News + Press

May 6, 2014

May 01, 2014

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
May 6, 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.

Get involved!
Looking for new ways to get involved with the Bar? 
Committee Sign-Up is underway, and Bar divisions and programs are regularly seeking volunteers. Check your inbox for last week's Get Involved e-mail or view the current list online.

LRE award winners announced
Congratulations to the following winners of the Law Related Education awards: Lawyer of the Year, George W. Branstiter II; High School Teacher of the Year, Mark Davis (Woodmont High School); Middle School Teacher of the Year, Tim Hicks (Dent Middle School); Schools of the Year, Early Collge High School and Dent Middle School; and Citizen of the Year, Norman McQueen. In addition, one We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution scholarship and nine Mock Trial scholarships were awarded. Students and teachers will be recognized during their school awards ceremonies. Mr. Branstiter will be recognized during the House of Delegates meeting on May 8 at the Bar Conference Center.

Bar President, officers and board members take office May 8
Columbia attorney J. Calhoun Watson will be installed as the 2014-15 president of the Bar on Thursday, May 8, during the House of Delegates meeting at the Bar Conference Center. Other officers and board members to be sworn in are: Anne S. Ellefson of Greenville, president-elect; William K. Witherspoon of Columbia, secretary; J. Steedley Bogan of Columbia, chair, House of Delegates; James W. Bannister of Greenville, Robin A. Braithwaite of Aiken, William R. Johnson of Columbia, Patrick C. Wooten of Charleston and Paula Jill Wright of Myrtle Beach, Board members; and John D. Elliott of Columbia and Flo Lester Vinson of Florence, ABA State Bar Delegates. Bar members are invited to attend a reception honoring incoming President Cal Watson at 5 p.m. that day at the offices of Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC (1310 Gadsden St. in Columbia).

PMAP Practice Pointer
You wouldn’t go on vacation without leaving a list of instructions for the petsitter, would you? Please don’t leave your law practice without special instructions either. Purchase the handy workbook Being Prepared: A Lawyer's Guide for Dealing with Disability or Unexpected Events and take a minute to designate a backup lawyer with these forms. If you have questions, contact Courtney Kennaday at

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

A Midlands Gives status update from the Bar Foundation
As of 3 p.m., the Bar Foundation has received $6,145 in gifts through! The Bar Foundation would like to thank those who donated for their generosity. Want to celebrate this online day of giving in person? End your long day of work by enjoying happy hour refreshments with the Bar Foundation at the S.C. Bar Conference Center from 5 to 7 p.m. A giving station will be set up so you can help Magnify the Midlands. To participate online, click here.

Advance Sheet update
April 30, 2014
The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed McGee’s convictions, finding the trial court did not err in admitting the identification testimony or the evidence of the theft of a vehicle as part of the res gestae of the crime. Because the court found the trial court properly admitted the evidence as part of the res gestae, the court did not address the remaining issues on appeal.
State v. McGee, Op. No. 5227 (S.C. Ct. App. filed April 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 17 at 42), is available

Member reinstatement
By order of May 1 the Court reinstated Donnell G. Jennings as a Regular Member of the Bar.

In memoriam
Hon. Butler C. Derrick Jr., 77, of Easley died May 5. Mr. Derrick served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years; a Greenville News article can be found here.

Firm announcements
Hall Booth Smith, PC announces that Joseph D. “Trey” Thompson III has joined the Charleston office as a partner located at 40 Calhoun St., Ste. 550, 29401. (843) 720-3460.

Pope & Hudgens, PA
announces that Kyle Parker has been named a partner in the firm located at 1508 College St., Newberry 29108. (803) 276-2532.

May 8
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Center
Community Association Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
House of Delegates Meeting, Conference Center
Assembly, Conference Center
Swearing In of New Officers, Conference Center
New Bar President Reception, Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte (Columbia)

May 9
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Center
International Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building

May 12
Free legal clinics: Adoption Law Issues (Spartanburg); End of Life Issues (Woodruff)

May 13
Free legal clinics: Elder Law Issues (Columbia); Real Estate Issues and Foreclosures (Myrtle Beach)

May 14
Real Estate Section Council, Conference Call

May 15
Bar Foundation Board Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

May 16
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

May 19
Free legal clinic: Magistrate Court Issues (Pacolet)

May 20
Free legal clinic: Family Law Issues (Florence)

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