June 14, 2012
June 08, 2012
Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
June 14, 2012
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at www.scbar.org.
Click here for the most recent CLE Edition, which highlights upcoming CLE opportunities.
Primary election results
Congratulations to these lawyers who will advance to the November general election. The S.C. Bar extends gratitude to all members who offered to serve in public office in this election cycle.
YLD members: Get involved!
Members of the Young Lawyers Division are invited to sign up for various committees for 2012-13. Committee sign up brochures have been mailed, and there are plenty of opportunities to choose from. Take it from Katie McElveen, who said, "Working on YLD committees has been one of the greatest experiences, and I feel really, really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people." Make sure to sign up for something that you're interested in and help make a difference in your community! For more information and the registration form, click here.
The S.C. Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has furnished this list of lawyers who were administratively suspended from the practice of law on April 1, 2012, under Rule 419(b)(2), SCACR, and remain suspended as of June 1, 2012. To view the complete order, click here.
PMAP–Your guide to …
Being prepared. Hurricane season officially began on June 1. Does your firm have a plan to deal with natural disasters or other disasters, like computer crashes or fires? Now is a great time to review your firm’s disaster plan or create one if you don’t currently have one in place. Visit the Bar’s disaster preparedness page for resources and articles to help with creating your firm’s disaster plan. You can also request a copy of Prepare, the Bar’s guide to disaster preparedness, by e-mailing email@example.com. Even if your firm already has a plan in place, reviewing and updating it will give you peace of mind and ensure that you and your practice will be prepared in the event of a disaster. PMAP is practice management advice for Bar members. For more information, call (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Court has posted amendments to Rule 402(d)(1)(i) and (ii), SCACR, which include the increase of Bar application fees beginning with the February 2013 Bar examination. To view the complete order, click here.
Advance Sheet update
June 13, 2012
The S.C. Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals and held that underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage applies to resident relatives who were passengers, but did not own the vehicle, involved in an accident. The Court reasoned that South Carolina’s public policy that UIM coverage is personal and portable requires that UIM coverage be provided to those passengers while denied to the owner of the vehicle who chose not to purchase UIM coverage.
Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rhoden, No. 27131, is available online.
Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.
In this dispute over a misquoted insurance rate, the court affirmed the circuit court’s granting of summary judgment for the respondents, holding that valuable consideration did not exist to form a contract for life insurance because the appellant had not paid the insurance premium. While the appellant had tendered a voided check and given written authorization to draft his checking account for the monthly premium, those submissions were part of the application process for life insurance and not payments of the premium.
Boyd v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., No. 4985, is available online.
The court rejected the purchasers’ claim that their agreement with the seller, who brought this suit to collect payment, established a consumer credit sale, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 37-2-104, because the credit application the purchasers signed did not establish a method of payment of debt that involved either installment payments or credit service charges. Since the agreement was not a consumer credit sale, S.C. Code Ann. Section 37-2-413(1), limiting attorney’s fees related to consumer credit sales, did not apply. Thus, it was not error for the circuit court to award attorney’s fees to the seller as the credit application and guaranty agreement between the two parties required.
Cason Cos. v. Gorrin, No. 4986, is available online.
In this workers’ compensation appeal, the court held that the appellant was entitled to partial reimbursement for medical expenses paid to the claimant. The claimant had a preexisting medical condition, and the court found that substantial evidence, including expert medical testimony and treating physicians’ evaluations, supported a finding that a subsequent work-related injury combined with or aggravated this preexisting condition to cause "substantially greater" disability and medical costs than the subsequent injury alone would have caused.
Carolinas Recycling Grp. v. S.C. Second Injury Fund, No. 4987, is available online.
On appeal from the granting of a motion to strike the jury demand, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded this case arising from a foreclosure action and subsequent counterclaims. The court held that the master-in-equity did have subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the motion to strike pursuant to state rules. Furthermore, the court held that it was not error for the master to determine that counterclaims for unconscionability and violation of the Attorney Preference statute were not entitled to a jury trial. For the counterclaims to be entitled to a jury trial, they must each be both legal and compulsory. The common law unconscionability claim was equitable, not legal, while the statutory unconscionability statute does not provide for a right to jury trial, so neither was entitled to a jury trial. The counterclaim for violation of the Attorney Preference statute was permissive, not compulsory, so it also was not entitled to a jury trial. However, the court did reverse the ruling regarding the scope of the motion to strike and held that the trial court’s ruling exceeded its limits. The case was remanded for a bench trial on all causes of action.
Wells Fargo Bank v. Smith, No. 4988, is available online.
The court held that amendment of a county council’s agenda during regularly scheduled meetings violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). S.C. Code Ann. Section 30-4-80 requires that agendas for regularly scheduled meetings must be posted 24 hours in advance of the meeting. S.C. Code Ann. Section 30-4-15 describes the purpose of the FOIA is to allow citizens to learn of the activities of public officials with little delay. Therefore, allowing amendment of an agenda regarding substantive public matters during a meeting undercuts the purpose of the notice requirement and the spirit of the FOIA.
Lambries v. Saluda Cnty. Council, No. 4989, is available online.
Judge Pieper dissented in a separate opinion.
The court affirmed the appellant’s conviction of murder and assault and battery with intent to kill. The court held that it was not error to allow the appellant to be impeached with his prior drug convictions pursuant to Rule 609(a)(1), SCRE, because the admission of the convictions did not prejudice the trial, as there was ample evidence of his drug use. The court also held that refusing to declare a mistrial where a witness made reference to the appellant being on parole was not error, as the appellant accepted the court’s curative jury instruction and did not contemporaneously move for a mistrial. Finally, there was no error in the trial court refusing to grant an in camera hearing to lay a foundation for a witness’s voice identification testimony, as no foundation was needed for this testimony.
State v. Heller, No. 4990, is available online.
In this case between two members of a limited liability corporation (LLC), the court held that there was no error in granting a motion for summary judgment for the respondent, as there was no genuine issue of material fact in this controversy. The respondent did sign a statement to pay the LLC’s debts and had personally guaranteed the LLC’s loans, but neither constituted a vote for additional capital contributions under the LLC’s operating agreement. Further, such actions have no effect on whether the respondent was required to make subsequent capital contributions pursuant to the operating agreement or if the appellant was entitled to reimbursement.
Clary v. Borrell, No. 4991, is available online.
John Michael Mitchum, 51, of Charleston died June 13. His obituary can be found here.
By order of June 13 the Court imposed a public reprimand (with additional conditions) on Paul Archer for misconduct which involved submitting a voucher for payment on a court appointed case without disclosing payment made on behalf of the PCR client.
By order of June 13 the Court imposed a public reprimand on Brian Aaron Katonek for misconduct which involved neglecting a real estate transaction for more than five years and not maintaining communication with his client.
By order of June 11 the Court reinstated J.M. Long III to the practice of law.
Austin Anderson and Taylor Schuster announce the opening of Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC located at 1032 Chuck Dawley Blvd., Ste. 201, Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 388-3661.
Robert M. Cook II announces the opening of The Robert Cook Law Firm, LLC located at 128 N. Oak St., Batesburg 29006. (803) 240-1818.
John Duggan and Daniel Hughes announce the opening of Duggan & Hughes, LLC located at 457-B Pennsylvania Ave., Greer 29650. (864) 334-2500.
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA announces that Andrea Heffernan Brisbin has joined the Charleston office located at 134 Meeting St., 3rd Floor, 29401. (843) 722-3366.
Kiser Law Firm announces the opening of its Greenville office located at 1 Augusta St., Ste. 301, 29601. (864) 241-0111. The firm also announces that Natalie B. Chambers has joined the Greenville office.
William Bee Ravenel Lewis announces the opening of Lewis Law Group, LLC located at 1 Wesley Dr., Charleston 29407. (843) 737-6252.
Weston B. Rochester announces the opening of Weston B. Rochester, Attorney at Law located at 128 Maxwell Ave., Greenwood 29646. (864) 396-5125.
Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA announces that William Henry Shipley has joined the Columbia office located at 4500 Fort Jackson Blvd., 29209. (803) 782-2520.
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Nelson Mullins
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
Street Law Training, Bar Building
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Training, Bar Building
To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at email@example.com or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at www.sccourts.org/ais.