E-Blast Archive Issue

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Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
April 21, 2011
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at
The South Carolina Bar is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

June 1: Last chance to update Lawyers Desk Book contact information
Production of the 2011-2012 Lawyers Desk Book is underway. All address changes received by June 1, 2011, will be reflected in the new edition.  Members can send updates to or Address Changes, South Carolina Bar, P.O. Box 608, Columbia, SC 29202.

NEW FOR 2011: Members can use the new member portal to make address changes. Visit the Bar's home page and click "Login" in the top right area or click here. Then click "Forgot Your Password." You will then need to enter you S.C. Bar number and your request will be sent to your e-mail address on file with the Bar.

Scam alert
Another variation on the counterfeit check scam has surfaced. The check was purportedly drawn on a local bank by a Canadian resident and forwarded as a retainer. In this instance no money was lost. The Bar again cautions members to ensure that funds forwarded from relatively unknown clients be confirmed as collected funds so that the member is not exposed to financial loss.

Reappointments to Commission on CLE
By order of April 20 Steven T. Moon and Kathy Price Elmore have been reappointed to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization with terms expiring July 1, 2013.

Scholarship winners announced
The Law Related Education Division announces eight recipients of the 2011 High School Mock Trial Scholarship: Kaity Nisbett, Dutch Fork High School; Creasie Parrott, Johnsonville High School; Nick Sanders, Johnsonville High School; Charles Shoop III, Blythewood High School; Trenton Smith, North Myrtle Beach High School; David Tabor, Bob Jones Academy; Taylor Treece, North Myrtle Beach Academy; and Elizabeth von Keller, Blythewood High School. LRE also announces four recipients of the 2011 We the People Scholarship: David Blayton, Carolina Forest High School; Miguel Garcia Jr., Strom Thurmond High School; Sommer Ireland, Wando High School; and Trenton Smith, Scholar's Academy. Congratulations to these South Carolina students!

Check out YLD's Communty Law Week volunteer opportunities
Get geared up for Community Law Week! Click
here for a description of each of the programs taking place during the week. Contact your circuit representative to find out how you can volunteer for one of these great programs.

Bar offices closed
Offices at the Bar building will be closed Friday, April 22.

Advance Sheet update
April 20, 2011

Hutchinson sued Liberty Life Insurance Co. (Liberty) after being denied life insurance proceeds due to a policy exclusion for injury resulting from the use of narcotics. The decedent was under the influence of methamphetamine. At a hearing, Hutchinson presented expert testimony that methamphetamine was not a narcotic, and the circuit court granted Hutchinson's motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, finding that the trial court erred in adopting a specialized medical definition of the term "narcotic" in the context of an insurance policy written for laypersons, as opposed to the plain and ordinary meaning of "narcotic" as understood by laypersons.
Hutchinson v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., No. 4820, is available online.

Peter Brown, a Medicaid recipient, appealed the termination of a portion of his Medicaid-covered services. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Hearing Officer determined he did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear Brown's appeal. The Administrative Law Court (ALC) affirmed the hearing officer's decision and rejected Brown's argument regarding the definition of the services. On appeal, the court found that a DHHS hearing officer has subject matter jurisdiction to hear an appeal from the denial, termination, suspension or reduction of a service or benefit which the individual alleges is covered by Medicaid. The court reversed the ALC and its application of an incorrect legal standard to establish jurisdiction, vacated the remainder of the order, and remanded to DHHS for a hearing on the merits in accordance with its opinion and pursuant to 42 C.F.R. Section 431.220(a)(1)-(2).
Brown v. SCDHHS, No. 4821, is available online.

Jones was charged as a juvenile with murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of a pistol. The family court waived jurisdiction and ordered he be treated as an adult. Jones then pled guilty in the circuit court to a lesser charge pursuant to a plea agreement. On appeal, Jones contended that the family court erred in waiving jurisdiction because it did not properly apply the Kent factors. Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 566-67 (1966). He also contended the family court erred in admitting a statement he gave to police because his mother was not present during the interrogation or when he signed the waiver of rights form. The court affirmed, finding the family court did not abuse its discretion in waiving jurisdiction. Additionally, Jones's argument regarding the officer inducing him to make a statement was not preserved. Further, Jones's argument about his mother's failure to be present during his questioning or signing of his statement was abandoned.
State v. Jones, No. 4822, is available online.

Burgess appealed from his conviction for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, alleging the arresting officer lacked authority to make an arrest outside the town limits and questioning the validity of a multijurisdictional narcotics enforcement agreement. The court found the agreement was valid and that the officer had authority to arrest Burgess. Burgess had also sought to introduce the officer's employment records as evidence of bias and motive to misrepresent, but the trial judge denied the request. The court found the judge's decision to exclude the evidence was within his discretion. Lastly, as to the objection to the exclusion of a "mere presence" jury charge, the court held it was unnecessary in this case.
State v. Burgess, No. 4823, is available online.

In this workers' compensation case, Hanson Brick America and Zurich North America (Appellants) argued (1) the circuit court engaged in improper fact finding, (2) substantial evidence supported the Appellate Panel's decision, (3) the Appellate Panel made sufficiently detailed findings of fact, and (4) the circuit court improperly relied on late-filed medical evidence. The court reversed the circuit court's determination that Lawson was entitled to temporary total disability benefits and further evaluation of his knees. The court remanded to the Appellate Panel for a reconsideration of all evidence, including Dr. Johnson's medical report, to determine whether Lawson's knee problems were causally related to his back injury and whether Lawson was entitled to temporary total disability benefits.
Lawson v. Hanson Brick America, Inc., No. 4824, is available online.

Firm announcement

Miller|Conway announces that Jacqueline K. Dixon has joined the firm located at 124 S. Goose Creek Blvd, Goose Creek 29445. (843) 764-3334

April 25
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

April 26
Torts & Insurance Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
April 29
Law Related Education Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building

May 4
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

May 5
Board of Governors Meeting, Greenville
House of Delegates and Assembly Meetings, Greenville

May 6
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building

May 20
Probate, Estate Planning & Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

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

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