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  • Celebrating Women's History Month: Susan B. Hackett

    Susan Barber Hackett is an Appellate Defender with the Office of Appellate Defense, representing individuals in their appeals following criminal convictions and in post-conviction relief matters. She won the President’s Award from the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2022. In 2020, she won the Gold Compleat Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law and in 2018, won the Martha Browning Dicus Award from the Public Defender Association for demonstrating remarkable competence, zeal, and adherence to the ideals of the legal profession. Previously, Susan worked at the Office of Disciplinary Counsel where she investigated and prosecuted lawyers for violations of the Rules of Professional Responsibility. She also served as the Executive Director of the Center of Capital Litigation, a non-profit dedicated to the representation of individuals charged with capital crimes. While an associate at Blume, Weyble & Norris, LLC, she represented criminal defendants in state and federal courts. Upon graduating from law school, Susan served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Deadra L. Jefferson in the Ninth Circuit. She also taught legal writing at the University of South Carolina School of Law as an adjunct professor for two years. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2003, and from Winthrop University in 2000. Susan serves as a member of the Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness and the University of South Carolina School of Law’s Pro Bono Program Advisory Council. She is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Education Foundation of the Association’s non-profit organization. She is a regular presenter at Public Defense 101: Fundamentals of the Profession, an annual seminar sponsored by the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense. Susan is an active member of the South Carolina Bar, serving on the Professional Responsibility Committee, the Practice and Procedure Committee and the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Section. She is currently the chair of the Law Related Education Committee.

    Posted in: Lawyers None, Women's History Month

  • Celebrating Women's History Month: Lesley "Lee" Coggiola

    Lesley "Lee" Coggiola. Before her retirement in 2018, Lee Coggiola was Disciplinary Counsel for the South Carolina Supreme Court, and prior to that Chief Staff Attorney for the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Before coming to the Court of Appeals she served as the Chief Public Defender of Richland County. Her Bar memberships include the South Carolina Supreme Court; United States District Court, District of South Carolina; Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. She is a 1967 graduate of the University of Miami and received her JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1988. Prior to attending law school she spent eleven years with IBM in systems and marketing. After admission to the Bar she served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Carol Connor, Assistant Public Defender, Assistant Appellate Defender, and Of Counsel at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough. As chair of the Criminal Law Section, she served on the House of Delegates for the South Carolina Bar. Additionally, she served on the Board of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, was former President of the South Carolina Public Defender Association, former member of the American Council of Chief Defenders, and a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession. She is a member of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court and serves as a mentor for incoming law students at the University of South Carolina School of Law. She received the Gold Compleat Lawyer award from the University of South Carolina School Of Law in 2008, the Rhodes McDonald Award from the John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court in 2014 and is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Galloway Bissell Award from the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association. She is co-editor of the Fifth and Sixth Edition of The Criminal Law of South Carolina and is currently an adjunct instructor at USC School of Law. She is a founder and permanent Board member of The Women's Shelter in Columbia. For a number of years she served on the Board of the Midlands Mediation Center (formerly the Community Mediation Center). She is currently on the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Academy of Authors and serves on the Board of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN). Jennifer Morgan, her daughter, lives in Atlanta with her husband Brand Morgan and four children, Brand, Jack, English and Harry. Her son, Gabe Coggiola, lives in Columbia with his wife Lauren Coggiola and their two daughters Louise and Maggie. Originally from Massachusetts and New York, she has made South Carolina home for 44 years.

    Posted in: Lawyers None, Women's History Month

  • Celebrating Women's History Month: Debra J. Gammons

    Debra J. Gammons is a professor at the Charleston School of Law and an attorney. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Charleston. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Gammons was President of Student Government and President of the Peer Mentor Association at the College of Charleston. Upon graduation, Professor Gammons won the highest award given by The College (Bishop Robert Smith Award), the Lucille S. Whipper Award, and several additional awards. She was President of the Student Bar in Law School and won awards there. In Law School, she also served as Associate Justice of the Moot Court Bar and President of the Public Interest Law Society; along with her membership in other organizations. Gammons began practicing law in the Solicitor’s Office in Charleston. Before joining the Charleston School of Law, she served as Assistant City Attorney for Greenville, South Carolina for eleven years, where she prosecuted criminal cases and represented the City of Greenville in civil actions. In addition to serving as Assistant Solicitor and Assistant City Attorney, Gammons has practiced and still practices in the private arena, litigating cases of medical malpractice, personal injury, child custody, divorces, and criminal defense; she has represented Plaintiffs and Defendants in civil cases. At Charleston School of Law, Gammons has taught Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Freedom of Speech, Sex and Gender Issues and the Law, Trial Advocacy, and Street Law. She also serves as the Director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives. She is a Certified Circuit Court Mediator.She is a Delegate in the South Carolina Bar House of Delegates. Gammons is past President of the Charleston County Bar Association; she was the first Brown or Black person to serve as President. She has also served as President of the Greenville County Bar Association. She has served as Trustee on the College of Charleston Board of Trustees, as Commissioner of the South Carolina Supreme Court Commission on Lawyer Conduct, and as Chairperson of the College of Charleston Friends of the Library Board. She currently serves as Chairperson of Trinity Montessori School Board of Directors, a member of The Charleston Forum Board, a member of the College of Charleston Graduate School Advisory Board, and a member of the College of Charleston African American Studies Board.

    Posted in: Lawyers None

  • A labor of love: One attorney's journey to four decades of civil law summaries

    As a young attorney, Charles Norris of Whelan Mellen & Norris, LLC in Charleston, knew he wanted to advance his understanding of civil law. Learn more about how Norris and his passion for summarizing civil law cases.

    Posted in: Lawyers None

  • River Bluff and Palmetto Academy named champions in SC Bar’s We the People Competition

    River Bluff High School of Lexington and Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success of Myrtle Beach won the South Carolina Bar’s We the People competition held Dec. 8 at River Bluff High School in Lexington.

    Posted in: Lawyers Law Related Education, We the People