The House met on January 21, 2016, at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. Present were: Daniel Joseph Ballou; A. Parker Barnes, III; J. Leeds Barroll, IV; Samuel Robert Bass, II; Mark S. Berglind; Susan B. Berkowitz; J. Steedley Bogan; James Edward Bradley; Robin A. Braithwaite; George P. Callison, Jr.; Mary Theresa Campbell; Michael S. Cashman; George B. Cauthen; Nicholas J. Clekis; Amie L. Clifford; J. Benjamin Connell; M. Dawes Cooke, Jr.; Lee Deer Cope; Leslie A. Cotter, Jr.; Patrick G. Dennis; Daniel L. Draisen; Martin S. Driggers, Jr.; Rhett C. Dunaway; Anne S. Ellefson; John D. Elliott; F. Earl Ellis, Jr.; Eric K. Englebardt; Frank L. Eppes; Stinson Woodward Ferguson; Rosalyn Woodson Frierson; Kenneth S. Generette; C. Allen Gibson, Jr.; Anna Snelling Gluse; Robert Fredrick Goings; Harry L. Goldberg; Thomas R. Gottshall; W. Andrew Gowder, Jr.; Elizabeth Van Doren Gray; William Douglas Gray; William Brantley Harvey, Jr.; William B. Harvey, III; Daryl G. Hawkins; Sean Joseph Hinton; Cecil Kelly Jackson; Meliah Bowers Jefferson; Jacob H. Jennings; Daniel Edward Johnson; Justin S. Kahn; D. Michael Kelly; Russell Britton Kelly; Catherine H. Kennedy; Trent M. Kernodle; Howard P. King; Wes A. Kissinger; Lynsey Traynham Kmetz; Christopher R. Koon; Lanneau Wm. Lambert, Jr.; LeRoy Free Laney; James Grant Long, III; Angus H. Macaulay; Charles Stuart Mauney; Riley Johnson Maxwell; John Lucius McCants; J. Edwin McDonnell; John O. McDougall; Ian Douglas McVey; Joseph S. Mendelsohn; David B. Miller; Kirby Rakes Mitchell; Julie Jeffords Moose; John Hammond Muench; Randall K. Mullins; Adam Christopher Ness; C. Tyson Nettles; Irish Ryan Neville; Cynthia Hall Ouzts; James Graham Padgett, III; James C. Parham, Jr.; Alice F. Paylor; Anne Louise Peterson-Hutto; Thomas Blaine Pleming; Sheally Venus Poe; Jeremy Poindexter; Andrew Troy Potter; Ashlin Blanchard Potterfield; William O. Pressley, Jr; Edward K. Pritchard, III; John Murdock Prosser, Jr.; Marie-Louise Ramsdale; Robert Douglas Robbins; Pamela Jane Roberts; John Edward Robinson; John Edward Rosen; Richard S. Rosen; Rebecca Ann Roser; John Edward Roxon; Martha Kent Runey; Eric Wm. Ruschky; Nancy Doherty Sadler; Stephen T. Savitz; Mary Elizabeth Sharp; Mark S. Sharp; Robert S. Shelton; Reid T. Sherard; Jane Opitz Shuler; Mary Amanda Harrelson Shuler; Lisa Lee Smith; Michael Benjamin Smith; Henry B. Smythe, Jr.; Christian Giresi Spradley; Wesley Alexander Stoddard; Randell Croft Stoney, III; Hal M. Strange; Joseph Preston Strom; Fred W. Suggs, Jr.; David L. Tedder; Carmen Harper Thomas; William R. Thomas; John Hagood Tighe; Thomas S. Tisdale, Jr.; Robert E. Tyson, Jr.; Flo Lester Vinson; Robert Bruce Wallace; Bradish J. Waring; Elizabeth H. Warner; J. Calhoun Watson; Robert M. Wilcox; Donald B. Wildman; Mitchell Willoughby; William Marvin Wilson, III; William K. Witherspoon; David Whitten Wolf; Patrick Coleman Wooten; and J. Rutledge Young, Jr.
Guests present were: Kelsey J. Gilmore-Futeral; Hon. J. Mark Hayes; II, Kimberly A. Kelly; John S. Nichols; Sarah G. St. Onge; and Clinton J. Yarborough.
Representing the Bar staff were: Leah G. Johnson; Charmy Medlin; Jill C. Rothstein; Jason Stokes; Leigh G. Thomas; and Robert S. Wells.
The Chair called the meeting to order. A quorum was declared present.
The Chair stated that agenda item #5, Request to Amend Rule 53(b), SCRCP, and Rule 71(a), SCRCP, and agenda item #12, Request to Support H3191, had been withdrawn. A motion was made to adopt the revised agenda. The motion was seconded, and it was approved. Mr. McDougall moved to allow privileges of the floor to nonmembers. The motion was seconded, and it was approved. A motion was made to adopt the agenda as amended. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
A motion was made to approve the Consent Agenda - approval of the minutes of the May, 14, 2015, meeting; receipt of November Financial Statements and a request from the Fee Disputes Board for rule changes. Mr. Watson moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Judge Hayes recognized the 2015 Law Day Essay Contest winner, Aimee McVey.
Under report of the President, Ms. Ellefson reported on efforts to assist South Carolina flood victims, thanking Bar members and staff for their efforts. She reviewed statistics on depression and suicide in the profession and highlighted Bar programs and services including the new Bar website, practice management resources and CLEs around the state. The noted the work of the Bar Foundation and encouraged House members to contribute.
Next, Mr. Yarborough presented a request from the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee to support legislation on impersonating a lawyer. Mr. Mullins moved to approve the request. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Mr. Robinson presented a request from the Practice and Procedure Committee to amend Family Court Rule 25 regarding discovery. Mr. Robinson moved adoption of the proposal. The motion was seconded. Mr. McDougall stated that he had been asked to address the House on behalf of the Family Law Section Council and the South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He stated that the two entities fully supported the proposal with the change of “or” to “and” before the word discovery as below.
Recognizing the unique nature of the court's jurisdiction and the need for a speedy determination thereof, the prompt voluntary exchange of information and documents by parties prior to trial is encouraged. However, the parties’ shall be allowed to engage in formal depositions or and discovery according to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. shall be conducted only by stipulation of the parties or by court order upon application therefor in writing. Such an order may prescribe the manner, time, conditions and restrictions pertaining to the deposition or discovery.
Mr. Robinson noted that the Committee had accepted Mr. McDougall’s suggestion and that the correct version was displayed on the screen. Mr. Elliott moved to table the proposal. The motion was seconded. The motion failed. Ms. Ramsdale spoke against the proposal. Mr. Sherard and Mr. Mullins spoke in favor of the motion. Mr. Elliott moved to send the proposal back to the Committee for further review. The motion failed for lack of a second. Ms. Vinson spoke in favor of the proposal. Mr. Tedder moved to send the proposal back to the Committee and ask them to come back to the House at a time certain with alternatives. The motion was seconded. The motion failed. Upon taking a vote, the original motion to adopt the proposal was approved. The proposed change was to be forwarded to the Court.
Next, Mr. Barroll presented a request to adopt a resolution urging the Bar to act in support of the rule of law and moved approval. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Mr. Miller presented a request from the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Section to introduce a three-tier ranking system for CLE programs and additional teaching credit to presenters of advanced courses. He moved approval of the proposal. The motion was seconded. Mr. Tighe advised the House that the CLE Seminars Committee had withdrawn its objection to the proposal. Ms. Clifford opined that there should be some minimum requirements for written materials in order for speakers to obtain additional credit hours. Following discussion, the motion was approved. The proposal was to be forwarded to the Commission on CLE and Specialization.
Next, Ms. Kelly and Ms. Gilmore-Futeral presented a request from the Animal Law Committee to oppose S. 687 on antitrust grounds. Mr. McDougall moved approval of the request. The motion was seconded. Following discussion, the motion was approved.
Ms. St. Onge presented a request from the Elder Law Committee to support the Adult Students with Disabilities Education Rights Consent Act. Ms. Clifford moved to approve the request. The motion was seconded. Mr. Poindexter spoke in favor of the request. The motion was approved.
Next, Ms. St. Onge presented a request from the Elder Law Committee to circulate proposed amendments to Article 5 of Title 62 for public comment. A final proposal was to come to the House in May. Ms. Kennedy moved approval of the request. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Mr. Nichols presented recommendations from the Limited Scope Task Force. Mr. Elliott moved approval of the recommendations. The motion was seconded. Ms. Clifford opined that Rules 4.2 and 4.3 as worded treated clients differently. Mr. Nichols disagreed. Mr. Barroll moved to change the word “opposing” in reference to counsel to “all,” opining that the change would address Ms. Clifford’s concerns. Mr. Elliott accepted Mr. Barroll’s suggestion to amend the original motion. The amended motion was approved.
Mr. Cooke presented amendments to the Bar Constitution addressing tie votes in elections of officers and Board members and moved approval. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Mr. Cooke presented amendments to align the Bar Bylaws with the Court's creation of Rule 427, SCACR. He moved approval of the amendments. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
Mr. Cooke presented amendments to the Bar Constitution to establish the procedure for election of a young lawyer delegate to the ABA. The motion was seconded. Mr. Barroll moved to provide that the House of Delegates rather than the Board of Governors would elect the delegate. The motion was seconded. It was noted that any proposed Constitutional amendments must be presented to the membership at least 30 days prior to consideration by the House. Mr. Barroll withdrew his motion. The main motion was approved.
W. Steven Johnson and Stuart W. Snow, Sr. were nominated for reappointment and Rebecca Laffitte, John S. Nichols, Michele Patrao Forsythe and Robert A. Kerr Jr. were nominated for appointment to the Commission on CLE and Specialization. The nominees were to be presented to the Court.
Matthew N. Tyler was elected to a vacancy on the Board of Governors.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
President Ellefson convened a meeting of the Assembly and declared a quorum was present. She invited agenda items.
Ms. Ellefson moved to ratify the proposed Constitutional amendments and the constitutional amendments approved in May. The motion was seconded and approved.
The Assembly was adjourned.