News + Press

February 16, 2012

February 15, 2012

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
February 16, 2012
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.

Appointments to Lawyers' Fund Committee
The Court has appointed Matthew V. Creech and W. Keith Martens and reappointed Lisa Lee Smith to the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee. The Court also appointed Ann Baker Epting as the public member on the Committee.

Appointments to CLE Commission
The Court has appointed James D. Myrick and Karen M. Tyner to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.

Charleston law students win national moot court competition
A two-person team from the Charleston School of Law won the National Tax Moot Court Competition in Florida on Saturday, Feb. 11, by besting 15 other teams from around the country. Second-year law students 
Mary Abraham and Britni McCarson beat the defending champions from the University of Florida School of Law. Ms. Abraham also received the Best Oralist Award. To view the complete list of winners, click

Legislative report
Don't forget to check out tomorrow's 
Weekly Legislative Report! Updates will be posted every Friday throughout the legislative session.

ARMA meeting to discuss e-discovery

The Columbia chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators is holding a meeting on the topic of e-discovery on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from noon to 2 p.m., and you're invited! The session will explore the relationship between information governance and e-discovery, highlighting the threats and opportunities available to organizations both inside and outside of litigation to contain cost and mitigate risk. 
The meeting will take place at the PHTS office building located at 250 Berryhill Rd., Ste. 402, Columbia 29221. Contact Davis Baxley at by Feb. 17 to RSVP. 

Advance Sheet update
February 15, 2012

Bentley Collins was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of owning a dangerous animal after his dogs killed a 10-year-old boy. Collins appealed the convictions, claiming the trial court erred by admitting seven autopsy photographs of the boy's partially eaten body and denying his directed verdict motions as to both crimes. The S.C. Court of Appeals disagreed with the State that these photos sufficiently corroborated the testimony of the pathologist or the dog behavior expert such that the probative value of the photos was not substantially outweighed by the extreme danger of unfair prejudice. The court found that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the photos and reversed and remanded for a new trial.
State v. Collins, No. 4941, is available

The court affirmed the circuit court’s conviction of defendant Robinson for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute within one-half mile of a public park, unlawful carrying of a pistol, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest. The court held that the circuit court acted properly both in denying Robinson's motion to suppress drugs he claimed were found as a result of an illegal search and seizure and in allowing the State to qualify the Commander of the Drug Enforcement Unit as an expert witness.
State v. Robinson, No. 4942, is available

In this construction defect action, the court affirmed the jury’s verdict, holding inter alia: the trial court's ruling that the appellants' entities were amalgamated was supported by the law and the evidence; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the challenged evidence; the challenged jury instruction accurately reflected all elements required to be established for a damages award on the POA's negligence claim; the trial court's punitive damages instruction as a whole fell within the limits of due process and did not constitute reversible error; and the trial court properly directed a verdict for the POA on its causes of action for negligence and breach of warranty of workmanlike services.
Magnolia North POA v. Heritage Communities, Inc., No. 4943, is available

Member discipline

By order of February 15 the Court imposed a public reprimand (with additional conditions) on William G. Mayer for misconduct involving a concurrent conflict of interest, providing financial assistance to a client and failing to comply with the recordkeeping provisions of Rule 417.

Firm announcements
Murphy Law Firm, LLC announces that Jennifer Selan has become an associate in the firm located at 815 Savannah Hwy., Ste. 201B, Charleston 29407. (843) 571-4300.

Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP announces that G.P. Diminich and Halsey Schreier have joined the Charleston office located at 171 Church St., Ste. 210, 29401. (843) 300-6600.

February 17
Member Involvement Task Force Meeting, Conference Call

February 23-24

Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building

March 2
Bar Foundation Board of Directors Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building

March 5
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 9
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 15
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

March 16
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Nelson Mullins
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

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