News + Press

December 15, 2011

December 13, 2011

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
December 15, 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.

Board of Governors meets
The Board of Governors met today by conference call.
The Board received proposed amendments from the Professional Responsibility Committee to Rule 1.5, SCRCP, regarding flat fee agreements. The proposal is expected to go to the House of Delegates in January.
The Board received as information a proposed amendment from the Practice and Procedure Committee to Rule 6(e), SCRCP that would extend from five days to eight the time allotted for response to a notice served upon a party by mail. The proposed amendments will be considered by the House in January.
The Board approved The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island as the 2014 Convention site.

Volunteers needed for We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition
The Law Related Education (LRE) Division is seeking volunteers for its growing We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program, which teaches middle and high school students about constitutional democracy through mock congressional hearings. Volunteers enjoy the thrill of competition while serving as “members of Congress” and scoring judges. The state competition will be held at Columbia College on Thursday, Jan. 5. All attorney volunteers earn pro bono credit for their hours dedicated to the We the People program. For more information or to volunteer, contact Donald Lanier at or (803) 252-5139.

Court eliminates associate membership
The S.C. Supreme Court amended Rule 410(d), SCACR, to eliminate the Associate Member category of S.C. Bar membership and require membership in the Bar to be limited to persons licensed by the Court. The amendment will take effect Dec. 31. To view the complete order, click

Effective date changed for new warrant numbering method and format
A Joint Memorandum was issued Dec. 13, 2011, by Chief Justice Jean Toal and Chief of SLED Mark Keel changing the effective date of the new warrant numbering method and format to July 1, 2012. Details on the new warrant numbering method and format are defined in the Sept. 15, 2011 Court Administration Memorandum.

Avis offers savings on winter-ready vehicles
Through April 30, 2012, Bar members can save up to 20 percent on rentals at participating Avis locations in North America when they mention Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K448125 at the time of reservation. In addition, this promotion can be combined with the following coupon offers, which can save customers additional money: $15 savings on a three-day weekend rental, $25 savings on a weekly rental or $50 savings on a weekly SUV rental. For complete details of the promotion, including terms and conditions and participating locations, visit

ADR renewal deadline approaching
ADR renewal applications were mailed Oct. 24, 2011, to all active neutrals. If you are a certified mediator or arbitrator and did not receive yours, contact Joan Brown at or (803) 799-6653, ext. 138. All renewals must be post-marked by Dec. 31. Any applications received after Dec. 31 will incur a late fee. 

Advance Sheet update
December 15, 2011

The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the appellant’s conviction for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature because the trial court failed to properly apply the Colf factors, which are used for weighing the probative value for impeachment of prior convictions against the prejudice to the accused. Specifically, the trial court focused its analysis on the importance of credibility in this case and failed to make a finding as to the impeachment value of the appellant’s prior convictions.
State v. Howard, No. 4916, is available

The court found that, under the totality of the circumstances, the State did not articulate a valid reason for the officer's failure to comply with the mandates of Section 56-5-2953, requiring the breath test to be videotaped. The magistrate's remedy of suppression constituted reversible error, and the court found that dismissal was the appropriate sanction for the officer's unexcused violation of Section 56-5-2953.
State v. Johnson, No. 4917, is available

In this domestic action, the court affirmed the family court's award of attorney's fees and costs. Although the mother did not receive all of the relief she requested, she did prevail on several issues and obtained beneficial results, and therefore was the prevailing party. The family court did not err in finding that the father's actions, with regard to his drug testing results, his failure to timely respond in any manner to the mother's requests for accurate test results and the mother's numerous unanswered attempts to discuss settlement or mediation, caused the mother to incur additional attorney's fees and costs. The court found that, based on its review of the family court's order, the family court did not consider the wife's conduct in determining fees. Because the father failed to offer any accurate evidence of his income, the court opined that the family court did not err in finding he had the ability to pay the mother's attorney's fees. The court held that the family court did not err in awarding attorney's fees and calculating the amount because the evidence in the record supported the findings.
Lewin v. Lewin, No. 4918, is available

The court affirmed the family court’s division of marital property. The evidence in the record supported the family court's finding that the property in question was nonmarital. As to the marital funds used to finance improvements to the property, the evidence in the record reflects that only cosmetic improvements were made during the marriage and that these would not have increased the equity. The evidence supported the family court's finding as to the issue of equitable division of 60/40 in favor of the husband. The court affirmed the award of attorney’s fees because the family court considered all of the E.D.M. factors in ordering the wife to pay a portion of the husband's fees.
Fitzwater v. Fitzwater, No. 4919, is available

The court affirmed the family court's determination that the wife demonstrated a substantial change in circumstances that warranted the modification of alimony. The wife was not barred from modification of alimony simply because the parties had anticipated that she may become ineligible for health insurance coverage under the husband's employer's policy. However, the court reversed the family court's order requiring the husband to pay the wife's health insurance premiums. Instead, the court remanded the case to the family court to determine the appropriate monetary modification of alimony that reflects both the substantial change in the parties' circumstances and the husband's financial ability to pay alimony. Since the court remanded the issue of modification of alimony to the family court, it remanded the issue of attorney's fees as well. 
Roof v. Steele, No. 4920, is available

In memoriam
Hon. Samuel Norwood Gasque, 93, of Latta died on Dec. 10. His obituary can be found

Anthony F. Trask, 57, of Myrtle Beach died on Dec. 12. His obituary can be found

Firm announcements
Brown & Brehmer Law Firm announces that Darby L. Plexico has become a partner of the firm located at 1720 Main St., Ste. 201, Columbia 29201. (803) 771-6600.

The Campbell Law Firm, PA
announces that Suzanne Campbell Chisholm has become a partner of the firm located at 890 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 884-6874, ext. 221. 

K&L Gates, LLP announces the opening of its Charleston office and that James S. BruceJ. Walker Coleman IV, Joshua W. Dixon, Theodore B. ManuelMatthew J. NortonBryan L. Walpole III and Jason P. Walton have joined the firm as partners located at 4000 Faber Place Dr., Ste. 300, N. Charleston 29405. (843) 323-4240.

Moore, Taylor and Thomas, PA announces that Amber Lynn Cary has joined the firm as an associate located at 1700 Sunset Blvd., W. Columbia 29169. (803) 796-9160.

December 16
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

January 4
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

January 5
Lawyer Image Task Force Meeting, Bar Building

January 6
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building

January 13
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

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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