News + Press

August 16, 2012

August 13, 2012

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
August 16, 2012
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at
here for the most recent CLE Edition, which highlights upcoming CLE opportunities.

Pamphlet Program
Need handy resources for your clients and office visitors? We do that! The Bar produces a variety of pamphlets designed to educate the public about the legal system. Topics include Bankruptcy, Buying a Home, Divorce, Elder Law and more. Pamphlets are available in bundles of 50 for $10 each, plus tax. For more information or to place an order for your office, click

BallotBox replaces Bench and Bar survey for evaluating fall 2012 judicial candidates
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission requests input in the General Assembly's screening of fall 2012 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 and clerks of court as to each candidate's fitness for the bench. Please note that this request is separate and distinct from the phone survey responses requested by the Bar's Judicial Qualifications Committee. However, the Commission will share the tabulated results with the Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee for this screening. 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. For larger law firms, please note that this is not a spam e-mail that your members are receiving. BallotBox Online, LLC will send out this electronic survey to Bar members on Thursday, Aug. 23. Thank you for your participation in this process.

Candidate withdrawal
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission announced Monday that Crystal Rookard, a candidate for Administrative Law Court, Seat 5, withdrew from the race. The Hon. Shirley Robinson remains a candidate for re-election to this seat.

PMAP–Your guide to …
Free repair manuals. has free repair guides for hundreds of tech devices, including iPads, iPhones, laptops and tablets. Whether it’s replacing your iPad’s battery or cleaning the fan on your laptop, is a good place to start. The website also includes a rating for the difficulty of repair to help you decide if it's truly a do-it-yourself project. PMAP is free practice management advice for Bar members. For more information, call (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail

Model Rules of Professional Conduct amended by ABA
The ABA House of Delegates approved six recommendations to amend the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The recommendations, made by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, include amendments regarding lawyers' use of technology and confidentiality; lawyers’ use of technology and client development; ethical implications of retaining lawyers and nonlawyers outside the firm to work on client matters; detection of conflicts of interest when lawyers move from one firm to another; and practice pending admission and admission by motion. An overview and links are available

Scruggs elected president of national organization
Shannon Willis Scruggs, executive director of the S.C. Bar Foundation, has been elected president of the National Association of IOLTA Programs. Read the full release

It’s a Charleston meet, greet and eat (with a little CLE) with Bar Foundation grantees
To see how three of our grantees are making an impact in the Lowcountry, join us in Charleston on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 8 a.m. for a free breakfast and an ethics presentation by John Drennan. This event has been approved for 0.5 MCLE credits toward the substance abuse requirement. RSVP by Aug. 20 to or (803) 765-0517. If you are unable to attend but still want to support the effort, make your gift here.

Advance Sheet update
August 15, 2012
In this case, a management company brought an action against its legal representation (collectively known as “Law Firm”) who performed the closing of a purchase of real estate. The S.C. Supreme Court upheld the jury’s determination that the appellant failed to establish its claim of legal malpractice. The appellant’s claim that Law Firm had an unwaivable conflict of interest did not meet the required elements of a legal malpractice claim, and the appellant’s claim that information was not disclosed was not supported by evidence to warrant granting a motion for a directed verdict or new trial. The Court also found the appellant’s remaining claims of breach of fiduciary duty, violation of the S.C. Unfair Trade Practices Act, and aiding and abetting a securities violation were precluded as a matter of law.
RFT Management Co. v. Tinsley & Adams, No. 27157, is available

The Court granted relief in part in this declaratory judgment action where the petitioner sought removal of his name from the sex offender registry. The Court held that a juvenile “adjudication” is the equivalent of a “conviction” under S.C. Code Ann. Section 24-21-940 (2007) for purposes of entitlement to seek a pardon from the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Because the state sought to dismiss the petitioner’s request for a pardon on the grounds that the two were not equivalent, the Court dismissed without prejudice the balance of the petitioner’s complaint.
Doe v. State, No. 27159, is available

The Court reversed and remanded the trial court’s dismissal of the appellant’s complaint and remanded this matter. The Court held that Rule 3(a), SCRCP and Section 15-3-20(B), when read together and in consideration of legislative intent, provide that (1) an action is commenced upon filing the summons and complaint, if service is made within the statute of limitations, and (2) if filing but not service is accomplished within the statute of limitations, then service must be made within 120 days of filing.
Mims v. Babcock Center, No. 29160, is available
Justice Kittredge concurred in a separate opinion. Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.

The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of the respondent’s motion for summary judgment and held that the parties entered into an enforceable contract. An unambiguous, unilateral contract was made between the parties when the appellant accepted prices for services over the phone and then proceeded to perform the work discussed. It was also not error to allow admission of a transcript of the telephone conversation.
Southern Glass v. Kemper, No. 5021, is available

In this appeal from the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the court reversed and reinstated the single commissioner’s order. The court held that the Commission erroneously utilized an “employee/independent contractor” test to determine if the deceased was a statutory employee and erroneously relied on a Georgia and North Carolina case as dispositive. Instead, the Commission should have determined whether the deceased’s activities were part of the employer’s trade, business or occupation to determine if he was a statutory employee, and under this test, the deceased would have qualified for compensation.
Collins v. SC Workers’ Compensation Uninsured Employer’s Fund, No. 5022, is available
Chief Judge Few concurred in a separate opinion.

In this appeal of a family court order requiring the husband to pay the wife alimony, the court affirmed as modified.  The husband argued that the family court’s requirement that he continue to pay the wife $600 per month in alimony after he lost his job and had reduced income was error. The court agreed, finding that the family court failed to consider the parties' relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, their expenses, the husband's financial ability and earning capacity, and whether the husband's change in circumstances was unanticipated. The court reduced the husband’s monthly alimony payments.
Holmes v. Holmes, No. 5023, is available

On appeal from family court, the court held that rental income was not properly considered in calculating the father’s income for child support purposes, as the court did not deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses of the rental properties in calculating net rental income. The court remanded the case to family court to recalculate income and attorney’s fees.
DiMarco v. DiMarco, No. 5024, is available

Member discipline

By order of August 15 the Court publicly reprimanded (with additional conditions) William Koatesworth Swope for misconduct including failure to punctually communicate with clients and failure to respond in a timely manner to a Court clerk and to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Member resignations
The Court has accepted the resignations from the Bar of Russell S. Abrams and William Thomas Newell as both no longer meet the requirements of Rule 405.

Trustee appointed
By order of August 3 the Court appointed Danny Villacarlos Butler as trustee for the law practice of George Thomas Samaha.

Firm announcements
Jamie DeMint and Jennifer Breaux Howe announce the opening of DeMint Howe, PA located at 505 Pettigru St., Greenville 29601. (864) 214-0161.

The Lovely Law Firm
announces its relocation to 804 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach 29577. (843) 839-4111.

Luzuriaga Mims, LLP
announces that Randy H. Helmly has joined the firm located at 50 Immigration St., Ste. 200, Charleston 29403. (843) 410-4713.

Nate Mark
announces that he has joined Buffets, Inc. as corporate counsel located at 405 Lancaster Ave., Greer 29650. (864) 989-2132.

McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley, PA announces that David M. Bornemann has joined the firm located at 1303 Blanding St., Columbia 29201. (803) 256-4645.

The Pearce Law Group, PC announces that Abbey Gail Cain has joined the firm as an associate located at 1294 Professional Dr., Ste. B, Myrtle Beach 29577. (843) 839-3210.

Perkins Law Firm, LLC announces that Laura P. Charles has joined the firm located at 200 N. Main St., Ste. 301, Greenville 29601. (864) 908-3900.

Sherpy and Jones, PA announces that Sabrina E. "Sable" Burgess has joined the Lexington office as an associate located at 921 Corley Mill Rd., 29072, (803) 356-3327, and that Suzanne D. Vesper has joined the Decatur, Ga. office as an associate located at 811 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., 30030, (404) 281-2355.

Wilkes Law Firm, PA
announces the relocation of its Charleston office to 200 Meeting St., Ste. 205, 29401, (843) 737-6229, and that Derek Newberry has transferred to the Charleston office.

August 17
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 20
Military and Veterans' Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

August 22
Annual Meeting of Section and Committee Chairs, Conference Center

August 23
Senior Lawyers Division Executive Council Meeting, Bar Building

August 24
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building

August 25
Middle School Mock Trial Skills Workshop, USC School of Law

August 29
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 31
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

September 5
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

September 10
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

September 13
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
Mock Trial Training, Bar Building

September 14
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Elder 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. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at

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