hendricks has joined the firm located at 1210 Gadsden St., Columbia 29211. (803) 929-1400.