July 10, 2014
July 07, 2014
Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
July 10, 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.
South Carolina lawyers targeted in serious scams
The Bar has received numerous reports of several sophisticated, convincing scams currently circulating that target S.C. lawyers. They involve actual companies and people, and plausible facts. Besides e-mail, the “clients” may actually call the lawyers to further enhance the “legitimacy” of the scam. However, checks sent to the lawyers, according to the financial institutions where presented, are fraudulent; often they are real checks that have been altered. Scams include the companies Red Band UK and Bernard Stilwell Architects. While these are legitimate companies, they are being used as part of the scam. Please be aware that not all scams rely solely on e-mail and to thoroughly investigate all new matters, particularly where a foreign entity/person is involved. And never disburse funds from your trust account until you are sure they are good. For more on trust accounting refer to Trust Accounting and Financial Recordkeeping in South Carolina by Barbara Seymour. Unfortunately, unless you have actually been defrauded, there is little that you can do other than report the scam and warn others. For a thorough examination of cybercrime and law firms, read this issue of LawPRO magazine. The article on Commercial Debt Collection Fraud is particularly instructive. For advice, you may also contact Risk Management Director Jill Rothstein or PMAP Director Courtney Kennaday.
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission is accepting applications for the judicial offices listed on this media release. Correspondence and questions should be directed to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission: Jane O. Shuler, Chief Counsel, P.O. Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202, (803) 212-6629. The Commission will not accept applications after noon on Thursday, Aug. 7. For more information, click here.
Summer of Standards
In 1993, the House of Delegates adopted Principles and Standards of Professionalism. While the Rules of Professional Conduct are mandates, the Standards are aspirational and intended to be a guide to higher thinking and conduct. This summer, the Bar will publish each of the 10 Principles in E-Blast as a helpful reminder, and link to the aspirational Standards of Professionalism for further reference.
Principle 1: A lawyer should revere the law, the judicial system and the legal profession and should, at all times in the lawyer’s professional and private lives, uphold the dignity and esteem of each, and exercise the right to improve it.
ODC releases annual reports
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel has released its Annual Report of Judicial Discipline and Annual Report of Lawyer Discipline for 2013-2014. View more information on the ODC and past reports online.
PMAP Practice Pointer
Heads up—the Bar’s Lending Library has new books! If you need pointers on practice management, billing and finance, marketing or technology for your office, check out the list of available books and follow these instructions to check them out. Some of the newest titles are: The 2014 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, The Lawyer’s Guide to Financial Planning, Practicing Law in Small-Town America, Flying Solo, Fifth Edition: A Survival Guide for the Solo & Small Firm Lawyer, and How to Achieve Success After the Bar Exam: A Step-by-Step Action Plan. Contact PMAP for free assistance with your law practice at email@example.com.
Lawyers Helping Lawyers supports suicide prevention
The S.C. Bar Lawyers Helping Lawyers program is supporting efforts of the S.C. Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the 10th annual Columbia Out of the Darkness Community Walk. The event will take place on Oct. 26 at Columbia Riverfront Park (312 Laurel St.) from 2 to 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs. To register, donate or learn more, visit www.outofthedarkness.org or call (803) 667-9853.
Public access to Appellate Case Management System expanded
Public access to the Appellate Case Management System has been expanded to include certiorari proceedings seeking review of decisions of the S.C. Court of Appeals (excluding family court cases).
July Bar Foundation grantee activities
What better way to celebrate freedom and justice this month than with a Bar Foundation grantee! Join Richland County CASA for its Quarterback Cookout or volunteer at one of the many help clinics. View the full list of events for dates, locations and appropriate contact personnel. Want Bar Foundation grantee activities in your inbox? Click here to add the grantee activities calendar to your Outlook Calendar.
SCCID hiring two appellate defenders
The S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense is accepting applications for two appellate defender positions. Read the announcement for complete information.
Advance Sheet update
July 9, 2014
In this dispute concerning the validity of a mechanic’s lien, the S.C. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari, reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and remanded for further proceedings. The Court concluded summary judgment was improperly awarded because Ferguson Fire followed the statutory procedures under S.C. Code Section 29-5-40 to establish a valid mechanic’s lien upon which a foreclosure action could be maintained.
Ferguson Fire v. Preferred Fire, Op. No. 27410 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 27 at 19), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.
The Court determined the trial court’s grant of a six-month continuance did not violate the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act and the trial court did not err in refusing to allow evidence of another’s convictions. The Court, however, found the trial court did err in admitting the letter at issue to the jury, but affirmed after finding the error was harmless.
State v. Hill, Op. No. 27411 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 27 at 33), is available online.
In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed the circuit court order finding the state grand jury lacked subject matter jurisdiction to investigate a violation of the Ethics, Government Accountability and Campaign Reform Act, and remanded the matter to the circuit court for a decision on whether the attorney general should be disqualified from participating in the state grand jury proceedings.
Robert Harrell v. Attorney General of the State of South Carolina, Op. No. 27412 (S.C. Sup Ct. filed July 9, 2014) is available online.
This opinion, originally filed March 19, 2014, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled July 9, 2014. The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Appellate Panel and remanded the case to address Beckman’s eligibility for an award under S.C. Code Section 42-9-20 because the Appellate Panel’s finding that Beckman’s injury was confined to a scheduled member is not supported by substantial evidence.
Beckman v. Sysco Columbia, LLC, Op. No. 5205 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 27 at 42), is available online.
This opinion, originally filed May 21, 2014, was withdrawn, substituted and refiled July 9, 2014. The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Jenkins’ request to provide the circumstantial evidence instruction articulated in State v. Edwards, 298 S.C. 272, 379 S.E.2d 888 (1989), 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 July 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 27 at 50), is available online.
Kathleen Chewning Barnes announces the opening of Barnes Law Firm, LLC located at 607 2nd St., E., P.O. Box 897, Hampton 29924. (803) 943-4529.
Digna Ochoa Center for Immigration Legal Assistance announces that Olivia S. Jones has joined the organization located at 1226 Pickens St., Ste. 201, Columbia 29201. (803) 929-1940.
Jamrosyk Law Firm, LLC announces its relocation to 21 Gamecock Ave., Ste. A, Charleston 29407, (843) 868-1198 and that Cassandra Hutchens has joined the firm as an associate.
Nancy T. Jordan, Kathryn M. Rauton and M. David Scott announce the opening of Jordan, Rauton & Scott, LLC located at 146 E. Main St., Lexington 29072. (803) 785-7878.
Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA announces that Charles E. Ipock has joined the Florence office located at 319 S. Irby St., 29501. (843) 662-9008.
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Conventions Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Board of Governors Meeting, Conference Call
Torts and Insurance Practices Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Animal Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
ADR Commission Meeting, Bar Building
International Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Senior Lawyers Division Executive Council Meeting, Conference Center
Environment and Natural Resources Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Workers' Compensation Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Corporate, Banking and Securities Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Military and Veterans' Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Center
Construction Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Health Care Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Government Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Employment and Labor Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
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.