News + Press

March 15, 2012

March 13, 2012

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

Failure to comply with MCLE requirements
The Supreme Court Commission on CLE and Specialization sent final notices yesterday to more than 500 attorneys who have not yet established compliance with the 2011-2012 MCLE/LEPR requirements. Non-compliance may result from failure to file a compliance report, failure to report sufficient accredited course hours, failure to pay fees or other reasons.

If the Commission does not receive your compliance report and fees by March 31, 2012, you will be automatically suspended from the practice of law in South Carolina without further notice. Compliance reports must reflect that you have earned sufficient accredited CLE course hours or had sufficient carry-forward hours from the previous reporting period and must be submitted with the appropriate fees. To check the status of your report, visit and click on “Check MCLE.” Questions should be directed to the Commission at (803) 799-5578 or

Board member appointment
George Johnson of Johnson, Toal & Battiste in Columbia has been appointed to an at-large position on the Board of Governors for a two-year term beginning May 3, 2012.

BallotBox replaces Bench and Bar survey for evaluating judicial candidates
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission requests input in the General Assembly's screening of candidates for judicial office. The Commission must determine whether each candidate is qualified to serve, and in this regard, seeks the opinion of practicing attorneys, members of the judiciary, clerks of court and sheriffs as to each candidate's fitness for the bench. Please note that this request is separate and distinct from the survey responses requested by the Bar's Judicial Qualifications Committee. To view the media release and list of candidates, click 

The Commission is trying a new procedure to gather input on each judicial candidate and has contracted with BallotBox Online, LLC to send an electronic survey to your e-mail address (provided in AIS) to obtain this information. Once you create your permanent password, you will electronically complete information about each candidate. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes, and 
you will receive a confirmation e-mail upon completion. Contact the Commission directly with questions at (803) 212-6623.

S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense seeking candidates 
Candidates seeking to apply for a four-year term as the Circuit Public Defender of the 2nd, 7th or 15th Judicial Circuit should go to to complete on online application and receive further details. For more information, contact Hugh Ryan at (803) 734-1338.

Nominations sought for Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy
The American Bar Association is seeking nominations for its Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. Given annually, this award recognizes one individual and one organization for their distinguished records of achievement in the field. For more information and link to the nomination form, click 

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

Advance Sheet update
March 14, 2012
In this case arising from a defendant who failed to re-register under the Sex Offender Registry Act, the S.C. Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeals did not err in affirming the circuit court’s denial of a directed verdict in favor of the defendant. The Court also held that, to satisfy due process, a convicted sex offender must have had actual notice of the 2006 change to Section 23-3-460, which imposed an additional registration requirement, to be convicted of violating Section 23-3-470 of the S.C. Code. In this specific case, had the petitioner attempted to fulfill his annual re-registration requirement in a timely manner, he would have been informed of the new biannual requirement. 
State v. Latimore, No. 27102, is available
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.

The Court affirmed the master-in-equity’s decision that res judicata barred all of the appellant’s claims in this dispute over who had title to the tidelands surrounding Morris Island, as State v. Yelsen Land Co., 257 S.C. 401, 185 S.E.2d 847 (1972), had already found that the state had title.
Yelsen Land Company v. State, No. 27103, is available

The Court held that the petitioner’s search incident to arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights but affirmed the circuit court’s denial of a motion to suppress the evidence. The Court further held there was not enough information in the record to determine whether the petitioner’s waiver of PCR allegations, other than a belated direct appeal, was entered into knowingly and voluntarily. The case was remanded to determine this issue.
Narciso v. State, No. 27104, is available

In this Post Conviction Relief (PCR) action, the Court affirmed the dismissal of the petitioner’s application for PCR. The petitioner argued that his inability to watch a videotape of the drug transaction that formed the basis of his conviction was prejudicial. However, the videotape was provided to and watched by the defense counsel, who recommended that the defendant plead guilty, and the petitioner failed to prove how the outcome would have been different had he chosen not to plead guilty until after he watched the videotape. The Court further held that the counsel served effectively.
Hyman v. State, No. 27105, is available

Member suspension
By order of March 7 the Court placed C. Kevin Miller on interim suspension. Jason Michael Imhoff is the trustee. Click
here for the order.

Firm announcements
Amy Campbell Kelly announces the relocation of Campbell-Kelly Law, LLC to 1106 Liberty Ct., Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 884-4064.

Robert E. Ferguson Jr.
announces the opening of the Law Office of Robert E. Ferguson Jr., LLC located at 46-C Sams Point Rd., Beaufort 29901. (843) 521-0141.

Keaveny Law Firm, LLC announces that Christopher M. Kovach has joined the firm located at 1634 Ashley River Rd., Charleston 29407. (843) 225-2820.

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

March 16-17
Senior Lawyers Division Retreat, The Mills House (Charleston)

March 20
Law Related Education Project Citizen Training, Bar Building

March 22
Law Related Education Street Law Training, Bar Building

March 23
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

April 4
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 5
Community Association Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

April 10
LRE Awards Subcommittee Meeting, Bar Building
Tax Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 12
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 13
Mock Trial Evaluation 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. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at

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