April 10, 2014
April 09, 2014
Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
April 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.
State of the Judiciary address available online
Chief Justice Jean Toal delivered her State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly on Wednesday. The speech was broadcast live on the Internet and has been archived, along with the PowerPoint presentation, on the Judicial Department website.
Electronic transfers from trust accounts
By order of April 10 the Court adopted a portion of a recommendation from the Bar to permit the electronic transfer from trust accounts of recording fees, submission fees, filing fees and similar fees.
Newly-discovered computer bug causing widespread problems
Dubbed the “Heartbleed Bug,” it’s been around for perhaps two years, but was just recently discovered. It has been called “as bad as it is possible for a security flaw to be.” The bug undermines the security of thousands of websites that use the popular security software OpenSSL (signified by the “https” in a URL or that little lock icon). Unfortunately, experts believe it can render your PC, phone, e-mail server and other services vulnerable also. Because the extent of the damage is still being assessed, keep informed by searching “heartbleed” in Google News regularly. Get the basics by reading What Lawyers Need to Know About the Heartbleed Bug and Mashable's how-to article.
MCLE suspension deadline April 15
To date, more than 200 lawyers have not established compliance with the 2013-2014 MCLE requirements. Pursuant to Rule 419, SCACR, if these lawyers do not earn sufficient accredited CLE hours (or have carry-forward hours from the previous reporting period), file their reports and pay the fees by April 15, 2014, they will be suspended from the practice of law by order of the S.C. Supreme Court. Compliance reports and fees must be received in the Commission’s office by Tuesday, April 15, to avoid suspension; it is not sufficient if they are mailed by this date. Questions should be directed to the Commission at (803) 799-5578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For those Bar members still in need of live seminar hours, the CLE Division is holding a video replay tomorrow, April 11.
Four ways to magnify legal services in the Midlands
The Bar Foundation is gearing up for its participation in Midlands Gives—a 24-hour online giving event that will take place May 6. The Foundation welcomes your gift, but also knows many lawyers enjoy supporting grantees directly. Meet four grantees participating in Midlands Gives by reading the Foundation’s latest blog post and see how a donation on May 6 will support legal services in the Midlands. Subscribe to the Foundation’s blog to receive direct updates from the Foundation.
Applications for specialization certification
The Commission on CLE and Specialization is accepting 2014 applications for specialization certification through May 31. Specialization may be acquired in the following fields of practice: bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law; employment and labor law; estate planning and probate law; and taxation law. Applications for certification can be found on the Commission’s website. Questions should be directed to the Commission at (803) 799-5578 or email@example.com.
Compleat Lawyer honorees announced
The USC School of Law has announced the 2014 Compleat Lawyer Award recipients: Platinum (30 or more years in profession): Beverly A. Carroll, A. Camden Lewis and Jack B. Swerling; Gold (15-29 years in profession): Mark C. Fava, E. Warren Moise and Flo Lester Vinson; Silver (14 years or less in profession): Shannon Furr Bobertz, William R. Johnson and Reid T. Sherard. The honorees will be recognized on April 24 at the Capstone Conference Center (902 Barnwell St., Columbia).
Advance Sheet update
April 9, 2014
After certifying this appeal pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, the S.C. Supreme Court affirmed, finding Shurling and her co-counsel were not entitled to attorney’s fees or reimbursement for general expenses in excess of those preapproved because they made no additional requests seeking prior approval for those fees or expenses.
Ex Parte Tara Dawn Shurling In Re: State v. Hacksaw, Op. No. 27375 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 17), is available online.
In this premises liability case, the Court reversed and remanded, noting it was premature to deprive Lord of the opportunity to present her case to a jury. The Court cited Bass v. Gopal, Inc.: “whether a business proprietor’s security measures were reasonable in light of a risk will, at many times, be identified by an expert,” 395 S.C. 129 at 141, 716 S.E.2d 910 at 917. Here, Lord presented such expert testimony. Thus, the Court opined, “[a]t this stage, it is not the role of the circuit court or this Court to determine whether Lord will prevail on her negligence claim, but whether she presented a mere scintilla of evidence to withstand ... [a] motion for summary judgment.”
Lord v. D&J Enterprises, Inc., Op. No. 27376 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 21), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in a separate opinion. Justice Kittredge dissented in a separate opinion.
After certifying this case pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, the Court concluded the appellants were not BB&T’s customers, but non-customer investors, and therefore were not owed a duty sufficient to support their claims. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the respondents were entitled to judgment as a matter of law as to all of the appellants’ claims.
Kerr v. BB&T, Op. No. 27379 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 52), is available online.
Justice Beatty did not participate in the opinion.
After emphasizing “not every action taken by a medical professional in a hospital or doctor’s office necessarily implicates medical malpractice and, consequently, the requirements of S.C. Code Section 15-79-125,” the Court determined Dawkins’ claim sounded in ordinary negligence and, therefore, did not have to meet the requirements associated with a medical malpractice claim. Accordingly, the Court reversed the decision of the circuit court dismissing her action for failure to comply with the medical malpractice pre-filing requirements and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Dawkins v. Union Hospital District, Op. No. 27380 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 9, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 59), is available online.
In this insurance dispute concerning uninsured motorist coverage, the Court held the Court of Appeals did not err in upholding the circuit court’s finding that the policy was unambiguous or in finding there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether Bell was in a common-law marriage at the time of the accident. The Court did recognize the doctrine of reasonable expectations, but found it was not applicable here as the insurance policy was unambiguous.
Bell v. Progressive Direct Insurance, Op. No. 27381 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 4, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 66), is available online.
Justice Pleicones concurred in result only.
Comments are sought by the Committee on Character and Fitness by June 3 on the petition for reinstatement of Gregory Lance Morris.
By order of April 9 the Court rescinded the order administratively suspending Butler C. Derrick Jr. and reinstated him as a Retired Member.
By order of April 9 the Court reinstated Angela R. Shirrell as a Limited Member (Rule 405).
By order of April 9 the Court imposed discipline on Charles William Berger, a lawyer licensed in Florida, who solicited S.C. clients via the Internet. Mr. Berger, who neither responded nor appeared, was deemed to have admitted to all misconduct, including filing frivolous pleadings, failure to safekeep property and failure to act with diligence and promptness in representation of a client. Mr. Berger is prohibited from seeking any admission in this state, including pro hac vice admission, without obtaining permission from the Court. Additional conditions were imposed.
By order of April 9 the Court disbarred Amelia Holt Lorenz (retroactive to November 1, 2012) for misconduct including failure to communicate with clients, failure to respond to disciplinary counsel and failure to properly terminate representation.
Shelly Leeke Law Firm announces that Amy McClaren and Ryan Sigal have joined the Goose Creek office located at 103 Laurel Ave., 29445. (843) 297-8485.
Elder Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
International Law Committee Meeting, Conference Call
LRE Mock Trial Subcommittee Meeting, Conference Center
Practice and Procedure Committee Meeting, Bar Building
Free legal clinic: Workers' Compensation (Spartanburg)
Free legal clinics: End of Life Issues (Aiken); Wills, Estate and Probate (Florence)
LRE Awards Subcommittee Meeting, Bar Building
Family Law Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section Council Meeting, Conference Call
Free legal clinics: Family Law (Myrtle Beach); Landlord/Tenant Law (Woodruff)
Employment and Labor Law Section Selection Committee Meeting, Conference Call
Free legal clinic: Real Estate Issues and Foreclosures (Lyman)
Children's Law Committee Meeting, Bar Building
LRE Committee Meeting, Rogers Townsend and Thomas
Professional Responsibility Committee Meeting, Bar Building
South Carolina Lawyer Editorial Board Meeting, Bar Building
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.