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This seminar will introduce The Law of Legal Malpractice in South Carolina, a newly released publication that discusses legal malpractice decisions rendered by South Carolina courts. The seminar will be divided into three sections. The first section will feature leading practitioners who will discuss differing perspectives on certain legal malpractice issues, including the relevant standard for deciding the case-within-the-case, the role of expert testimony, and the interaction between the Rules of Professional Conduct and the legal malpractice cause of action. The second section will address evolving legal malpractice issues related to changing technology and lawyers’ use of social media both in marketing and litigation and how such use should be guided by the Rules of Professional Conduct. The final section will feature the newly appointed Disciplinary Counsel, John Nichols, who will speak on the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and its approach to ethical issues facing South Carolina lawyers.

This seminar is an intermediate level program.

The Law of Legal Malpractice in South Carolina

Elizabeth Van Doren Gray, William H. Jordan, Alexis K. Lindsay, Robert E. Stepp and J. Calhoun Watson
Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

While it is not clear exactly when South Carolina courts first recognized a client’s malpractice cause of action against his attorney, the legal malpractice claim in our state dates back to at least the early-to-mid-1800s. In the more than 180 years since the court decided the case of Johnson v. Monro, there have been significant developments in the law of legal malpractice in South Carolina. Much of that development has taken place in the last 20 years and, based upon trends in legal malpractice cases across the country, it is likely that appellate courts will continue to be called upon to decide issues relating to attorney malpractice.

For better or worse, it appears legal malpractice claims—both in South Carolina and across the nation—are here to stay. This book will serve as a useful and accessible resource for attorneys and insurance professionals addressing issues related to legal malpractice in South Carolina.

Summary of Contents:
CHAPTER 1 – Elements of a Claim for Legal Malpractice
CHAPTER 2 – The Attorney-Client Relationship
CHAPTER 3 – Breach of Duty
CHAPTER 4 – Proximate Causation
CHAPTER 5 - Damages
CHAPTER 6 – Relationship to Other Causes of Action
CHAPTER 7 – Third Party Claims
CHAPTER 8 - Defenses
CHAPTER 9 – Law Firm and Partner Vicarious Liability
CHAPTER 10 – Assignability of Claims
CHAPTER 11 – Federal Jurisdiction

Big Ticket holders must purchase book separately ($55) by calling Kristie Haustovich at (803) 771-0333, ext 126. Live seminar attendees may pick up book at registration. Books will be shipped to webcast attendees.

8:30 a.m. Registration

8:55 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
J. Calhoun Watson, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
9:00 a.m. One Issue, Two Perspectives: Legal Malpractice in South Carolina
Moderator: William H. Jordan, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
Eric S. Bland, Bland Richter, LLP
Ronald L. Ritcher, Bland Richter, LLP
Peter D. Protopapas, Rikard & Protopapas, LLC   
Elizabeth Van Doren Gray, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
Robert E.  Stepp, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Technology: New Frontier in Legal Malpractice?
Moderator: Alexis K. Lindsay, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
Tina M. Cundari, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
William H. Jordan, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
J. Calhoun Watson, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

11:45 a.m. Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Ethics and Legal Malpractice
John S. Nichols, Columbia
12:15 p.m. Adjourn

All registrations must be pre-paid. Cancellation & Refund Policy: Refunds, less $25 administrative fee, will be made for cancellations received in writing to the CLE Registrar at registrar@scbar.org by 5 p.m., one week prior to the seminar. Cancellations will not be accepted within one week of seminar date. One-time transfers to seminars of like value or to the live webcast of the seminar (if available) will be accepted for a $25 administrative fee in lieu of cancellations within one week of seminar. Requests to transfer to the live webcast must be received by 1 p.m. the day prior to the program. Designated substitutes may take the place of registrants unable to attend.


  • Columbia
    In-Person Seminar
    Bar Conference Center
    1501 Park Street , Columbia, SC 29201
  • Anderson
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    200 Bleckley St. Room 112, Anderson, SC 29625
  • Beaufort
    In-Person Seminar
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    2015 Boundary St. Training Room, Beaufort, SC 29902
  • Florence
    In-Person Seminar
    Florence - South Eastern Institute of Manufacturing Technology
    1951 Pisgah Rd. Room 249, Florence, SC 29501
  • Greenwood
    In-Person Seminar
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    600 Monument St. Ste. 203, Greenwood, SC 29646
  • Hilton Head Island
    In-Person Seminar
    Hilton Head Island Public Library
    11 Beach City Rd. Sm Conf. Room, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
  • Rock Hill
    In-Person Seminar
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    5198 Hampton Ridge Rd. , Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • Spartanburg
    In-Person Seminar
    Spartanburg County Public Library
    151 S. Church St. Hoechst-Celanese Room, Spartanburg, SC 29306
  • Summerville
    In-Person Seminar
    Summerville - SC Mediation and Conference Facility
    1516 Old Trolley Rd. , Summerville, SC 29485