News + Press

February 26, 2013

February 21, 2013

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
February 26, 2013
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.

Shannon Felder featured in "Proud to be a South Carolina Lawyer" video series
Columbia attorney Shannon Felder is featured in the latest "Proud to be a South Carolina Lawyer" video.
Click here to learn more about Shannon's inspiring story and why she's proud to be a South Carolina lawyer. Watch the videos on Facebook each week, and "like" and "share" them to help spread the word about the value S.C. lawyers bring to their communities and shed light on misconceptions about the legal profession.

Ethics Advice
Confronted with an ethics question and need answers? We do that! The Ethics Hotline offers access to experienced staff lawyers who are available to discuss and analyze ethics issues and professional responsibility dilemmas. Call (803) 799-6653, ext. 154 or e-mail The contact is confidential under Rule 8.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Also, the Ethics Advisory Committee issues advisory opinions for members on prospective ethics problems. The full text of all ethics opinions since 1958 is available at

Compliance reporting deadline is Friday
All active attorneys licensed before March 1, 2012, must file their 2012-2013 compliance reports with the Supreme Court Commission on CLE and Specialization on or before Friday, March 1. Currently, more than 50 percent of Bar members have not yet filed their reports and established compliance with the mandatory CLE requirements. Reports can be mailed to the Commission at P.O. Box 2138, Columbia, SC 29202, or hand-delivered (or overnighted) to the Commission’s office located at 950 Taylor St., Ste. 120, Columbia, SC 29201. The Commission on CLE will have extended office hours until 6 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and a notary will be available on site during this time. Reports postmarked after March 1, 2013, must include the late fee. Questions should be directed to the Commission at (803) 799-5578 or

Legislative report

See what happened last week in the 
Weekly Legislative Report! Updates will be posted every Monday throughout the legislative session. For questions regarding pending legislation, contact Catherine Scarlett at

PMAP–Your guide to …
Keeping your batteries charged. Since most of us regularly recharge our smartphones and tablets, we don’t often think about having a battery backup plan. To avoid being caught in a situation where your mobile device’s battery is on the verge of dying, read Dennis Kennedy’s recent blog post,
Keeping Your Mobile Devices Charged. His number one tip: pack an extension cord in your briefcase! He also points to another helpful post from TechHive titled 10 Tips to keep your mobile devices charged and happy. Better safe than sorry! PMAP is free practice management advice for Bar members. For more information, call (803) 799-6653, ext. 183 or e-mail

Why you need to read the Winter 2013 Bar Foundation Brief
seventh annual Bar Foundation Gala is one month away, and the newsletter is chock full of information as to why you need to be there! See the list of the Nifty Fifty being honored, read about our musical entertainment and get ticket and accommodation information. Purchase tickets online or call (803) 765-0517. Enjoy the Foundation Brief, and we hope to see you March 22!

Columbia S.C. 63 presents We Shall Not Be Moved: A Commemoration of Student Activism in Columbia and Edwards v. South Carolina
On March 2, 1961, a statewide coalition of African American high school and college students met at Zion Baptist Church and marched to the S.C. Statehouse grounds, challenging segregation and racial discrimination in the state. The 187 participants that were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace filed a lawsuit, Edwards v. South Carolina, and in 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled their arrests violated "constitutionally protected rights of free speech, free assembly and freedom to petition for redress for their grievances." On March 3 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, join a distinguished panel featuring the student activists and legal professionals who made this possible, including James Edwards, for whom the case is named, and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn. The event is free, but seating is limited. Please make reservations by Feb. 27 by registering at or calling (803) 252-7742, ext. 15.

Advance Sheet update
February 20, 2013
In this appeal of a murder conviction, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow Taylor to cross-examine Wilder. The S.C. Court of Appeals found the probative value of the information Taylor sought to elicit from Wilder did not justify making the solicitor take the stand to testify about his reasons for dismissing Wilder’s pending charges. The court also affirmed the trial court’s admission of a SLED ballistics report documenting the link between Taylor’s pistol and the cartridge casings found at the crime scene. The report did not constitute impermissible bolstering of the examiner’s trial testimony because the report was relevant only to her testimony and did not vouch for her credibility. Instead, the report was a written representation of the findings on which the examiner’s opinions and testimony were based.
State v. Taylor, No. 5084, is available

The court affirmed the family court's decision to give the husband special consideration for his contribution of the land on which the parties constructed their home. However, because the family court's equitable apportionment scheme improperly segregated the equity in the marital home from the remainder of the marital estate, the court modified its award so that the husband would receive a 55 percent share of the entire marital estate. In view of its finding that the preponderance of the evidence established the husband's abuse of alcohol caused the breakdown of the marriage, the court found the husband suffered no prejudice from the family court's incorrect statement of the requisite standard of proof when granting a divorce based on habitual intoxication.
Curry v. Curry, No. 5085, is available

The court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Panel of the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission holding Simmons was not performing services as an employee of S.C. STRONG; rather, Simmons was a volunteer performing services in a rehabilitative program to improve his skills and avoid incarceration. As such, he was not entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.
Simmons v. S.C. STRONG, No. 5087, is available

The court affirmed the order of the Appellate Panel of the S.C. Workers' Compensation Commission (Panel). The Panel did not err in: basing Williams’ average weekly wage on Workers' Compensation Commission Form 20; failing to find her neurogenic bladder related to her back injury; or denying her claim for partial paraplegia.
Williams v. David Stafford Drywall, No. 5088, is available

In this action to collect rent obligations, the court affirmed the trial court's denial of Wheeler's motion for a directed verdict on the claim for future damages; motion for a directed verdict based on the statute of limitations; request for a jury charge on the three-year statute of limitations for a breach of contract action; motion for a new trial; and motion for a new trial under the 13th juror doctrine. The court found, inter alia, that the verdict was not inconsistent nor excessive.
Sapp v. Wheeler, No. 5089, is available

In this mortgage dispute, the master-in-equity erred in applying reformation and equitable subrogation as remedies. The master erred in reforming the mortgage to alter the parties' priority rights because reformation does not permit a court to write a new additional party into the mortgage to correct the error. Equitable subrogation was also an improper remedy because Independence had actual notice of the prior mortgage. The court reasoned that because Dugas was the only attorney present and authorized to conduct the closing, actual notice to Dugas of the prior mortgage was actual notice to Independence.
Independence Nat'l Bank v. Buncombe Professional Park, LLC, No. 5090, is available

The court granted the State’s petition for writ of certiorari to review the PCR court’s order granting Burgess a new trial. The State alleged the PCR court erred in failing to determine whether Burgess was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to request a Jackson charge. The court affirmed, holding that the argument was not preserved for appellate review because the State failed to file a Rule 59(e), SCRCP, motion asking the PCR court to specifically determine whether Burgess suffered prejudice as the result of his trial counsel’s deficient performance.
Burgess v. State, No. 5091, is available

In this appeal from the denial of Vail's post-conviction relief application, the court reversed and granted a new trial. The court found the trial counsel's failure to object to certain hearsay statements did not fit within a legitimate trial strategy and was highly prejudicial to the outcome of the trial.
Vail v. State, No. 5092, is available

Member resignations
By orders of February 22, the Court accepted the resignations from the Bar of Nell H. Figge, Michael E. Hagan, William H. Ivry, Edmund Heyward Robinson, Cynthia M. Veintemillas, Nancy B. Walker and Sally M. Walker.

Member suspensions
By order of
February 22, the Court placed William Joseph Cutchin on interim suspension. Giampiero P. Diminich is the trustee.

By order of
February 22, the Court placed William J. McMillian III on interim suspension pursuant to pending criminal charges.

Firm announcements
Jessica Christophillis and Amanda Gallivan announce the opening of Christophillis & Gallivan, PA located at 300 N. Main St., Ste. 200, Greenville 29601. (864) 233-4445.

Godfrey Law Firm, LLC announces that Kathryn Harrell Martin is working with the firm located at 10 East Ave., Greenville 29601. (864) 467-9196.

March 1
Real Estate Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting

March 4
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 5
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 7
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

March 8
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 8-9
High School Mock Trial State Competition, Lexington
Senior Lawyers Division Retreat, Charleston

March 11
Government Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 12
Employment and Labor Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 14
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 15
Bar Foundation Board Meeting, Bar Building
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 19
Project Citizen Training, Bar Building

March 21
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Meeting, Conference Call
Street Law Training, 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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