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E-Blast Archive Issue

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
March 22, 2011
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.

Winners announced for new elements of high school mock trial program
This year, the roles of courtroom sketch artist and courtroom journalist were introduced to the high school mock trial program to broaden participation across a more diverse group of students. Congratulations to Jane Xu of Dreher High School in Columbia, winner of the sketch artist competition, and Caylyn Bird of Spring Valley High School in Columbia, winner of the journalist competition. The winners will receive a certificate and framed copy of their work during their school’s end of year awards ceremony.

On the website
New jobs have been posted to the Bar’s online Career Center at www.scbar.org/careercenter. Browse other classifieds for office space and services available at www.scbar.org/classifieds.

PMAP -- Your guide to...
Storing passwords. We all have accounts that require passwords. We've been told that, to be secure, we should never use the same one twice. Our passwords should be 12 characters long and use a random mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Instead, most of us use the same simple password for everything, year after year. The threat from spyware is too great to ignore. The most secure way to store all your passwords is with a good password manager – a software program that securely encrypts and stores passwords. You need just one strong password to unlock all the encrypted passwords stored by the password manager. Two popular products are Roboform  and LastPass. For questions about computer security, contact Courtney Kennaday at (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or pmap@scbar.org.


Memorial service for Hon. McFadden
The York County Bar Association will hold a service to honor the memory of Hon. Robert L. McFadden at the York County Courthouse located at 2 S. Congress St. on March 25 at 2 p.m. The service is open to the public.

Congratulations!
Assistant Executive Director of the Bar, Leah Johnson, has been re-elected as State Bar Director for the National Association of Bar Executives Board of Directors.

Advance Sheet update
March 22, 2011
The S.C. Supreme Court concluded that the Appellant was competent to waive his right to a direct appeal and that his waiver was knowing and voluntary.  The Court found that the Appellant's sentence of death was neither excessive nor disproportionate to his crime. The Court also held that neither the circuit court nor the Supreme Court was required to issue an order for a court-appointed psychiatrist to interview the Appellant, absent indicia of incompetency, immediately prior to his execution.
State v. Motts, No. 26974, is available online.

The Court found that the plea judge failed to make specific findings of fact in his ruling that petitioner was not entitled to early parole eligibility pursuant to Section 16-25-90. The Court therefore granted the petition for a writ of certiorari, dispensed with further briefing, vacated the Court of Appeals' opinion and remanded the case to circuit court for such findings.
State v. Blackwell-Selim, No. 26975, is available online.
Justice Hearn did not participate.

The Court found that the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment to Respondent based on the attorney-client privilege exception to the Freedom of Information Act, opining that the circuit court did not look at the documents ultimately sought by the Appellant and further inquiry into the facts was necessary.  The Court found that the circuit court also erred in denying Appellant's motion to compel the production of documents because the court could have separated the blank questionnaire from the attorney memorandum to which it was attached.
Evening Post v. Berkeley County School District, No. 26946, is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in the result only.

The Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals, which had reversed the conviction and sentence of the Respondent on drug charges on the ground the State failed to establish a sufficient chain of custody for the drug evidence. The Court found that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in finding a sufficient chain of custody existed to allow admission of the drug evidence, applying the standard of whether the State established the chain of custody as far as practicable.
State v. Hatcher, No. 26950, is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in the result only.

Discipline
By order of March 21 the Court imposed a 15-month suspension (retroactive to the end of the prior nine-month suspension) with additional conditions on David Arthur Braghirol for misconduct which included accepting funds to do additional work for a client while on interim suspension.
 
By order of March 21 the Court imposed a public reprimand on David Hart Breen for misconduct which included delays in filing bankruptcy petitions and commingling of funds. The order includes requirements regarding review of Breen's law office management.
 
By order of March 21 the Court imposed a nine-month suspension with additional conditions on Nancy Holland Mayer for misconduct which included misappropriating trust funds, failing to pay medical liens and failing to cooperate during the discipline investigation.
 
By order of March 21 the Court imposed a six-month suspension with additional conditions on Michael Davis Moore for misconduct which included failing to return an unearned fee, failing to provide a complete accounting of the retainer, failing to deliver a client file, and serving a subpoena in a pro se matter while on interim suspension.
 
By order of March 21 the Court disbarred Sheryl Sisk Schelin for misconduct which included accepting fees to file bankruptcies but not filing the bankruptcies, failing to respond to clients, failing to return unearned fees, and failing to respond to the notices of full disciplinary investigation.
 
By order of March 21 the Court imposed a one-year suspension with additional conditions on William Barney Weems III for misconduct which involved delegation of disbursement of trust funds to a title company which resulted in insufficient funds to cover outstanding checks and removal of funds beyond his control. The restitution plan includes payment to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection if clients cannot be identified for whom funds Weems held in trust.

Reinstatements
By order of March 18 the Court reinstated Lawrence E. Judice of Columbia as an Active Member.

By order of March 21 the Court reinstated James Michael Brown.

Resignation
By order of March 17 the Court accepted the resignation of Daniel John Wiley of Washington, DC.

Trustee appointed

By order of March 18 the Court appointed Delton W. Powers Jr. as trustee for the practice of Mahlon E. Padgett IV, deceased.

Firm announcements
Anderson and Associates, PA announces that Marilyn E. Garley has joined the firm as an associate located at 208-B Candi Lane, Columbia 29210. (803) 252-8600.

Brian A. Hellman, PA announces that Jonathan L. Yates has become a shareholder in the firm located at 145 King St., Ste. 102, Charleston 29401. (843) 266-9099. The firm has changed its name to Hellman & Yates, PA.

The Law Firm of Elizabeth Vaughn Tilley, PC announces its address change to P.O. Box 2525, Myrtle Beach 29578. (843) 401-8888.

The S.C. Asphalt Pavement Association
announces that Ashley R. Batson has been named Executive Director of the association located at 1331 Elmwood Ave., Columbia 29201. (803) 252-2522.

In memoriam
Mahlon E. Padgett IV, 51, of Bennettsville died on March 15. His obituary can be viewed here.

Calendar
March 25
Consumer Law Section CLE & Luncheon, Bar Building
Dispute Resolution Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 31
Government Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 1
Resolution of Fee Disputes Board Meeting, Bar Building

April 5
YLD Committee Chairs Meeting, Bar Building

April 8
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building

To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Latoya Jackson in Membership Services at ljackson@scbar.org or (803) 799-6653, ext. 137.

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