News + Press

May 9, 2013

May 08, 2013

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
May 9, 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.

Bar President, officers and board members take office May 16
Charleston attorney Alice F. Paylor will be installed as the 2013-14 president of the Bar on Thursday, May 16, during the House of Delegates meeting at The Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s Island. Other officers and Board members to be sworn in are: J. Calhoun Watson of Columbia, president-elect; Anne S. Ellefson of Greenville, treasurer; Leah B. Moody of Rock Hill, secretary; Rudolph C. Barnes Jr. of Little Mountain, Shaheena R. Bennett of Moncks Corner, R. Scott Dover of Pickens, Lynsey T. Kmetz of Greenville, Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III of Anderson, Julie Jeffords Moose of Florence and J. Preston Strom of Columbia, Board members; and Fred W. Suggs Jr. of Greenville, ABA State Bar Delegate. Bar members are invited to attend a reception honoring incoming President Alice Paylor at 4 p.m. that day at 1765 Atlantic Ave., Sullivan’s Island.

Applications for specialization certification
The Commission on CLE and Specialization is accepting 2013 applications for specialization certification through May 31. Specialization may be acquired in the following fields of practice: bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law; employment and labor law; estate planning and probate law; and taxation law. Applications for certification can be found on the
Commission’s website and questions should be directed to (803) 799-5578 or

Bar Foundation support of law related education
For more than 20 years, the S.C. Bar Foundation has provided support for law related education, primarily through the S.C. Bar Law Related Education (LRE) Division. That long history includes upwards of $5 million in support. The Bar Foundation would like to send good luck to the N. Myrtle Beach High School and Strom Thurmond High School Mock Trial teams competing in the 2013 National High School Mock Trial Competition. In addition to supporting Mock Trial, Foundation resources helped the LRE Division in its efforts to reach 6,000 S.C. students with the assistance of more than 460 lawyers and judges. Help the Foundation continue support of law related education, civil legal aid and the administration of justice. Help us so we can help them. Visit

Easy Soft discount for Bar members
A leading legal software provider since 1986, Easy Soft offers specialized programs for real estate, family law, time and billing and trust account management, and document automation (available as desktop and cloud versions). More than 15,000 users nationwide increase office productivity with Easy Soft products. S.C. Bar members receive a 10 percent discount on all desktop versions of the software. For more information, visit or call (800) 905-7638.

Advance Sheet update
May 8, 2013
This opinion, originally filed Feb. 20, 2013, was substituted and refiled May 8, 2013. In this appeal of a family court order, the S.C. Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. On an issue of first impression in South Carolina, the Court held that while a trust corpus is not the property of either spouse and thus cannot be marital property, trust distributions can be marital property depending on how and when the interest was acquired or if the interest has undergone transmutation. The Court further affirmed the classification of the trust distributions, two Palmetto Bank accounts, a Smith Barney account and the husband’s federal annuity payments as marital property; the classification of the wife’s accounts as nonmarital property; and the ratio used to divide the marital estate. The Court concluded the family court erred in finding that timber land inherited by the husband had become marital property through transmutation; in failing to give the husband credit for the increase in equity in the marital home; and in reserving jurisdiction on the issue of alimony. The Court also reduced the award of attorney’s fees and costs.
Wilburn v. Wilburn, No. 27222, is available

This opinion, originally filed Feb. 27, 2013, was substituted and refiled May 8, 2013. The Court found the settlement reached in this probate dispute was not a fair and just resolution of a good faith controversy. The agreement reached served to transfer a large portion of the estate assets in contravention of the decedent's stated desires; therefore, approval of the agreement was improper. The Court affirmed the circuit court's decision to remove the appellants from their fiduciary positions, finding it was in the best interest of the estate. Further, in light of its decision invalidating the circuit court's approval of the compromise agreement, the Court directed the circuit court to appoint new, neutral fiduciaries to oversee these matters. Accordingly, the circuit court's decision was affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.
Wilson v. Dallas, No. 27227, is available
Chief Justice Toal concurred in a separate opinion.

This opinion, originally filed March 20, 2013, was substituted and refiled May 8, 2013. The Court affirmed the PCR court’s dismissal of Sigmon’s application for post-conviction relief, finding Sigmon did not present evidence showing he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel.
Sigmon v. State, No. 27233, is available
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.

This opinion, originally filed April 24, 2013, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled May 8, 2013. The Court held that the S.C. Budget and Control Board violated the separation of powers provision of the Constitution when it raised the enrollee contribution rates for the state’s health insurance plan instead of applying the appropriated funds toward the premium increases as directed by the General Assembly. Accordingly, the Court entered judgment for the petitioners and directed the Board to apply the appropriated funds to the plan’s premium increases.
Hampton v. Haley, No. 27244, is available
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals decision in C-Sculptures, LLC v. Brown, 394 S.C. 519, 716 S.E.2d 678 (Ct. App. 2011), which affirmed the circuit court's order upholding an arbitration award. The Court reversed, finding that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, as his decision constituted a "manifest disregard of the law."
C-Sculptures, LLC v. Brown, No. 27246, is available
Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.

In the Court's original jurisdiction, Bodman alleged the exemption and cap scheme to the State's sales and use tax violates the S.C. Constitution's equal protection guarantee and prohibition against special legislation. The Court entered judgment in favor of the defendants after determining Bodman lacked standing to bring suit and had failed to meet his burden of proof in showing S.C. Code Sections 12-36-2110 and 12-36-2120 were unconstitutional.
Bodman v. State, No. 27248, is available
Chief Justice Toal concurred in a separate opinion. Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.

In this declaratory judgment action, the Tourism Expenditure Review Committee appealed the circuit court's declaration of the meaning of S.C. Code Section 6-4-10. The Court vacated the circuit court's order for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal.
Tourism Expenditure Review Committee v. City of Myrtle Beach, No. 27249, is available
Justice Beatty concurred in result only. Acting Chief Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion in which Justice Hearn concurred.

The Court affirmed the circuit court's order imposing lifetime sex offender registration for Herndon's failure to complete sex abuse counseling as required by the terms of his probation. In the instant case, the circuit court ordered Herndon to successfully complete sex abuse counseling or face lifetime sex offender registration. The Court determined that Herndon's decision to enter an Alford plea did not excuse him from complying with the counseling requirement that he admit guilt for the crimes he committed. Therefore, because he failed to comply with all of the counseling requirements, the Court affirmed the circuit court's order.
State v. Herndon, No. 27250, is available

In this appeal from the family court, the Court held that although it was error for the mother to be denied counsel, the mother suffered no prejudice by the error because both statutory grounds for TPR were satisfied during the time she had appointed counsel. Because the Court found the statutory grounds for termination were satisfied, and the termination of the mother's parental rights was in the child's best interest, the Court affirmed the family court's termination of the mother's parental rights.
Broom v. Jennifer J., No. 27251, is available
Justice Pleicones and Justice Beatty concurred in result only.

Member transferred
By order of
May 3 the Court transferred Rosalee Hix Davis to incapacity inactive status. Alford Haselden is the trustee for the law practice.

Member discipline
By order of May 8 the Court publicly reprimanded Arthur Tuggle Bryngelson Jr. (not a Bar member) after the respondent resigned his duties as a judge. 

Firm announcements
ADP, Inc. announces that Marcus G. “Marty” Farrant has joined the company as counsel located at 5800 Windward Pkwy., MS A425, Alpharetta, GA 30005. (770) 360-2753.

Cindy Buzhardt announces the opening of Law Office of Cindy Buzhardt located at 1320 Main St., Ste. 300, Columbia 29201. (803) 724-1310.

Graham Law Firm, PA announces that Diane Rodriguez has joined the firm located at 383 W. Cheves St., Florence 29501. (843) 662-3281.

Dana M. Lahey announces the opening of Dana M. Lahey, LLC located at 100 Williams St., Greenville 29601. (864) 235-0353.

May 10
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

May 14
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

May 16
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Board of Governors Meeting, Sand Dunes Club, Sullivan's Island
House of Delegates Meeting, Sand Dunes Club, Sullivan's Island
Swearing-In of New Officers, Sand Dunes Club, Sullivan's Island

May 17
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building and Conference Call
Bar Foundation Board Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

May 29
Employment and Labor Law Section Immigration Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

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