May 29, 2014
May 23, 2014
Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
May 29, 2014
E-Blast highlights upcoming activities, legal information and links to the Bar's website at www.scbar.org. Click here for the most recent CLE Edition, which highlights upcoming CLE opportunities.
Judicial elections were held May 28. Congratulations to the following judges who were elected by the General Assembly: the Hon. Stephanie P. McDonald, S.C. Court of Appeals (Seat 7); R. Scott Sprouse, S.C. Circuit Court (10th Circuit, Seat 2); Daniel Dewitt Hall, S.C. Circuit Court (16th Circuit, Seat 2); and William Gregory Seigler, S.C. Family Court (11th Circuit, Seat 1).
The S.C. Judicial Department posted changes to the following Rules (click the links to view complete orders):
Rule 411, SCACR: The Court approved the Bar’s request to increase the annual assessment for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection to $50 and add two new members to the Committee. The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Rules of Procedure will be amended to provide that a quorum be increased from six to seven members.
Rule 410, SCACR: The Court approved the Bar’s request to increase the annual license fee by $15 for members who have been admitted for more than three years.
Rule 407, SCACR: The Court approved the Commission on Lawyer Conduct’s request to amend Rule 407, SCACR, regarding the prominence of disclaimers used in lawyer advertisements. The proposed language will be added to Rule 7.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and is effective July 1. The Bar supported the change.
The S.C. Bar Board of Governors invites members to participate in a survey as part of a strategic planning process to gather information about issues important to Bar members. Responses are being collected through June 6, are confidential, and will be compiled and analyzed by the ABA Division for Bar Services.
Final notice: Deadline to update information in Lawyers Desk Book is June 1
Production of the 2014-15 Lawyers Desk Book is underway, and address changes must be made by June 1 to be reflected in the new edition. All changes in contact information are handled exclusively by the S.C. Attorney Information System (AIS), and you must log on to AIS to update your information. Complete contact information will be published for all Bar members, to include name, organization, mailing address, business phone number and e-mail address.
If you have not entered your fax number in AIS, the Bar does not have it on file. While AIS does not require fax numbers, you must enter one if you would like it to appear in the Lawyers Desk Book. To ensure your zip code matches the address published, please do not enter two addresses (P.O. Box and Street) in a single address field. Please review your information carefully, as it will be published as entered in AIS.
Please note: an electronic version of the Lawyers Desk Book is available to members. If you would like to opt out of the print version, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for the Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory
The deadline to sign up to be listed in the 2014 Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory is June 1. The directory is a list of lawyers who have experience in specific areas of the law and is available on the Bar’s website. Participating lawyers provide brief telephone consultations (up to 10 minutes) at no charge to other Bar members on specific areas of law. The directory is meant to encourage and facilitate appropriate lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, referrals and associations. It is not intended as a referral guide for the public. To participate, complete this form and e-mail to email@example.com. Participants must have three or more years of practice in the areas they select. Those listed in prior years will continue to appear in the directory unless the Bar is otherwise notified.
PMAP Practice Pointer
Be prepared—Hurricane season officially begins June 1. Does your firm have a plan to deal with natural disasters or other disasters such as computer crashes or fires? Visit the Bar’s disaster preparedness page for resources and articles to help create a disaster plan. If your firm already has a plan in place, now is a great time to review and update disaster procedures. The Bar’s Prepare booklet makes it easy to do—just follow the checklists. Request a copy by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your mailing address. Contact PMAP for free assistance with your law practice at email@example.com.
Bar members are reminded to be aware of scam e-mails that specifically target lawyers. They typically contain misspellings, missing words or irregular language usage, and come from a non-USA e-mail address. Be particularly aware of any that request an immediate deposit into your trust account of business funds.
Sign up by tomorrow to travel to London
The deadline to sign up to travel to London with the Senior Lawyers Division is May 30! Stay at a first-class hotel in Kensington, and visit Old Bailey, the Inns of Court and more. Sightsee, shop and pub hop your way through the capital of England; local guides are provided, but plenty of time is available to explore on your own. The trip is open to all Bar members and a companion. Contact Nancy Layman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 776-6999 with questions.
State Employee Code of Conduct Task Force
Gov. Haley recently established the State Employee Code of Conduct Task Force to develop recommendations for a Code of Conduct for South Carolina’s public servants. The first public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 252 of the Brown Building (1205 Pendleton St., Columbia). Contact Clark Packard with questions at email@example.com or (803) 734-0324.
Computer-based testing for July 2014 Bar Examination
Applicants interested in using laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the July 2014 S.C. Bar Examination must complete and return the Request to Participate form by Friday, June 13.
The S.C. Judicial Department posted the following Court orders (click the links to view complete orders):
Confidential Reference List of Redacted Identifiers: The Court approved the Confidential Reference List of Redacted Identifiers (SCRCP Form 6) for use in civil cases in the circuit courts, family courts and magistrates courts of South Carolina. The form has been revised to include family court and magistrate court in the caption so parties in these courts may present relevant information that has been redacted from pleadings and documents filed in family court and magistrates court as required by Rule 41.2, SCRCP.
Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court: The Court approved the establishment of the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court.
Revised Records Retention Policy for Probate Courts: Court records of S.C. probate courts shall be retained and preserved pursuant to the revised Records Retention Policy.
Settlement Procedure for Minors or Incapacitated Persons: The Settlement Procedure for Minors or Incapacitated Persons shall be used as a guideline for the basic statutory definitions and procedures for the settlement of claims in favor of or against minors or incapacitated persons.
Clerk of Court Manual: The Court approved the revised Clerk of Court Manual for use by all county clerks of court and their staff in the S.C. judicial system.
Breath of Freedom prints available
Get your copy of Jonathan Green’s painting, “Breath of Freedom,” which depicts the crowd outside the courthouse during the Briggs v. Elliott trial. The print is being sold in collaboration with the statue dedication to the Hon. J. Waties Waring in Charleston. The artwork is available for $100 and can be purchased online. Proceeds will be used by the J. Waties Waring Statue Committee to help distribute copies of the artwork to classrooms throughout South Carolina.
Advance Sheet update
May 21, 2014
This opinion, originally filed March 5, 2014, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled May 21, 2014. The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the family court’s determination that certain rental properties were marital in nature as well as its decision to exclude evidence of the wife’s adultery. The court further affirmed the family court’s determinations as to the equity in the rental property, the husband’s entitlement to a credit for the wife’s occupation of the marital home, and attorney’s fees. The court modified the family court’s ruling as to the value of the husband’s business and remanded to the family court to modify the distribution of assets to reflect this change.
Teeter v. Teeter, Op. No. 5203 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 21, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 20 at 27), is available online.
The court reversed the circuit court’s finding that Charleston Auto Auction and its insurance carrier, Centennial Casualty Co., were “legal representatives” pursuant to S.C. Code Section 56-15-320(B). After determining the respondents were not legal representatives of the sellers of the vehicles at issue in this case, the court declined to address the remaining issues on appeal.
Centennial Casualty Co., Inc. v. Western Surety Co., Op. No. 5231 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 21, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 20 at 39), is available online.
The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Jenkins’ request to provide the circumstantial evidence instruction articulated in Edwards because the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt as the trial court’s instruction, as a whole, properly conveyed the applicable law. In addition, the court found the trial court did not err in declining to strike certain testimony or, in the alternative, in failing to declare a mistrial based on the prosecution’s failure to produce a certain file because neither resulted in any unfair prejudice to Jenkins. Further, because the defense was aware of the fingerprint analysis and the possible existence of AFIS-related documents for years prior to trial, the court held the trial court properly declined to grant any further delay for the defense to obtain assistance of an expert to evaluate those documents.
State v. Jenkins, Op. No. 5232 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 21, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 20 at 45), is available online.
May 28, 2014
On writ of certiorari, the S.C. Supreme Court found the jury charge at issue in this case was improper; however, because Cheeks was not prejudiced by the charge, the Court affirmed as modified the decision of the Court of Appeals.
State v. Cheeks, Op. No. 27390 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 27), is available online.
The Court denied Allegro’s petition for writ of certiorari, granted the petitioner-respondent’s petition for writ of certiorari, and determined the Court of Appeals should have addressed whether the trial judge erred in denying the petitioner-respondent’s directed verdict and JNOV motions. Because the Court of Appeals failed to address these issues, the Court dispensed with further briefing and remanded to the Court of Appeals for consideration consistent with this opinion.
Allegro, Inc. v. Scully, Op. No. 27391 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 29), is available online.
The Court held when the Department of Corrections (Department) decides its original recordation of a sentence is erroneous, it must afford the inmate formal notice of the amended sentence and advise him of his opportunity to be heard through the grievance procedure. The Court further noted that though the Department is generally confined to the face of the sentencing sheets in determining the length of a sentence, it may refer to the sentencing transcript if there is an ambiguity in the sentencing sheets. Because the Court found both the sentencing sheets and transcript in this case are ambiguous, the Court held Tant’s sentences run concurrently for a total of 15 years’ imprisonment, not 40. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision as modified.
Tant v. SCDOC, Op. No. 27392 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 32), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion.
The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Administrative Law Court (ALC), finding ALC did not err in finding Be Mi met the seating requirements for a restaurant liquor license, had control over the deck, or had a contract to use the premises.
Be Mi, Inc. v. SCDR, Op. No. 5233 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 45), is available online.
The court reversed Bennett’s convictions, finding the trial court erred in denying Bennett’s motion for directed verdict because the State failed to present substantial circumstantial evidence to reasonably prove his guilt.
State v. Bennett, Op. No. 5234 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 55), is available online.
The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) appealed the decision of the Administrative Law Court (ALC), asserting ALC exceeded its scope of review when it reversed SCDEW’s decision and found Morrow was eligible for unemployment benefits. The court affirmed the decision of ALC, finding the record lacked substantial evidence to support SCDEW’s finding that Morrow was ineligible for benefits. In addition, the court determined SCDEW’s contention that ALC failed to consider Morrow’s controlling interest in her employer was without merit.
Morrow v. SCDEW, Op. No. 5235 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 28, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 21 at 61), is available online.
Judge Williams dissented in a separate opinion.
By order of May 23 the Court placed Joenathan Chaplin on interim suspension. Peyre Lumpkin is the receiver.
By order of May 28 the Court imposed a public reprimand with additional conditions on Bruce Robert Hoffman for misconduct including charging an unreasonable fee and commingling personal and client funds.
By order of May 28 the Court imposed a two-year suspension with additional conditions on David Allen Swanner for misconduct including trust account mismanagement and failing to properly inform clients regarding concurrent conflicts of interest.
Allan E. Fulmer Sr., 93, of Columbia died May 23. His obituary can be found here.
Joseph David Matlock, 74, of Lancaster died April 2. His obituary can be found here.
Eryc Jordan Riddle, 28, of Groveton, Ga. died May 14. His obituary can be found here.
Harmon and Felts, PA announces the opening of a Pawleys Island office located at 13089 Ocean Hwy., Ste. D3, 29585. (843) 237-7810.
Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, Adjutant General for the S.C. National Guard, announces that Thad L. Myers has become Brigadier General and was appointed Assistant Adjutant General for the S.C. Air National Guard. Brig. Gen. Myers can be contacted at 1422 Laurel St., Columbia 29201, (803) 252-0005.
McNair Law Firm, PA announces that Adam Artigliere has joined the Greenville office located at 104 S. Main St., Ste. 700, 29601. (864) 271 4940.
Williams Law Firm, LLC announces its relocation to 1500 Hwy. 17, N., Ste. 102, Surfside Beach 29575. (843) 357-5100.
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Task Force on Attorney Wellness Meeting, Bar Building
Solo and Small Firm Section Council Meeting, Bar Building
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Ethics Advisory Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
S.C. Supreme Court Institute, Columbia
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Conference Center
To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at www.sccourts.org/ais.