News + Press

March 25, 2014

March 21, 2014

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
March 25, 2014
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at Click here for the most recent CLE Edition, which highlights upcoming CLE opportunities.

PMAP webinar tomorrow!
It's not too late to sign up for the free 
PMAP webinar tomorrow, March 26. The featured speaker is Debbie Foster of Affinity Consulting Group who focuses on practice management, time/billing/accounting and document management software. Debbie was the chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 and speaks regularly to bar associations on topics relating to law office management and technology. Tomorrow's seminar, Eight Things Killing Your Law Firm—And How to Stop Them, will begin at noon and last 45-60 minutes (no CLE credit). Topics include why "going the extra mile" can be a waste of time, how to reduce small mistakes that lead to big problems, getting rid of "piles of files," and how unrecognized potential is bad for business. To register, visit the webinar page and click “register now.” Contact PMAP for free assistance with your law practice at

House of Delegates election results
Congratulations to Garry D. Malphrus (Falls Church, Va.) and Tracy T. Vann (Charlotte, NC), the 
recently elected Out of State Delegates to the House of Delegates for the 2014-2015 Bar year. Their terms begin July 1, 2014. 

Public hearings for judicial candidates
Public hearings are scheduled to begin Monday, April 28, regarding the qualifications of the candidates listed in
this media release. Persons desiring to testify shall furnish written notarized statements of proposed testimony. These statements must be received by Monday, April 14, at noon and should be mailed or delivered to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission: Jane O. Shuler, Chief Counsel, 104 Gressette Bldg., P.O. Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202.

JQC phone interviews regarding judicial candidates 
The Judicial Qualifications Committee (JQC) began its calls to the bench and bar on March 17. The information compiled by JQC is not attributed to those interviewed and is used to determine a collective opinion of the candidate. JQC policies provide that committee members complete at least 30 calls per candidate. Participation from Bar members who have experience with any of the candidates is highly encouraged and valued. You may be asked about multiple candidates in order to avoid duplicate calls. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. 

Legislative report
See what happened last week in the
Weekly Legislative Report! Updates are typically posted on Fridays throughout the legislative session. For questions regarding pending legislation, contact Lindsey Pitts at

Foundation Gala 214 wrap up
Last Friday, The Hall at Senate's End was filled with food, fellowship and fundraising—all to support the work of S.C. Bar Foundation grantees. The Foundation again extends congratulations to Sharon Ward, the S.C. Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, and Kimberly Shelton, the Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year. Check out
Sharon's advice to others and Kim's reflection on her work as a legal services lawyer, as seen at the Gala. Attendees also remembered Judge Marc H. Westbrook with this year's Martha's Moment. Special thanks to the event sponsors and honorary chair Gov. Richard W. Riley for making Gala 2014 a success! If you didn't get a chance to make a donation at the event, you can download the donor form or make your gift online.

Annual faculty auction
The Phi Delta Phi Legal Service Fraternity and the Public Interest Law Society invite you to the
annual faculty auction on Saturday, March 29. All proceeds from the auction benefit the James L. Petigru Public Interest Law Society Summer Grant Program, supporting law students who volunteer to work for the public interest. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the S.C. State Museum (301 Gervais St. in Columbia). For information regarding the event or making donations, contact Taylor Gilliam at

Advance Sheet update
March 19, 2014
Because substantial evidence showed Beckman’s injury encompassed other areas of his body, and was not just confined to a scheduled member, the court reversed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commission and remanded the case to address Beckman’s eligibility for an award pursuant to the general disability statute under S.C. Code Section 42-9-20.
Beckman v. Sysco Columbia, LLC, Op. No. 5205 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 19, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11 at 40), is available

The court affirmed the circuit court’s grant of partial summary judgment, finding Watson granted Underwood power of attorney and the power of attorney specifically authorized Underwood to create the trust. The court did not reach the remaining issues because they were not properly before it.
Watson v. Underwood, Op. No. 5206 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 19, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11 at 48), is available
Chief Judge Few concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.

In this appeal from the post-conviction relief court alleging the ineffective assistance of counsel, the court affirmed, finding Abney’s trial counsel’s decision not to request a jury instruction on the lesser included offense of strong arm robbery did not fall below an objectively reasonable standard.
Abney v. State, Op. No. 5207 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 19, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11 at 60), is available
Judge Pieper concurred in a separate opinion. Chief Judge Few dissented in a separate opinion.

In this malpractice case, the court found attorney Alexander could not be held liable as a matter of law simply because he relied on attorney Feeley’s title search that failed to discover the unpaid taxes and tax sale. Thus, the decision of the circuit court was reversed and the case was remanded for trial.
Johnson v. Alexander, Op. No. 5208 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 19, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11 at 74), is available
Judge Pieper concurred in result.

In this criminal appeal, the court held that, although the trial court erred in preventing Whatley from cross-examining a witness, Whatley was not prejudiced by the error because he had ample opportunity to demonstrate the witness’s bias. Accordingly, the court affirmed the decision of the trial court.
State v. Whatley, Op. No. 5209 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 19, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11 at 80), is available
Judge Pieper concurred in result only.

Member resignations
By orders of March 20 the Court accepted the resignations from the Bar of Thomas Moore Gremillion, Nicole Ann Wagner, Viki M. West and Paul C. White.

Firm announcements
Ryan Mikkelson and Meredith Bannon announce the opening of Mikkelson & Bannon, LLC located at 1278 May River Rd., Ste. 200, Bluffton 29910. (843) 757-9330.

Robinson, McFadden & Moore, PC announces that Rebecca A. Roser has been elected a shareholder in the firm located at 1901 Main St., Ste. 1200, Columbia 29901. (803) 779-8900.

SCBT announces that Michelle Proveaux Clayton has joined the bank as assistant corporate counsel located at 520 Gervais St., Columbia 29201. (803) 540-3356.

March 26
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 27
Free legal clinic: Criminal Law Issues (Columbia)
Tax Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

March 28
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building

March 28-29
Battle of the Carolinas High School Mock Trial Competition, Conway

March 31
Free legal clinic: Criminal Law Issues (Spartanburg)

April 2
Memory Hold the Door Committee Meeting, Bar Building

April 3
Board of Governors Meeting, Bar Building

April 7
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Free legal clinic: End of Life Issues (Pacolet)

April 8
Free legal clinic: Landlord/Tenant Law (Myrtle Beach)
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

April 9
Employment and Labor Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

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