News + Press

July 3, 2014

June 27, 2014

Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast! 
July 3, 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.

Lawyers fight for America’s founding principles
In observance of the Fourth of July holiday, The State published S.C. Bar President Cal Watson's opinion column celebrating S.C. lawyers' dedication to the rule of law. Read it online.

Court declines proposal
The Court has declined to adopt the Bar’s proposals concerning Family Court to eliminate the requirement of certified mail for notice to unrepresented litigants and to have a 10-day notice of the merit hearing in matters where answers are not filed.

Fee memoranda
The S.C. Judicial Department posted the following fee memoranda to its website: 
county treasurers, magistrates and municipal judges, and clerks of court and registers of deed

PMAP Tech Tip
Looking for a good dictation app? If you just need to dictate a short message for an e-mail or text message, the built-in voice function on most smart phones or mobile devices will do the trick. For a longer e-mail or letter, use the free
Dragon Dictation app. If you want something that gives your device more of the features available with a traditional handheld recorder, check out Dictate + Connect. Although it’s a little pricey for an app at $16.99, it gives you the same functionality as a handheld recorder right on your mobile device. Contact PMAP for free assistance with your law practice at

Enjoy FedEx Fridays!
FedEx® offers Bar members a discount of up to 26 percent on its services.
Register for an account by using passcode 6FGM41. Through Sept. 15, sign up for a FedEx account or register an existing account and receive an exclusive offer every Friday. A random selection of registrants will also receive a “special delivery” above and beyond Friday offers.

Thank You, Bev Carroll—FY 14 Bar Foundation President
The Bar Foundation was fortunate to have Bev Carroll as its president this year! As the Foundation welcomes its new officers, it thanks Bev for everything she did to make this year a success for it and its 18 grantees. Read her final thoughts on FY 14 in the Foundation's
latest blog. To make a tribute gift to the Foundation in honor of Bev, download the donor form or make your gift online.

S.C. Fair Housing Center
The S.C. Fair Housing Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization for the enforcement of the federal Fair Housing Act, is accepting fair housing discrimination complaints statewide. Complainants may call 1-855-665-8549, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For questions, call Executive Director Tina L. Brown at (803) 403-8447, ext. 104.

Advance Sheet update
June 30, 2014
This opinion, originally filed April 23, 2014, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled June 30, 2014. Hendricks appealed his convictions, asserting the trial court erred in admitting a recording of the victim’s mother’s 911 call in which the mother’s statement to the 911 operator repeated the victim’s statement of what Hendricks did to her. The S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed, finding the trial court correctly admitted the victim’s statement and that while it erred in admitting the mother’s statement, Hendricks suffered no prejudice from the error.
State v. Hendricks, Op. No. 5225 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 81), is available

In this workers’ compensation appeal, the court held the single commissioner should not have refused to hear certain testimony and therefore remanded this matter to the Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) for a redetermination of Fore’s benefits with the directive that full consideration be given to that testimony. The court further held the letter at issue was not an ex parte communication between the respondents and the Commission, and therefore, Fore is not entitled to have an independent tribunal appointed to determine her benefits. Although the court held Fore did not show prejudice from the single commissioner’s refusal to remove the letter from the record, the court agreed with Fore that the refusal was error. In view of its decision to remand the matter to allow for the disputed testimony, the court also directed the letter be removed from the record.
Fore v. Griffco of Wampee, Inc., Op. No. 5242 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 90), is available

In this workers’ compensation dispute, the court reversed the Appellate Panel’s order, which reversed the single commissioner’s order and dismissed Levi’s claims, because the order from the single commissioner denying employer’s motion to dismiss was not immediately appealable. Accordingly, the court vacated the Appellate Panel’s order and remanded for dismissal of employer’s appeal.
Levi v. Northern Anderson County EMS, Op. No. 5243 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 102), is available

Thompson appealed the circuit court’s order dismissing his declaratory judgment action. The court affirmed, finding the circuit court acted properly in determining no justiciable controversy existed because the question of whether Thompson should be required to register as a sex offender is not ripe for adjudication. As to Thompson’s other issues on appeal, the court held the circuit court properly determined any issue relating to Thompson’s classification as a sex offender must first be addressed through administrative proceedings.
Thompson v. State, Op. No. 5244 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 112), is available
Judge Thomas dissented in a separate opinion.

The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the appellants’ directed verdict and JNOV motions on the civil conspiracy and contract claims, but reversed and remanded this case upon finding the trial court erred in: admitting the preliminary injunction order into evidence; admitting into evidence portions of an expert’s written report that discussed the preliminary injunction order; and in failing to grant the appellants’ directed verdict and JNOV motions as to the claims for fraud and negligent representation. Based on its disposition of the above issues, the court declined to address the remaining issues on appeal.
Allegro v. Scully, Op. No. 5245 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 118), is available

The court affirmed Johnson’s conviction for trafficking methamphetamine, holding the circuit court acted within its discretion in admitting the evidence obtained in the search of the hotel room. The court also held the circuit court did not err in ruling as a matter of law that all of the mixture that contained methamphetamine would count towards its weight, in admitting such evidence or in ordering defense counsel not to argue that fact to the jury.
State v. Johnson, Op. No. 5246 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 137), is available

After finding the issue in this appeal was preserved for appellate review, the court determined the victim’s statements were testimonial, and because there is no evidence the victim was unavailable and no evidence Haygood ever had the opportunity to cross-examine the victim, the admission of the statements violated Haygood’s Sixth Amendment confrontation rights. The court recognized the difficulties the State often encounters in prosecuting criminal domestic violence cases, but was constrained to reverse Haygood’s conviction and remand for a new trial consistent with this opinion.
State v. Haygood, Op. No. 5247 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 30, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 152), is available
Judge Pieper concurred in result only. Judge Thomas concurred in result only in a separate opinion.

July 2, 2014
The S.C. Supreme Court affirmed Wessinger’s convictions, finding the circuit court did not err in denying his request for a full evidentiary hearing before determining his offense should be classified as sexually violent for purposes of the Sexually Violent Predator Act.
State v. Wessinger, Op. No. 27404 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 2, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 18), is available

The Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari and affirmed as modified the decision of the Court of Appeals. The Court held the Lexington Narcotics Enforcement Team agreement was invalid as it did not satisfy the statutory requirements of either S.C. Code Section 23-1-210 or S.C. Code Section 23-1-215. Despite the invalidity of the agreement, however, the Court found the Court of Appeals correctly affirmed Burgess’ conviction because the officer’s lack of authority to arrest Burgess did not negate the agents’ authority to do so. Moreover, the Court found the Court of Appeals correctly upheld the trial judge’s decision prohibiting Burgess from cross-examining the officer regarding his personnel records as it discerned no abuse of discretion.
State v. Burgess, Op. No. 27405 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 2, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 23), is available
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.

In this appeal from a divorce action, the Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals regarding alimony, equitable division and attorney’s fees and reinstated the family court’s order as to those issues. In resolving the issue of alimony, the Court opined that family courts may, in some cases, but are not required in every instance, to impute income based on a party’s eligibility to receive social security benefits.
Crossland v. Crossland, Op. No. 27406 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 2, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 41), is available

The Court affirmed Reid’s convictions, finding the introduction of his fourth statement to law enforcement was not a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the trial court did not err in failing to direct a verdict of acquittal on the charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
State v. Reid, Op. No. 27407 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 2, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 55), is available

The Court affirmed the circuit court’s imposition of lifetime GPS monitoring on Nation for his probation violations. The Court noted that, although Nation must comply with the GPS monitoring, he is entitled to avail himself of the judicial review process at periodic intervals as required by State v. Dykes, 403 S.C. 499, 744 S.E.2d 505 (2013), and In re Justin B., 405 S.C. 391, 747 S.E.2d 774 (2013).
State v. Nation, Op. No. 27408 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 2, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 26 at 67), is available
Justice Hearn dissented in a separate opinion in which Justice Beatty concurred.

Member discipline
By order of
July 2 the Court issued a public reprimand (with additional conditions) on Kenneth B. Massey of Calabash, NC for making a false statement of a material fact to a tribunal.

Interim suspensions
By order of 
June 27 the Court placed Kathleen Devereaux Cauthen on interim suspension. Peyre Lumpkin is the receiver.

By order of 
July 2 the Court placed George Hunter McMaster on interim suspension. Peyre Lumpkin, Receiver, was appointed to assume responsibility for Mr. McMaster’s files.

Member reinstatements
By order of June 27 the Court reinstated Ernessa Brawley McKie as a Regular Member.

By order of June 30 the Court reinstated George Randall Taylor as a Regular Member.

In memoriam
H. Stanley Feldman, 60, of Charleston died June 30. His obituary can be found here.

The Hon. B. Ray Woodard, 71, of Walterboro died July 1. His obituary can be found here.

Firm announcements
Rebecca L. Cutler announces the opening of Cutler Law Firm, LLC located at 1156 Bowman Rd., Ste. 200, Mt. Pleasant 29464. (843) 576-1416.

Elrod Pope Law Firm announces that Andrew W. Creech has become a partner in the firm located at 212 E. Black St., Rock Hill 29730. (803) 324-7574.

Morton & Gettys, Attorneys at Law
announces that John Mark Shiflet has joined the York office as an associate located at 616 E. Liberty St., 29745. (803) 684-9604.

Rothstein Law Firm, PA
announces its relocation to 1312 Augusta St., Greenville 29605. (864) 232-5870.

Thomas L. Stephenson and Brian P. Murphy announce the opening of Stephenson & Murphy, LLC located at 207 Whitsett St., Greenville 29601, (864) 370-9400 and that C. Alexander Cable has joined the firm as an associate.

July 8
Project Citizen Training, Bar Building

July 10
Community Association Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

July 11
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

July 14
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building

July 15
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Conventions Committee Meeting, Conference Call
We the People Training, Bar Building

July 17
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
Torts and Insurance Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

July 18
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call

July 24
Foundations of Democracy Training, Bar Building

July 25
ADR Commission Meeting, Bar Building

July 29
Law Related Education Technology Training, Bar Building
Senior Lawyers Division Executive Council Meeting, Bar Building

July 30
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

July 31
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 5
Military and Veterans' Law Section Council Meeting, Bar Building

August 6
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

August 7
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call

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