News + Press

April 12, 2012

April 10, 2012

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
April 12, 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.

Important notice about your information in the Lawyers Desk Book
Production of the 2012-13 Lawyers Desk Book is underway, and address changes made by June 1 will be reflected in the new edition. All changes in contact information are handled by the S.C. Attorney Information System (AIS) exclusively, and you must log on to AIS to update your information. Complete contact information will be published for all Bar members, to include name, organization, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.

If you have not entered your fax number in AIS, the Bar does not have it on file
. While AIS does not require fax numbers, you must enter one if you would like it to appear in the Lawyers Desk Book. In order to ensure your zip code matches the address published, please do not enter two addresses (P.O. Box and Street) in a single address field. Please review your information carefully, as it will be published as entered in AIS.

Board of Governors meets
The Board of Governors met today by conference call.

The Board received as information proposals from the Member Involvement Task Force, the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Commission and the Pro Bono Committee, all of which will be considered by the House of Delegates in May.

The Board elected Amy Landers May, Jocelyn Newman, Marie-Louise Ramsdale and Jim Sheedy to three-year terms on the S.C. Bar Foundation Board of Directors.

The Board approved draft Bar and CLE budgets that will be considered by the House of Delegates in May.

The Board received a report on a meeting held with Bar members from Horry County.

New Casemaker is here!
The latest version of Casemaker free legal research is now available to active Bar members. It features a Google-like search bar to make running simple searches quick and easy, folders to save and organize your research, the ability to put notes on documents, a history feature to track your recent searches, and a client tracking option. To learn how to use these new features, check out the
User Guide and the video tutorial. The old version of Casemaker will still be available, but only until May 1. To access both versions, go to, sign in through the member login, then click the Casemaker link. If you are unsure of your username and password, please click on Login FAQ on the Bar’s home page. You can also call (803) 799-6653 and ask for assistance logging into the Bar’s website, or e-mail

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on Medicaid reimbursement 
Arising from a summary judgment in a medical malpractice case in North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a hearing must be held to determine how much of a settlement specifically covers medical expenses, and only that amount is available to the state. The Court said that North Carolina’s one-third recovery cap is in “fatal conflict with federal law,” which “limits a state’s recovery to settlement proceeds that are shown to be properly allocable to past medical expenses.”
The Fourth’s Circuit’s reversal of the lower court follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services v. Ahlborn
E.M.A., a minor v. Cansler, sec’y DHHS, is available 
Judge G. Steven Agee concurred in part, dissented in part and concurred in the judgment.

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
April 11, 2012
Granting a petition for a writ of certiorari, the S.C. Supreme Court affirmed the determinations of the Court of Appeals in this case arising out of a motor vehicle accident. The Court found that the trial court should have submitted the respondent’s claim of punitive damages to the jury because the evidence created a factual question as to whether there was reckless activity. The Court also said that the trial court should have charged the jury on the intervening negligence of a third party because there was evidence of a third party physician’s negligent treatment. Finally, the Court found that the trial court correctly denied the petitioner’s motion for an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing.
Fairchild v. SCDOT, No. 27112, is available

In this lawsuit to settle title to canal bottoms located within property, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals' ruling and held that a 1963 consent order was not conclusive on the issue of ownership. Therefore, the trial court did not err when it denied the appellant’s motion for nonsuit and directed verdict and submitted the question of ownership under the quitclaim deeds to the jury. The Court also found that the trial court did not err when it failed to find that the state was estopped to deny the 1963 order because the elements of judicial estoppel were not met.
City of North Myrtle Beach v. East Cherry Grove Realty, No. 27113, is available

On appeal from the Administrative Law Court (ALC), the Court held that the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) properly created and approved its Reduction-in-Force (RIF) policy without any procedural or statutory violations. However, the Court held that the SCDC did not properly utilize temporary employees and that the appellants should have been able to exercise their priority right to recall and offered the opportunity for employment. Finally, the Court held that the SCDC wrongfully paid the educators as correction officers after the RIF when they were entitled to teachers’ pay.
Bell v. SCDC, No. 27114, is available

The Court held that the circuit court erred when it granted a preliminary injunction against the appellant because the respondent failed to establish the second required element for a preliminary injunction: likelihood of success on the merits. To enjoin honor of a letter of credit for a fraud in the transaction claim requires that the beneficiary have no colorable claim or basis in fact for asserting its rights under the letter of credit. Because the appellant did have such a claim and basis in fact, the element was not met. 
Hook Point v. Branch Banking, No. 27115, is available

Firm announcements
Gaffney, Lewis and Edwards, LLC announces the opening of its Isle of Palms office located at 1022 Carolina Blvd., 29451.

Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, PC announces that Marghretta Adeline Hagood has joined the firm located at 178 W. Main St., Spartanburg 29306. (864) 585-5100.

Motley Rice, LLC announces that Ann E. Rice Ervin, Max N. Gruetzmacher and P. Graham Maiden have joined the Mt. Pleasant office located at 28 Bridgeside Blvd., 29464. (843) 216-9000.

J. Jackson Thomas, Clay D. Brittain III, Emma Ruth Brittain, Charles B. Jordan Jr., Matthew R. Magee and Paige F. Bellamy announce the formation of Thomas & Brittain, PA and that John L. Weaver has joined the firm located at 1314 Professional Dr., Myrtle Beach 29577. (843) 692-2628.

Member suspension
By order of April 11 the Court placed Thaddaeus T. Viers on interim suspension. No trustee was named in the order.

April 13
Mock Trial Evaluation Meeting, Bar Building
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Conference Center

April 18
Employment and Labor Law Section Selection Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

April 19
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

April 20
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
LRE Mock Trial Subcommittee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

April 27
Law Related Education Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building

May 3
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
House of Delegates Meeting and Swearing-In of New Officers, Conference Center

May 7
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

May 8
Health Care Law 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. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at

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950 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 | Phone (803) 799-6653 | Fax (803) 799-4118 |