Minutes May 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014, at 9:15 A.M.


The Council convened at the date, time and place indicated above.

Members Participating:
Sowell, Thornwell F. III, Chair
Brown, Henry
Cooke, M. Dawes
Crowe, Danny
Hinson, Richard L.
Keefer, Sean F.
Kinon, Hon. Lisa A.

Manley, J. Todd
Massalon, John A.

Bar Staff:
Brown, Joan
Bopp, Cheryl

Call to Order, Roll Call and Welcome

Section Chair Mr. Sowell called the meeting to order and welcomed those participating.

Approval of Prior Minutes
The Minutes of the March 28, 2014 meeting were adopted by acclamation.

Old Business
Taken out of order, the Council first discussed the proposed Ethics Advisory Opinion regarding the ethical duty to pay mediators. A couple of approaches were suggested: (1) Mr. Crowe would complete his request for an ethics advisory opinion; and (2) Mr. Hinson would ask the Court for a rule change. Judge Kinon reported that after addressing the issue with a Supreme Court Justice that there was reluctance by the Supreme Court to propose rule changes on a piecemeal basis, especially during a time when the legislature had such a small percentage of lawyers. She said the Court may be more receptive if the vision were inserted into a comprehensive rule change for November. Mr. Sowell requested that Mr. Crowe redraft the Ethics Advisory Committee inquiry, then send it out by email to the Council for review. Following a comment period the Council would take an Internet vote depending on the timing of Mr. Crowe’s report. Mr. Sowell asked Mr. Hinson to take the lead and work on drafting a rule so it could be inserted on the agenda in November.

Mr. Sowell reported that he had reviewed the Bar Convention Surveys he received from Cindy Coker and that all the comments regarding the various presenters were positive.

Mr. Sowell reported a collaboration among Danny Crowe, several others and him regarding conducting a Young Lawyers Guide to Dispute Resolution seminar. It was decided that it would be a three-hour seminar, including an ethics topic. Ms. Brown would investigate the amount of money in the budget that could be used and report to the Council.

The Council discussed the success rate for ADR in Richland and Charleston counties. Mr. Crowe had called Ann Kelly, Deputy Clerk for Richland County, and was awaiting her response. Mr. Massalon had reached out to Julie Armstrong, Clerk of Court for Charleston County, who had made no comment, and Danny Mullis, who had kept informal information, but nothing that would fall into the statistics category. Mr. Mullis suggested that Mr. Massalon send him specific questions, and he would try to figure out the answers. Mr. Sowell polled the Council members for their firms’ mediation success rates. Danny Crowe reported 70%; Mr. Sowell reported two-thirds (up from 10% ten years ago); Mr. Brown reported 60-70%; Mr. Manley reported that family court had a higher success rate but that the 60-day mediation requirements were not working. Mr. Keefer agreed. Mr. Massalon commented he had had no success with pre-litigation medical malpractice. Mr. Crowe and Mr. Sowell both reported that the pre-litigation medical malpractice mediation cases were being treated cursorily. Ms. Brown was asked to add this topic to the agenda for the next meeting to discuss Ms. Kelly’s input.

Mr. Crowe reported that he had contacted Charmy Medlin concerning the Law Student Affiliate Division and was awaiting her response. Ms. Brown would follow-up with Mrs. Medlin concerning the program.

Mr. Keefer reported that Judge Kinon had agreed to do an overview of the ADR Commission at the 2015 Bar Convention to be held in Columbia. He planned to have Jill HaLevi coordinate something with the family court and had spoken to Mr. Cooke about doing something from the stand point of civil court arbitration. Mr. Keefer reported he had reached out to contacts in North Carolina to bring in some out-of-state speakers. He proposed asking presenters to consider adding something about early mediation, pre-suit mediation, and preparation for a successful mediation. Mr. Sowell stressed the importance of targeting the family law market. Judge Kinon suggested the topic of early neutral evaluation be added to the program. Mr. Sowell asked Ms. Brown if the section had the money to have a dinner for the Council after the seminar. Ms. Brown confirmed there should be money for the dinner.

Next Meeting
Mr. Sowell scheduled the next conference call meeting for May 30, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.

There being no further business, the Chair declared the meeting adjourned.

Young Lawyers Guide to Dispute Resolution seminar committee:
Mr. Gallivan, Chair
Mr. Crowe
Ms. HaLevi
Mr. Hinson

Offering to help were Mr. Sowell and Mr. Keefer.