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Minutes August 2012

The Military & Veterans’ Law Section Council met this date. Participating members included Col. Barry J. Bernstein, Cpt. Richard L. Donaldson, Dorothy H. Edgerton, Thomas A. McDermott, Timothy W. Murphy, O. Eugene Powell and Lawrence G. Wedekind. Guest included Cpt. Daniel Hancock. Participating via conference call were Hugh H. DuBose, II, William D. Kelly and Judge James E. Lockemy. Representing Bar staff was Tara G. Smith.

Chairperson Donaldson called the meeting to order.

The first item of business was approval of the minutes from the May 9, 2012, meeting. Col. Bernstein moved approval of the minutes. Cpt. Donaldson seconded the motion, and it was approved.

The next item of business was discussion on the 2013 Fall Section Seminar. Ms. Smith welcomed feedback on potential dates and locations. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Council to host the event at the Bar Conference Center. Ms. Smith was to check available dates and report her findings to the Council. The Council was to appoint a coordinator at the next meeting.

Next was discussion on Section participation at Bridge the Gap (BTG). Ms. Smith reminded the Council that the CLE Division had agreed to allow the Section to display materials at BTG. Ms. Smith was to compile resources and asked the Council to email her additional information to be included in the pamphlet. She noted that the next program was scheduled for October 1st – 3rd in Columbia.

Next was discussion on the Stand Down for the Homeless project. It was noted that Maj. McNorrill was to coordinate with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The event was scheduled in Charleston to be held in the fall. Ms. Smith was to obtain additional information from Maj. McNorrill to begin promoting the project.

Next was an update on the Veterans Court program. Col. Bernstein stated that the Section would continue assisting Veterans Administration with the project.

Cpt. Richardson discussed hosting a CLE regarding SCRA. He stated that the Harpootlian Law Firm and Appleseed Legal Justice Center were working on a proposed Cy Pres fund that would provide funding for financial education programs for military members and their dependents. Representatives from the Fort Jackson legal community had provided input on how to best implement the proposal. Cpt. Richardson noted that one of the issues addressed was the lack of familiarity of some attorneys with the SCRA. He asked if the Council was interested in partnering with the Appleseed Legal Justice Center to provide a CLE/training to attorneys on the applicability of the SCRA to SC civil actions. He welcomed feedback from the Council. It was suggested that a program be hosted every other year when the Section did not conduct a fall seminar. Cpt. Richardson was to relay the Council’s interest to Sue Berkowtiz. He was to provide an update at the next meeting.

Ms. Smith reminded the Council to contact Terry Burnett, CLE Director, regarding any interest in producing a distance learning video.

Next was discussion on law school outreach. Col. Bernstein announced that LTG. Dana Chipman was scheduled to make a presentation to students at the USC School of Law on Friday, November 16th at 9:00 a.m. He asked if the Section was interested in sponsoring a breakfast for attendees. He noted that the event would target military professors and 2L and 3L students with previous military experience. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Council that the Section sponsor the breakfast. Cpt. Hancock was to forward additional information to the Council regarding the location of the program.

Next was discussion on revamping the Section website. It was suggested to include resourceful links such as contact information to military legal assistance offices, legislative updates, special programs, etc. Ms. Smith asked that the Council email her additional recommendations to include on the website.

It was reported that the next Council meeting was scheduled for October. Additional information was forthcoming.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.