July 24, 2014
July 22, 2014
Welcome to the South Carolina Bar's E-Blast!
July 24, 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.
Request for written comments
The S.C. Bar proposed amending Rule 45(b)(1) of the S.C. Rules of Civil Procedure to alter how witness fees and reimbursement for mileage are tendered to witnesses subpoenaed to testify at proceedings. The Court elected to defer taking action on the proposed change pending receipt of written public comments. Persons desiring to submit written comments regarding the proposal may do so by filing an original and seven copies of their written comments with the Supreme Court. The written comments must be sent to: The Hon. Daniel E. Shearouse, Clerk of Court, Supreme Court of South Carolina, P.O. Box 11330, Columbia, SC 29211. Written comments must be received by Aug. 20. Additionally, the Court requests an electronic version of the comments in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by that same date.
Court approves amendment to Rule 408(a)(2), SCACR
The Court approved a proposal by the S.C. Bar amending Rule 408(a)(2), SCACR, to include instruction in stress management as an additional option to the requirement that members who are not exempt receive instruction once every three years in substance abuse or mental health issues. Paragraph A of the rule was also amended to include the stress management option for specialists certified pursuant to the rule.
Wanted: Your photos for the South Carolina Lawyer magazine!
Be sure to check out pages 54-55 of the July issue of the South Carolina Lawyer for photos of your colleagues in action. We want to hear from you, too! Send an "action" photo of your community service or pro bono work to email@example.com for inclusion in an upcoming issue. To view the feature online, click here.
PMAP Tech Tip
Are you saving your Microsoft Office documents to the hard drive on your PC? If you aren’t adequately backing up your hard drive, your files may be at risk (e.g. if your computer crashes or is damaged or stolen). If you have a Microsoft account, you can save your documents, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations to the cloud using Microsoft OneDrive. If you’re using the subscription-based Office 365, you already have a Microsoft account. If not, you can create an account for free. Read these instructions on saving your documents to OneDrive and some of the perks of doing so. Contact PMAP for free assistance with your law practice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rule 41.2, SCRCP
By order of July 18 the Court found the provisions of Rule 41.2, SCRCP do not apply to filings in family and probate court that are confidential and not publicly accessible.
Adoption of Rule 426, SCACR
The Court adopted Rule 426, SCACR, and amended Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, effective immediately, regarding the provision of legal services following a determination of a major disaster.
SCCA Form 474, Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Certificate
By order of July 16 the Court approved SCCA Form 474, Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Certificate, for use in S.C. family courts.
Preserve history: Become a member of the S.C. Supreme Court Historical Society
Though the S.C. Supreme Court Historical Society has been around for many, it's missing one thing: You! Click here to see the benefits of a Society membership and how you can play a part in preserving the history of courts in South Carolina.
Nominations for 2014 Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement
Sen. Strom Thurmond established the Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement to recognize S.C. law enforcement officers whose performance demonstrates the highest ideals of excellence in law enforcement. Download the nomination form and submit it by Aug. 22.
Advance Sheet update
July 23, 2014
The S.C. Supreme Court certified a question from the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and held that, under the facts of this case, the rule that a contract of indemnity will not be construed to indemnify the indemnitee against losses resulting from its own negligent acts, unless such intention is expressed in clear and unequivocal terms, does not apply when the indemnitee seeks contractual indemnification for costs and expenses resulting in part from its own strict liability acts.
Ashley II v. PCS Nitrogen, Op. No. 27420 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 18), is available online.
The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the denial of Weik’s application for capital post-conviction relief (PCR) and reversed the decision of the PCR court. The Court held Weik had established his entitlement to a new sentencing hearing as a result of trial counsel’s failure to present available mitigating evidence regarding his social history. The court opined, “decisions made in ignorance of relevant, available information cannot be characterized as strategic.” Accordingly, the Court remanded the case for a new sentencing hearing.
Weik v. State, Op. No. 27421 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 24), is available online.
The Court granted Ranucci’s petition for a writ of certiorari, reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case to the circuit court, holding S.C. Code Section 15-79-125(A) incorporates S.C. Code Section 15-36-100(C)(1) in its entirety. Thus, the Court opined, Ranucci could invoke S.C. Code Section 15-36-100(C)(1), which extended the time for filing the expert witness affidavit and tolled the applicable statute of limitations.
Ranucci v. Crain, Op. No. 27422 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 49), is available online.
Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.
Having reversed the Court of Appeals' decision in Ranucci v. Crain, 397 S.C. 168, 723 S.E.2d 242 (Ct. App. 2012), the Court held Wilkinson could invoke S.C. Code Section 15-36-100(C)(1), which extended the time for filing the expert witness affidavit with her notice of intent to file suit (NOI) and tolled the statute of limitations. As a result, the Court determined Wilkinson timely filed her complaint. Moreover, Wilkinson was not required to file a second expert witness affidavit in order to properly initiate her civil action because the affidavit filed with her NOI was sufficient for statutory compliance. Accordingly, the Court reversed the decision of the circuit court and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Wilkinson v. East Cooper Community Hospital, Op. No. 27423 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 67), is available online.
Justice Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.
In this suit for false imprisonment, the S.C. Court of Appeals determined the trial court’s findings of fact were insufficient under Rule 52(a), SCRCP, and remanded for more detailed findings as to whether Mack met his burden of proving the sheriff did not have probable cause to arrest him.
Mack v. Lott, Op. No. 5248 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 85), is available online.
Williams appealed his convictions, arguing the trial court erred in excluding evidence that the stepbrother of one of the victims sexually abused her. The court affirmed, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the evidence.
State v. Williams, Op. No. 5249 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 89), is available online.
In this declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of coverage under an insurance policy, Precision Walls, Inc. appealed the trial court’s order, which found no coverage and granted judgment in favor of Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. The court affirmed, finding coverage was barred under the “your work” exclusion of the policy and the circuit court did not err in its construction of the policy. Based on its disposition of the abovementioned issues, the court declined to address the remaining issues on appeal.
Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance, Op. No. 5250 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 23, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 103), is available online.
The Committee on Character and Fitness has scheduled a hearing on August 27 on the petition for reinstatement of Gregory Lance Morris.
The Committee on Character and Fitness invites comments by September 20 on the petition for reinstatement of Kristie Ann McAuley.
John Potter Hazzard IV, 79, of Concord, NC died July 18. His obituary can be found here.
Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP announces that R. Michael Ethridge has been elected a member of the leadership team located at 40 Calhoun St., Ste. 400, Charleston 29401. (843) 266-8201.
Chappell, Smith & Arden, PA announces that Graham Newman has joined the firm located at 1510 Calhoun St., Columbia 29201. (803) 929-3600.
Collins & Lacy, PC announces that Christopher Adams, Christian Stegmaier and Scott Wallinger have been elected to the management committee located at 1330 Lady St., 6th Floor, Columbia 29201. (803) 256-2660.
The S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff announces that Andrew M. Bateman has joined the legal department as staff attorney located at 1401 Main St., Ste. 900, Columbia 29201. (803) 737-0800.
Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, LLC announces that Charles W. Whetstone III has joined the Columbia office located at 601 Devine St., 29201, (803) 799-9400 and that M. Amanda Shuler has joined the Kingstree office located at 112 W. Main St., 29556, (843) 355-2800.
Young Clement Rivers, LLP announces that Jason A. Daigle and Frank K. Staiano have become associates in the Charleston office located at 25 Calhoun St., 29401. (843) 577-4000.
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
Lawyer Wellness Task Force Meeting, Nelson Mullins (Columbia)
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
Annual Meeting of the Chairs, Conference Center
Diversity in the Bar Task Force Meeting, Bowman and Brooke
To be added or deleted from the E-Blast mailing list, please contact Donna Oelhafen in Membership Services at email@example.com or (803) 799-6653, ext. 171. To change your e-mail address, you must log on to AIS at www.sccourts.org/ais.