E-Blast Archive Issue

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! February 8, 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. 

Law School dean candidates announced
Five candidates for dean of the University of South Carolina School of Law have accepted invitations to visit the campus in the coming weeks.  Each will make a two-day visit, meeting with faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators and the legal community. The candidates are:

-- David S. Caudill, Arthur M. Goldberg Family Chair and professor of law, Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania.
-- Stephen W. Mazza, Interim Dean and professor of law, University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas.
-- Susan M. Richey, Associate Dean and professor of law, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord, New Hampshire.
-- Scott N. Schools, Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
-- Robert M. Wilcox, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and professor of law, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina.

The new dean is expected to assume the job in summer of 2011.

Newberry County Self-Help Center Pilot Program approved
On February 2, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal approved the Access to Justice Commission's petition for the Newberry County Self-Help Center Pilot Program. This self-help center will be administered by the Commission with the assistance of the Clerk of Court staff and volunteer lawyers to provide basic legal information and court-approved, self-help resources to the public. The order is available online.

Seminar site cancellation
The Sumter site for 20/20: An Optimal View on 2010 on Friday, February 11, has been canceled.

Order amended
By order of February 4 the Chief Justice amended the Authority of Judge Designated as a Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes in the Circuit Court. To view the order, click here.

Furman University President to speak at Charleston symposium
The Charleston Law Review of the Charleston School of Law and the Riley Institute at Furman University will host the third Law and Society Series Symposium February 18-19. Furman University President Rodney A. Smolla will present "Free Speech and Civil Discourse in Law and Society" at 5 p.m. on February 17 at the Charleston Music Hall. On February 18, the symposium will continue with panels from scholars, judges, lawmakers, advocates and attorneys at the Charleston Museum Auditorium. To register and see a complete schedule, visit

Advance Sheet Update
February 8, 2011
The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's ruling that the City of Cayce's public nuisance ordinance was preempted by both the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, 49 U.S.C.A Sections 10101-16106, and the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C.A Sections 20101-20167.
City of Cayce v. Norfolk Southern Railway, No. 26925, is available online.

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals' reversal of the Respondent's conviction for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.  The Respondent was not entitled to a voluntary manslaughter charge because there was no evidence that the crime was committed during the heat of passion. The Respondent was also not permitted an involuntary manslaughter charge because there was no evidence that the Respondent was acting lawfully or in self-defense. Since the Respondent was acting unlawfully, he was also not allowed an accident charge. 
State v. Smith, No. 26926, is available online.

The Court affirmed the Respondent's conviction for securities fraud, obtaining property under false pretenses and conspiracy. The State Grand Jury had subject matter jurisdiction of the charges of obtaining property under false pretenses and conspiracy even though they were not enumerated in Section 14-7-1630 because they were committed in the same course of conduct as the securities violation. Whether the Respondent was deprived his constitutional right to a trial before an impartial jury because a spectator contacted a juror in an elevator was not preserved for review, and the Court does not apply the plain error rule. The Respondent did not preserve the issues of whether Section 14-7-1820 violated the constitutional prohibitions against the passage of ex post facto laws and whether the circuit judge abused its discretion by imposing a more severe sentence on Respondent than the co-conspirators.  
State v. Shepherd, No. 29263, is available online.

By orders of February 2 the Court accepted the resignations from the Bar of Kevin Lee Benson of Irmo and Ana Lisa Corson of Springfield, VA.
By order of February 3 the Court accepted the resignation from the Bar of Isabel W. Smith of Camden.

By order of February 7 the Court imposed a two year suspension with conditions on David C. Danielson for misconduct which included falsely executing documents, failing to diligently work on matters and failing to communicate with clients.
By order of February 7 the Court imposed a nine month suspension (retroactive to March 4, 2010) on Donna Seegars Givens for misconduct which included securing a controlled substance that would not otherwise have been prescribed and fabricating billings to a client.
By order of February 7 the Court imposed a public reprimand on J. Cameron Halford for misconduct which included failing to accurately document financial transactions and failing to conduct monthly trust account reconciliations.
By order of February 7 the Court imposed a 90-day suspension on Scott Matthew Wild for misconduct which involved a negotiated plea for aggravated battery.

Firm announcements
Baker Ravenel & Bender, LLP
announces that Susan Drake Dubose and Robert L. Brown have become associates of the firm located at 3710 Landmark Dr., Ste. 400, Columbia 29204. (803) 799-9091.

John (Jay) G. Brown II
and Robert Bratton Varnado announce the formation of Brown & Varnado LLC located at 103 Church St., Mount Pleasant 29464. (843) 737-7300. Timothy Cooper Dargan has joined the firm as an associate.

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

Richardson, Plowden & Robinson, PA announces that attorney Mason A. Summers has become a shareholder and Drew H. Butler has become an equity shareholder in the firm located at 1900 Barnwell St., Columbia 29201. (803) 771-4400.

Rogers Townsend & Thomas announces that Brian C. Gambrell, Douglas E. Leadbitter and Robert H. Williams have joined the firm located at 220 Executive Center Dr., Columbia 29210. (803) 771-7900.

February 10
Consumer Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

February 11

Elder Law Committee 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
Criminal Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

February 25-26
Board of Governors Meeting, Greenville