News + Press

November 15, 2012

November 14, 2012

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

Board of Governors meets
The Board of Governors met today at the Bar building.

The Board approved recommendations from the Conventions Committee regarding registration rates and the 2017 Bar Convention location, which will be Greenville.

The Board approved a request from the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board to waive the filing fee for filing certificates of non-compliance. The request will be forwarded to the S.C. Supreme Court.

John Moorman was elected to a vacancy for the Third Judicial Circuit in the House of Delegates.

The Board received a report on meetings with members of the Abbeville, Allendale, Greenwood, Hampton and McCormick county bars.

The Board also received a report on efforts to revitalize the Bar's Pro Bono Program, including meetings with past presidents and local bar leaders to identify needs in different geographical areas of the state; launch of the public website; and availability of online resources for Bar members performing pro bono work.

Court issues order
order of November 13, the Court denied the S.C. Republican Party’s petition for writs of prohibition and injunction because S.C. Democratic Party v. Richland County Election Commission, Civil Action 2012-CP-40-07551, was dismissed and the petition was therefore moot. Additionally, the Court vacated the November 8 order of the circuit court as the circuit court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the election protests, and therefore, the order was void. The Court did not prohibit the County Commission from ordering a recount as required by S.C. Code Ann. Section 7-17-280 (Supp. 2011) if the Commission determined a recount to be required by law. The Court directed the County and State Election Commissions to finalize voting results and to declare those results by 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, and ordered that any challenges to the election results must be filed with the appropriate election commission by noon on Nov. 21.

Ronnie M. Cole scholarship applications due Dec. 10
The Bar Foundation is proud to award Ronnie M. Cole scholarships to lawyers in need of assistance with the cost of attending required CLE seminars. New to this application round: a limited number of scholarships for the 2013 S.C. Bar Convention in Myrtle Beach! For details on eligibility and Bar Convention scholarships, please
download the application. If you have any questions, call (803) 765-0517. Applications are due Monday, Dec. 10.

Advance Sheet update
November 14, 2012

This opinion, originally filed Sept. 12, 2012, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled on Nov. 14, 2012. The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed Niles’ conviction for murder and remanded the case to the circuit court for a new trial. Because voluntary manslaughter and self defense are not mutually exclusive, the appellant contended he was entitled to a jury charge on voluntary manslaughter. The court agreed and further opined that the appellant was prejudiced by the court’s refusal to grant a jury instruction for voluntary manslaughter.
State v. Richard Bill Niles Jr., No. 5034, is available

On appeal, the state alleged the trial court erred in basing its decision to suppress a statement made by the defendant on the erroneous belief that polygraph evidence is per se inadmissible. The court agreed and reversed and remanded the matter to the trial court to determine what, if any, evidence regarding the polygraph examination is admissible pursuant to State v. Council, 335 S.C. 1 (1999). In Samuel’s cross-appeal, the court affirmed the trial court and held that pre-custodial Miranda warnings and waivers may be sufficient to make re-advisement unnecessary during a subsequent custodial interrogation, but courts should apply a totality-of-the-circumstances assessment to each case.
State v. Samuel, No. 5046, is available

Relying on Graham v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2011 (2010), the court found that Bonner’s sentence of life without parole for burglary in the first degree violated the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause since the appellant was a juvenile at the time of the offense and did not commit homicide. Although Bonner did not properly preserve the issue for appellate review, in the interest of judicial economy the court vacated his conviction and remanded the matter to the trial court for resentencing. 
State v. Bonner, No. 5048, is available

The appellant sought to establish the existence of an easement over a railroad right-of-way under the following theories on appeal: easement of estoppel, prescriptive easement, easement by necessity and doctrine of laches. After examining each theory in turn, the court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the respondent. The court re-emphasized its prior conclusion that regardless of the type of interest a person has in a railroad right-of-way, that person may not interfere with the railroad’s use of its right-of-way for the purpose of furthering its business. 
Paine Gayle Properties v. CSX Transportation, No. 5049, is available

In this appeal of a family court order, the court reversed the matter of imputed income and affirmed the remaining issues. The court found that, in imputing income, the family court failed to: make a finding as to whether the husband was at fault in losing his job; address the necessary factors in the child support guidelines; and provide sufficient evidence as to how it imputed the husband’s annual income. After de novo review, the court remanded the imputation of income to the family court pursuant to Sanderson based upon the factors set forth in the child support guidelines. 
Lewis v. Lewis, No. 5050, is available

In memoriam

Michael Ray Ellisor, 66, of Lexington died November 10. His obituary can be found

Mills Ferguson Nunn, 90, of W. Columbia died November 13. His obituary can be found

H.F. “Pete” Partee, 83, of Greenville died November 14. His obituary can be found

John Schurlknight, 48, of Florence died November 13. His obituary can be found

Deborah Williamson Witt, 57, of Midland, NC died October 24. Her obituary can be found here.

Firm announcement
Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC announces that Brian Lysell has joined the firm as an associate located at 1812 Lincoln St., Ste. 200, Columbia 29201. (803) 404-6900.

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

November 30
Bar Foundation Board Meeting, Conference Center

December 7-8
Middle School Mock Trial State Competition, Lexington

December 12
Law School for Journalists, Conference Center
Project Citizen Training, Bar Building
We the People Training, Bar Building

December 13
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call

December 14
Elder Law Committee 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 |