News + Press

April 11, 2013

April 09, 2013

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
April 11, 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.

Online Member Directory
Looking for online and mobile access to the directory of Bar members from the Lawyers Desk Book? We do that! A complete, searchable member directory can be accessed from the "Member Search" link on the Bar's home page at For free, convenient access to a web app on your mobile device, go to and enter your Bar username and password.

Succession planning
The Court has adopted Rule 1.19, RPC, Rule 407, SCACR: Succession Planning. This rule, which takes effect July 1, encourages lawyers to prepare written succession plans which include the selection of a successor attorney to assume responsibility for the interests of the lawyer's clients in the event of the lawyer's death or disability from the practice of law. The Bar will maintain the list of successor attorneys. If you would like to submit the name of your successor(s) in advance, you may do so
using this form.

YLD celebrates Law Week 2013
Each year, YLD
 holds a number of statewide public service projects during the first week of May in observance of Community Law Week. YLD is gearing up for this year’s event, which will include the Cocky’s Reading Express program, Ask-A-Lawyer phone banks and web chats, blood drives, and a canned food drive. View the Community Law Week calendar online to find events in your area.

Ethics Advisory Opinion issued
The Ethics Advisory Committee has issued a new opinion. The text of all opinions is available
13-03 There is no ethical prohibition on the law firm renting office space from the real estate agency to be considered one of the real estate agency’s “preferred attorneys,” provided the rental agreement calls for commercially reasonable terms including a fair market rental amount. Additionally, a law firm and real estate agency may form a partnership to act as the Title Insurance Agent and to split the agency’s portion of the title insurance premiums generated by real estate closings involving the law firm and real estate agency’s customers.

Enjoy the speeches at Gala 2013? Let us speak for your next event!
Guests at our seventh annual gala heard colleagues and grantee clients talk about the importance of Foundation support and what those funds do for the people of South Carolina. If you are seeking a speaker for your event or are interested in gathering with some colleagues to learn more about your Bar’s Foundation, please contact Executive Director
Shannon Willis Scruggs.

2013 Law and Society Symposium
The Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (ret.), will be the keynote speaker for the 2013 Law and Society Symposium, co-sponsored by the Charleston Law Review and the Riley Institute. This year's topic is “In Search of A ‘Grand Unified Theory’: 30 Years with the Endorsement Test.” The symposium will be held April 15 at the Charleston Music Hall. Attorney CLE tickets are still available, and walk-in registrations will be accepted. More information can be found

Deadline extended for comments
Upon an executive order by Gov. Nikki Haley, the S.C. Department of Revenue is seeking suggestions of statutes, rules, regulations and policies administered by the agency that are placing an undue burden on businesses or the South Carolina's economy. Visit for instructions on how to submit comments by May 8.

MCLE suspension deadline April 15
To date, there are more than 150 lawyers who have not established compliance with the 2012-2013 MCLE requirements. Pursuant to Rule 419, SCACR, if these lawyers do not earn sufficient accredited CLE hours (or have carry-forward hours from the previous reporting period), file their reports and pay the fees by April 15, they will be suspended from the practice of law by order of the S.C. Supreme Court. Compliance reports and fees must be received in the Commission’s office by Monday, April 15, to avoid suspension. It is not sufficient if they are mailed by this date. Questions should be directed to the Commission at (803) 799-5578 or For those Bar members still needing seminar hours, the S.C. Bar CLE Division is holding a video replay seminar on April 12.

Advance Sheet update
April 10, 2013
The S.C. Supreme Court granted certiorari and held that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s decision to allow a lay witness to express an expert opinion. After finding the error was not harmless, the Court reversed the jury verdict and remanded for further proceedings.
In the Matter of Thomas S., No. 27241, is available

Member discipline
By order of
April 10 the Court disbarred Wilton Darnell Newton from the practice of law.

By order of
April 10 the Court publicly reprimanded Kana Rahman Johnson for misconduct.

Firm announcements
Marion O. Hanna announces her retirement from the Columbia Municipal Court located at 215 Shandon St., 29205, effective June 1.

Robert "Bob" E. Merritt announces the opening of The Merritt Law Firm, LLC located at 109D Oak Ave., Greenwood 29646. (864) 377-8001.

Brent Sausser and Alex Spurr announce the opening of The Law Firm of Sausser and Spurr, LLC located at 2 Rosedale Dr., Charleston 29407. (843) 654-0078.

April 12
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

April 13
Skills USA Competition, Greenville Conference Center

April 15
Real Estate Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 16
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 17

Employment and Labor Law Section Nominating Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Law Related Education Mock Trial Evaluation Meeting, Bar Building

April 18
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 19
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Law Related Education Mock Trial Subcommittee Meeting, Conference Center
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 26
Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission Meeting, Mike Kelly Law Group (Columbia)
Law Related Education Committee Meeting, Rogers Townsend & Thomas (Columbia)
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building
S.C. Bar Leadership Academy Meeting, Charleston

May 3
Health Care Law Section Seminar, Conference Center

May 10
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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