News + Press

October 25, 2012

October 24, 2012

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
October 25, 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.

2013 License fee statements
The Bar will soon begin preparing for the distribution of 2013 annual license fee notices. Members of the Bar are reminded that, pursuant to Rule 410 (g), SCACR, persons admitted to practice in South Carolina have a continuing duty to verify and update their information in the S.C. Supreme Court Attorney Information System (AIS), ensuring that their primary contact information is current and accurate at all times. All requests for member status changes must also be submitted by Bar members electronically through AIS and will no longer be effected by Bar staff through notation on the member’s license fee statement–or via letter or e-mail to Bar staff. Please take time to examine the 2013 license fee statement, in its entirety, upon receipt as it will be revised to reflect these and other changes resulting from the implementation of AIS and revised Rule 410, effective Jan. 1, 2013. For the complete text of Rule 410, click here.

How secure are your online transactions?
If part of your daily operations involves sending wire requests through online channels, you may be at a greater risk for corporate account takeover. Small businesses, including law firms, are targets for cyber fraud, and in 2011, 72 percent of data breach cases affected businesses with 100 employees or less. SCBT has provided an article for Bar members containing tips to prevent cyber fraud to keep your business operations running smoothly.

Results of July 2012 Bar Examination

The results of the July 2012 Bar Examination will be posted on the
Bar Admissions Page of the Judicial Department's website at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.

Check out the Career Center
Employers and jobseekers: ads for positions available are posted at no charge to the Bar's online Career Center. To search positions available, click
here. To post an ad, e-mail

Bar Foundation fall newsletter now online
Learn how Foundation grantees are rescuing victims of domestic abuse, why the Government Law Section and SCDTAA give to the Bar Foundation, what you can do to recognize an outstanding S.C. Legal Services attorney and where the next joint grantee fundraising event will be held. Check out the fall 2012 newsletter and see why giving to the Bar Foundation save lives. Make your gift to the Foundation today. Help us so we can help them.

Advance Sheet update
October 24, 2012
This opinion, originally filed March 28, 2012, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled on Oct. 24, 2012. In a dispute over an employment contract with a mandatory arbitration clause, the S.C. Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of the appellant’s motion to compel arbitration. Using Towles v. United Healthcare Corp to analyze, the court held that the employment contract involved interstate commerce for the purposes of the Federal Arbitration Act because it referenced specific cases requiring out-of-state work, and the act should therefore be applied. The court further held that the arbitration clause should be enforced as it was not unconscionable, there was no absence of meaningful choice and the terms were not oppressive.
Lucey v. Meyer, No. 4960, is available online.

In this criminal case, the court reversed the appellant’s conviction for voluntary manslaughter and remanded the case for a new trial. The court found the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense and instruct the jury on accident. The court found sufficient evidence to support a charge for self-defense and further found that since the state failed to disprove that Williams did not use due care when handling the gun, Williams’ testimony was sufficient to present a question for the jury as to whether Williams shot the victim accidentally.
State v. Wendell Williams, No. 5039, is available online.
Judge Lockemy concurred in part and dissented in part.

The court reversed the trial court’s grant of a JNOV motion, finding it improperly weighed the evidence in making its determination. The court opined that some evidence supported that Ruonala and Company were not fully paid, and therefore, the trial court erred in granting Skelly's motion for JNOV. The court did not find Skelly's arguments as to his additional sustaining grounds merited affirming.
Williams Carpet Contractors v. Skelly, No. 5040, is available online.

In this contract case, the court reversed and remanded the decision of the circuit court. The trial court erred when it referred the appellee’s claim arising from guaranties to a master-in-equity as these claims are legal in nature, and therefore, the appellee was entitled to a jury trial. The court further held that although the appellee claimed both a legal and an equitable claim in this case, the appellants did not waive their right to a jury trial by filing their counterclaims for civil conspiracy and breach of contract, as the filing of a legal counterclaim in response to an equitable complaint amounts to a waiver of the right to a trial by jury only when the counterclaim is permissive.
Carolina First v. BADD, LLC, No. 5041, is available online.

In this criminal appeal, the court affirmed the appellant’s convictions for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a one-half mile of a school, trafficking in crack cocaine of more than 400 grams and trafficking in crack cocaine of more than 100 grams. On appeal, Cheeks alleged the trial court erred in (1) failing to suppress the drugs seized in a residence because the search warrant was facially invalid inasmuch as it did not include a description of the place to be searched, and (2) instructing the jury that "actual knowledge of the presence of crack cocaine is strong evidence of a defendant's intent to control its disposition or use.” The Court of Appeals held that the warrant clearly included words of incorporation, cross-referencing the attached affidavit, which described with particularity the place to be searched and that the trial court properly charged the jury on mere presence. Its charge that actual knowledge was strong evidence of a defendant's intent to control its disposition or use did not negate the mere presence charge.
State v. Ricky Cheeks, No. 5042, is available online.

In this appeal, the court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the appellant’s counterclaim for civil conspiracy. Applying the test from Vaught v. Waites, the court found the trial court erred in its finding that NCS failed to allege that appellees intended to harm NCS and raise sufficient claims for special damages.
Benedict College v. National Credit Systems, No. 5043, is available online.

Firm announcement
Finkel Law Firm, LLC announces that Leigh R. Bailey has joined the firm as an associate located at 4000 Faber Place Dr., Ste. 450, N. Charleston 29405. (843) 577-5460.


October 26
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Conference Center

October 30
Senior Lawyers Division Nominating Committee Meeting, Conference Call

November 3
Middle School Mock Trial Regional Competitions

November 5
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

November 9
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building

November 13
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

November 15
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

November 16
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Workers' Compensation 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

E-Blast Archives


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