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Minutes May 2013

The Military & Veterans’ Law Section Council met this day at the Bar building. Participating members included Col. Barry Bernstein, Cpt. Richard L. Donaldson, Dorothy H. Edgerton, Ltc. William D. Kelly, III and Maj. Tom McDermott. Participating via conference call was Timothy W. Murphy. Representing Bar staff was Tara G. Caine.

Chairperson Donaldson called the meeting to order.

The first item of business was approval of the minutes from the February 7, 2013, meeting. Ms. Edgerton moved approval of the minutes. Col. Bernstein seconded the motion, and it was approved.

It was reported that the Section had $4,656.42 in its fund balance.

The next item of business was discussion on the fall seminar. Cpt. Donaldson announced that the seminar was scheduled for Thursday, October 3rd at the Bar Conference Center. He and Ms. Edgerton were to serve as course planners. They were to submit the proposed agenda to Ms. Caine by the end of June. Ms. Caine stated that the military coins would be distributed to members at the seminar.

Next was discussion on the 2014 Bar Convention scheduled for January 23-26 at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Ms. Caine announced that the Section seminar was tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 25th from 8:30 – 11:45 a.m. Cpt. Donaldson and Maj. McDermott were to serve as course planners. Cpt. Donaldson was to speak on SCRA regarding mortgage foreclosures. She stated that the Conventions Committee approached Sections regarding its interest in Convention sponsorship. They had proposed that Sections allow up to 3 sponsors to make a 3-minute presentation on their product during the Section seminars. Each sponsor would have to pay $1,850 for the 3-minute pitch. Funds would go directly to Conventions. She welcomed feedback from the Council. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Council not to allow sponsor presentations during the CLE. Ms. Caine was to relay the Council’s decision to the CLE Division.

Next, Ms. Edgerton announced that SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center and the Veteran Justice Outreach Program were to conduct a veterans’ legal clinic in the fall. The clinic would meet once a month at the VA Dorn Medical Center. She provided a brief overview of the project. Ms. Edgerton stated that the project would connect lower-income veterans with local attorneys that would provide pro bono legal representation on specific issues. She welcomed input from the Council and asked if the Section was interested in assisting with the clinics. Maj. McDermott moved that the Section recruit volunteers for the program. Cpt. Donaldson seconded the motion, and it was approved.

Ms. Caine was to distribute information through the Section listserv and post on the Bar website.

It was reported that the Stand Down for the Homeless project was scheduled for October 31st and November 1st in Charleston. Ms. Caine was to distribute additional information at a later date.

Next was discussion on the SCRA seminar. Cpt. Donaldson said that the event would be held in the off years that the Section does not host its stand-alone seminar. It is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2014. Ms. Caine briefly reviewed CLE policies and procedures. The Council expressed its concern regarding the registration fee and asked how the Section could offer a reduced rate to Section members. Ms. Caine suggested approaching the Board of Governors. Cpt. Donaldson was to prepare and submit a letter to the Board of Governors requesting that the Section conduct a fall seminar at a reduced rate to its members.

Ms. Edgerton announced that the 12th LOD Southeastern Legal On-Site Training was scheduled for June 21-23 at Fort Jackson. She asked if the Section was interested in making a contribution to the event. After discussion, Ms. Edgerton moved that the Section contribute $400 towards the training program. Ltc. Kelly seconded the motion, and it was approved. Cpt. Donaldson was to make brief remarks at the event and would use the opportunity to recruit new Section members. Ms. Caine was to forward him copies of the Section brochure and military coins to distribute.

Next was discussion on future partnership with the USC School of Law. Ms. Caine stated that the Section had hosted a joint social with the law students last fall but noted there were issues with the law school not promoting the event and lack of participation. It was suggested that the Section not to pursue the law school unless approached. Col. Bernstein moved that the Section Chair be given the authority to approve up to $400 for any future joint projects with the law school. Maj. McDermott seconded the motion, and it was approved.

In closing was discussion on the Veterans Court Program. Maj. McDermott asked that the Section promote the program statewide. Col. Bernstein suggested that the Section Chair make a brief presentation regarding the program at the solicitors conference scheduled for September. Ms. Edgerton and Ltc. Kelly were to contact the Solicitors Officer regarding the conference and report their findings to the Council. Ms. Caine informed the Council that the Bar’s Communications Department would handle press releases, media, etc.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.