News + Press

November 1, 2011

October 26, 2011

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
November 1, 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.

Carl Solomon: Proud to be a S.C. lawyer
Columbia lawyer Carl Solomon is featured in the "Proud to be a South Carolina Lawyer" video series, designed to present a glimpse into the lives of S.C. lawyers. Click 
here to see the video, and "Like" the Bar on Facebook to see an additional video each week and share them with others.

Looking for What's New?
What's New is now online! The What's New column, previously published in the South Carolina Lawyer magazine, summarizes recent developments in the law. Click 
here to browse summaries in your practice area and link to the complete opinions.

S.C. Bar Convention spotlight
This year's plenary luncheon will be held Friday, Jan. 20. As always, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal will deliver her State of the Judiciary address. Don’t miss the latest developments in S.C. courts from its chief jurist, and enjoy remarks from Furman University President Rodney A. Smolla. In addition, the S.C. Bar Foundation will bestow the prestigious DuRant Award upon a S.C. attorney, and attendees will be treated to a moving performance by the Benedict College Gospel Choir with special introduction by Hootie & The Blowfish band member Jim Sonefeld. Online registration is now open! Visit the
Convention website for detailed information on all seminars and events. Register today!

USC Rule of Law Collaborative
The Rule of Law Collaborative at USC draws on the expertise of more than 50 faculty associates from a broad range of disciplines who undertake research relating to rule of law, conflict resolution and human rights promotion. ROLC organizes conferences and training workshops for U.S. Government agencies, human rights organizations and foreign scholars and officials, and partners with other institutions including law schools, NGOs and the World Justice Project to promote justice and human rights in fragile and post-conflict zones. Click 
here to view the website and get involved.

Find an event–you will be thankful!
Grantees and friends of the
S.C. Bar Foundation are holding nearly 30 community education events and activities throughout the state during the month of November. The full list can be viewed here. Events include legal clinics, an Ask-A-Lawyer phone bank and Web chat, fatherhood curriculum courses and the Middle School Mock Trial regional competitions. Contact information is provided for more information. Your Bar Foundation is the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Please join us.

Court revises Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packet
SCRCP Form 4F, Judgment in a Family Court Case, has been added to the Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packet. Instructions for completing the packet have been modified to reflect the addition of the new form. These changes are effective immediately. The form can be retrieved 

Probate Court Judges Advisory Committee order posted
The Supreme Court has created a Probate Court Judges Advisory Committee to provide recommendations regarding the improvement of probate courts in South Carolina. The complete order can be viewed 

Master-in-Equity FAQs approved
The S.C. Supreme Court approved "Frequently Asked Questions in S.C. Master-in-Equity Court." To view the FAQs, click 

USC School of Law Alumni Reunion
The USC School of Law is hosting a special ceremony for 
alumni, faculty and friends to dedicate plaques in memory of professors George Dow Haimbaugh Jr., Harry McKinley Lightsey Jr., Charles Henry Randall Jr. and Walter Allen Reiser Jr. The ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the School of Law auditorium. The ceremony is part of the School of Law Alumni Reunion Weekend. For more information, click

Memorial Service for Judge Perry
S.C. State University is holding a memorial service for the late Judge Matthew J. Perry Jr. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. in the university's Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall. For more information, click

S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense seeking candidates 
Candidates seeking to apply for a four-year term as the Circuit Public Defender in the First, Fourth and Twelfth Judicial Circuits should go to to complete on online application and receive further details. Contact Hugh Ryan at SCCID (803) 734-1338 with questions.

Advance Sheet update
October 31, 2011
In this action for divorce and equitable division, the wife appealed the family court's valuation of certain real properties at the filing date for divorce rather than the date the properties were actually sold, the denial of a request for contribution from the respondent husband to their child's private school education, the denial of reimbursement for delinquent interest payment advanced by the wife, the amount of the husband's child support obligation and the assessment of attorney's fees against the wife for her delay and non-cooperation. The Court formally adopted the active and passive distinction for appreciation and depreciation. The Court deemed the appreciation in one property passive and reversed. The Court affirmed the family court's distribution of the gains from the other property because the wife failed to satisfy her burden of proof. The Court also reversed the denial of reimbursement for an interest payment advanced by the wife on equitable grounds. However, it affirmed the family court's award of child support and attorney's fees.
Burch v. Burch, No. 27060, is available

In this second appeal of a case involving the Subcontractors and Suppliers Payment Protection Act, the Court affirmed the circuit court's decision to hold SCDOT liable for its failure to ensure a payment bond was maintained on a project based on the law of the case doctrine. However, in the future, the Court held that governmental entities do not have a duty to ensure the continuous maintenance of a bond under this statute. Furthermore, the Court found that evidence existed in the record to support the circuit court's finding regarding mitigation of damages.
Sloan Construction v. Southco Grassing, No. 27061, is available

The petitioner appealed State v. Commander, 384 S.C. 66, 681 S.E.2d 31 (Ct. App. 2009), claiming the Court of Appeals erred by affirming the trial court's admission of expert testimony concerning the victim's manner of death and refusal to instruct the jury on the defense of accident. The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals' decision as modified and adopted a rule whereby “an expert in forensic pathology's opinion testimony as to cause and manner of death is admissible under Rule 702, SCRE, so long as the expert does not opine on the criminal defendant's state of mind or guilt, or testify on matters of law in such a way that the jury is not permitted to reach its own conclusion concerning the criminal defendant's guilt or innocence.” In this case, the Court found that any potential prejudice in admission of the expert’s testimony was cured, and the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in admitting the testimony. Additionally, the Court opined that there was no evidence to support an accident charge. The petitioner's "strategy session" with another inmate did not form the basis of an accident charge under the facts.
State v. Commander, No. 27062, is available
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.

In memoriam
Joseph W. Reeves, 62, of Myrtle Beach died Sept. 14. His obituary can be found 

Trustee appointed
By order of October 25 the Court appointed Charles Winfield Johnson III as trustee for the practice of Joseph W. Reeves, deceased.

Firm announcements
The Collins Law Office, PLLC announces that Tiffany M. Burkett has joined the firm as a partner and that its name is now Collins & Burkett Law Firm, LLC located at 1087 Harbor Dr., Ste. B, W. Columbia 29169. (803) 708-7442.

November 8
Senior Lawyers Division Nominating Committee Meeting, Conference Call

November 9
Dispute Resolution Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Member Involvement Task Force Meeting, Bar Building

November 17
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
S.C. Bar Foundation Board Meeting, Bar Building

November 18
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

November 22
Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission Meeting, Conference Center

December 1
Community Association Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

December 2
Dispute Resolution Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171.       

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