E-Blast Archive Issue

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

January 27, 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. 

2010-2011 compliance reports due March 1
The S.C. Supreme Court Commission on CLE and Specialization has mailed all active attorneys their 2010-2011 compliance reports. The deadline for filing the reports is on or before March 1. Attorneys must complete three steps to establish compliance with the MCLE/LEPR regulations: during the reporting period (March 1, 2010, through February 28, 2011), Bar members must take a minimum of 14 hours of approved MCLE credits (to include a minimum of 2 LEPR hours) or have sufficient carry forward hours from the last reporting period; the reports must be filed with the Commission by the filing deadline (on or before March 1, 2011); and the $40 filing fee must be included when filing the report. Certified specialists must follow the standards and procedures for their specialties. Do not file your compliance report until after you have attended all of the courses that you intend to take in this reporting period (ending February 28, 2011). If you file your compliance report and then attend additional courses during the reporting period, you must file an amended compliance report in order to receive the additional credit ($40 amended filing fee is required). Questions should be directed to the Commission at or (803) 799-5578.
Compliance reporting for new Bar members
Those admitted to the S.C. Bar after February 28, 2010, will not file a compliance report for the 2010-2011 reporting period. The first reporting period for these new members will begin on March 1, 2011, and extend through February 29, 2012. Courses taken before March 1, 2011, will not count toward the first compliance reporting period; however, new members will carry forward 8 MCLE hours (to include 2 LEPR hours) from their Bridge the Gap attendance. Questions should be directed to the Commission at or (803) 799-5578.

Bar member wins iPad at 2011 Convention!

Congratulations to William O. Pressley Jr. of Perrin Mann Patterson Pressley, LLP in Spartanburg for winning the iPad given away at the 2011 Bar Convention last week in Hilton Head. Pressley registered for the Convention in full before the January 6 deadline and therefore was entered to win the brand new iPad. Pictured with the winner are Shannon Willis Scruggs, Bar Foundation Executive Director, and Von Snelgrove, CLE Convention and Special Programs Director.

ABA TECHSHOW's 25th anniversary

Register now to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2011, April 11-13, 2011, at the Chicago Hilton & Towers. For 25 years, TECHSHOW has been the most trusted legal technology expo for lawyers. It is organized by lawyers, and most of the speakers are lawyers. Bar members automatically receive $150 discount off registration costs, and if you register before February 25, you receive an additional $200 discount! To register, go to

, click on "Conference" then "Register and Pricing," and remember to use code


to receive these incredible rates. For a fun take on the past 25 years of technology, take a look at the ABA TECHSHOW video available at,

which features current and past TECHSHOW chairs, presenters and attendees in a clever walk down technology's memory lane. For more information, contact Courtney Kennaday at (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or


Bar member survey

Bar members are invited to participate in a brief survey from the Charlotte School of Law assessing regional law schools and the attributes of an effective law school graduate. Upon completion of the survey, you will have the option to enter your name into a random drawing for a $1,000 donation to be made in your name to the charity of your choice. To complete the survey,

click here

. All responses are to remain confidential and only be evaluated in aggregate.

2011 Columbia attorney basketball league
The second season of the Columbia Attorney Basketball League begins on March 7. The inaugural season was a great success, and the organizers are looking forward to making the league bigger and stronger this year. If you are interested in entering a team or simply joining an existing team, please contact Jared H. Garraux by Friday, February 18.

Advance Sheet update
January 26, 2011
Appellants brought suit against Respondents for defamation, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), contending the pastor of the church had informed the congregation the Appellants had mismanaged money and money was missing from the church. Appellants appealed the trial court's dismissal of the action based on the assertion that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to intervene in a church matter. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court could decide the defamation action without looking at religious principles and therefore reversed the dismissal of the defamation action and remanded that claim for trial. Additionally, the court cannot examine the negligence causes of action without delving into the church's administrative procedures. Therefore, the court affirmed the dismissal of the negligence causes of action. Further, because the trial court did not rule on the IIED cause of action in its order, the dismissal of that claim is not preserved for appellate review.
Banks v. St. Matthew Baptist Church, No. 4781, is available online.

Church brought this quantum meruit action against the personal representative of the estate and the trustee of the McGee family trust seeking compensation for care-giving services she provided to the decedent in his final years. In these cross-appeals, Church challenged the circuit court's finding that she expected no compensation when she provided the care-giving services. The court affirmed the trial court's holding that Church's testimony demonstrated that her services were gratuitous. The court affirmed the circuit court's order to not remove the personal representative because there was no evidence of any malfeasance. The court did not find a violation of SCRCP Rule 52(a) because when the trial court adequately states the basis for the result it reaches, the appellate court should not vacate the trial court's judgment for lack of an explicit factual finding. The court affirmed the trial court's denial of the set-off because the court deferred to the trial court's assessment of Church's credibility when she testified that the items she took were either gifts from Decedent or purchased with their jointly owned funds. The court reversed the award of prejudgment interest because that claim is not yet due since other claims must be paid first.
Church v. McGee, No. 4784, is available online.

After the denial of a workers' compensation claim because the Respondent failed to report the injury within 90 days, as required by S.C. Code Ann. Section 42-15-20, the circuit court granted Respondent's motion for reconsideration, holding that the Respondent did comply with the notice requirement and remanding the case for further investigation. The court dismissed the appeal because the circuit court's order is not immediately appealable.
Long v. Sealed Air Corp., No. 4783, is available online.
Judge Geathers dissented in a separate opinion.

After a probation revocation hearing, the trial court continued Duncan's probation, terminated Duncan's electronic monitoring and added the sex offender conditions to the conditions of his probation. Duncan's counsel filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and State v. Williams, 305 S.C. 116, 406 S.E.2d 357 (1991), arguing the trial court erred in adding the sex offender conditions to the conditions of his probation, and the State filed a cross-appeal, arguing the trial court erred in terminating Duncan's electronic monitoring. The court dismissed Duncan's Anders appeal and reversed the trial court's termination of Duncan’s electronic monitoring because the trial court did not have the discretion to do so as it is statutorily required.
Duncan v. State, No. 4784, is available online.

The court affirmed the Appellant's conviction for aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse against his four-month-old daughter because the trial judge acted within his discretion in admitting prior injuries to the child. The trial judge did not err in allowing the State to proceed under the aiding and abetting section of the homicide by child abuse statute because the State presented sufficient evidence.
State v. Smith, No. 4785, is available online.
Judge Geathers dissented in a separate opinion.

The court affirmed the circuit court's refusal to set aside a default judgment against Appellant because Respondent's counsel personally served notice of the damages hearing on Appellant rather than his attorney. SCRCP Rule 5(b)(1) did not require service upon an attorney when the attorney gave no indication of his representation to either the court or opposing counsel. The Appellant also failed to act promptly in seeking relief and did not meet his burdens in establishing a meritorious defense and prejudice.
Rodriguez v. Gutierrez, No. 4786, is available online.
Firm announcements
James L. Foti, Ryan E. Butler


Andrew W. College

announce the opening of

Butler Foti & College, LLC

located at 1671 Belle Isle Ave., Ste. 150, Mount Pleasant 29464. (843) 284-0888.

B.J. Landrum

announces the opening of the

Landrum Law Firm, PC

located at 209 Highway 544, Conway 29526. (843) 902-3087.

Richard L. Pearce

announces that he has become the

City Manager for the City of Aiken

with a mailing address of P.O. Drawer 1177, 29802. (803) 642-7657.

Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC

announces the opening of its Charleston office located at 775 St. Andrews Blvd., 29407. (843) 556-5656. The firm also announces that

William A. Scott

has become special counsel in the Charleston office.

January 28
Judicial Qualifications Committee Meeting, Bar Building

February 11

Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

Family Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building

February 15

YLD Executive Council Meeting, Conference Call

February 17

YLD Long Range Planning Committee Meeting, Bar Building

February 18

ADR Commission Meeting, Mike Kelly Law Group, Columbia

Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building

Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call