Articles Worth Reading

articles worth reading For your information needs and reading pleasure, check out the following articles:

  1.  3 Major Invoice Billing Errors, and How Law Firms Can Cut Costs ;
  2.  5 Rude Lawyer Behaviors to Avoid ;
  3.  5 Ways Associates Waste Time ;
  4.  5 Ways to Damage Your Client’s Trust ;
  5.  Analytics 2.0:  Law Department Leaders Explain Integrating Data into Their  Practices ;
  6.  “Analytics for Dumm…” eh, lawyers ;
  7.  Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession Should Be Regulated, Op-ed Argues ;
  8.  Automated Services, Legal Questions, Apps, and AI Review–Next Frontiers in Legal  Tech? ;
  9.  DOJ and DOE Issue Guidance on Privacy Rights of Transgender Students ;
  10.  Financial and Data Considerations for the New Age ;
  11.  Five Reasons Why Pokemon Go Will Change Education and One Reason Why It  Won’t ;
  12.  Forced Apology in Juvenile Case Does Not Violate First Amendment ;
  13.  How To Become the Firm Every GC Wants To Hire ;
  14.  LawToolBox Microsoft Outlook Add-On for Deadline Management, Court Rules  Updates for Lawyers ;
  15.  Louisiana Mom Is Arrested fir Whipping Kids After They Burglarized Neighbor’s  Home ;
  16.  Microsoft Doesn’t Have To Give Prosecutors Emails Stored on Servers in Ireland, 2nd  Circuit Says;
  17.  Pokemon Go Developer Wades into Privacy Minefield ;
  18.  Process Over Product:  A Pedagogical Focus on Email As A Means of Refining Legal  Analysis ;
  19.  Strengthening Our Anti-Bullying Laws ;
  20.  Supreme Court Deadlocks on Immigration, Keeping Injunction in Place ;
  21.  The Future of Corporate Legal Operations Is Now ;
  22.  Trump’s Law ;
  23.  Virginia School Board Asks Supreme Court to Block Order on Transgender Bathroom     Use ; and
  24.  When You Should Say “No Thanks” to a Prospective Client .

Happy reading!

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Carpet, Noise & the Library Next Week

carpet The carpet in the Circulation Desk area and at the rear first floor bathrooms will be replaced next week, i.e., July 25th – 28th.  During that time, it will be dusty and noisy.  Please pardon the dust and noise but it must be done.  Next week seems the most opportune time as the May graduates will be taking the bar, summer school classes and exams will have ended, and fall 2016 classes will not yet have begun.  Thanks for your patience with the process.

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Pizza for Bar Takers on Friday, July 22nd

hot-slice-of-pizza-clipart-thumb2759981-copy For those taking the July 2016 bar exam, good luck!  We are thinking of you and wishing you well.  Please plan to take a break from studying at noon on Friday, July 22nd, and join us in the Barrister for pizza before you head to Columbia.

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Library Hours On Holiday Weekend


The Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library will be open regular operating hours on Saturday and Sunday, July 2nd and 3rd.  It will be open on Monday, July 4th, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 a study hall, staffed by CSOL Security.  Travel safely, enjoy the 4th, and happy studying!

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Opinions from the South Carolina Court of Appeals

Court of AppealsIn June, the South Carolina Court of Appeals published the following opinions:

Gary v. Askey was a civil negligence and loss of consortium  action in which the circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Charles Gary against American Medical Responses, Inc. (“AMR”).

AMR appealed arguing the  court erred in: (1) holding AMR could not escape liability for the negligent actions of a subcontractor because it owed Gary and absolute, nondelegable duty to provide safe transportation pursuant to its contract with the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) and public policy; and (2) prematuraly granting summary judgment in favor of Gary when AMR was not afforded a full and fair opportunity to conduct discovery.

On the first issue raised on appeal, the Court found that the circuit court erred in interpreting that portions of the Contract indicated that the parties intended to impose an absolute duty upon AMR. The Court found nothing in the four corners of the Contract that indicated the parties intended for AMR to have an absolute duty. Accordingly, the Court reversed the holding of the circuit court.  Additionally, the Court declined to address the second issue raised on appeal.

Judge Few concurred in a separate opinion.

In One Belle Hall v. Trammell Crow, Tamko Building  Products, Inc. (Tamko) appealed the lower court’s denial of its motion to dismiss One Bell Property Owners Association, Inc. (the Association) and Brandy Ramey’s ( collectively Respondents) claims and compel them to arbitration. Tamko argues the court erred in finding the arbitration clause located in its limited warranty was unconscionable and unenforceable.

This Court held that the circuit court erred in finding the cumulative effect of the Warranty’s purportedly unlawful terms rendered the arbitration clause unconscionable and unenforceable. The Court cited previous cases in which it had held that the issue of the validity of an arbitration clause is distinct from the validity of the contract as a whole. Accordingly, the Court reversed the finding of lower court.

Putnam v. State was a post-conviction relief (PCR) action in which  Martina R. Putnam contends the PCR court erred in dismissing her application for PCR and finding trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to adequately prepare her case and call witnesses to testify in her defense. The Court,  constrained by its standard of review, affirmed the PCR court’s order of dismissal.The Court,  constrained by its standard of review, affirmed the PCR court’s order of dismissal.

Byrd v. McDonald was an action for partition and the determination of heirs and unknown persons (collectively, Appellants)  claiming an interest in the subject real property appealed the circuit court’s affirmance of the probate court’s decision to order the public sale of real property owned jointly by Appellants and McDonald.

On appeal, Appellants argue the probate court (1) erred in treating the percentages of ownership as personal property rather than as realty, (2) lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the partition action, (3) erred in applying section 15-61-25(A) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2012) rather than section 62-3-911 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2012), (4) erred in finding Appellants failed to comply with the probate court’s order, (5) erred in holding partition by allotment was not practical and in ordering a public sale, and (6) erred in awarding reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to McDonald pursuant to section 15-61-110 of the South Carolina Code (2005).

The Court affirmed the probate court’s determination of the heirs and their percentages of the real property. However, the court reversed the remaining issues finding that the  probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the partition action.

Protection and Advocacy v. Buscemi is a declaratory judgment action where the trial court ordered Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. does not have authority to review the medical records of Community Training Home residents during its statutorily authorized inspections of living conditions under section 43-33-350 of the South Carolina Code. The Court affirmed the trial court’s order.

Doe v. City of Duncan, John Doe appealed the circuit court’s decision to dismiss his action pursuant to SCRCP 3, 12(b)(1), and 12(b)(2).

Doe argued that the circuit court failed to apply the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal.

State v. Medley, the Court affirmed the DUI conviction of Matthew Medley.

West Anderson Water v. City of Anderson, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s order interpreting a contract between the Water District and Respondent City of Anderson allowing the City to provide water service to a certain site within the District’s boundaries.

In the Matter of the Estate of Marion M. Kay, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s decision to reduce the personal representative’s compensation for setting an estate. The Court reversed the circuit court’s decision to affirm the probate court’s award of attorney’s fees to Respondents’ counsel, finding the common doctrine fund inapplicable under the specific facts of the case.



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South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions

125px-SCSupreme_CourtSealIn June, the South Carolina Supreme Court published the following opinions:

Maybank v. BB &T Maybank v. BB &T was a direct appeal from the Business Court that arose from a substantial jury verdict involving claims sounding in contract, tort, and the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The Court reversed the award of punitive damages based on a limitation of liability clause, and therefore declines to address election of remedies. The Court affirmed the verdict on all other grounds, and rejected the plaintiff’s cross-appeal regarding the trial court’s denial of prejudgment interest.

In Simmons v. State, the Court vacated in part the PCR court’s order and remanded for further proceedings. The Court found that Simmons was entitled to some relief due to the State’s unintentional misrepresentation of DNA evidence to the jury. Accordingly, the Court remanded the case back to the PCR court to allow for a another review of the PCR application.

In the Matter of James Cox, Jr., the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.

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South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions

The following are opinions from the South Carolina Supreme Court published in May:

In Tappeiner v. State the Court reversed the PCR court’s denial of Tappeiner’s application for relief, finding that Tappeiner’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object during the State’s closing argument, and that counsel’s ineffectiveness prejudiced Tappenier. Accordingly, the Court granted Tappenier a new trial.

In State v. Stukes, the Court reversed Stukes’ conviction, holding it was reversible error for the trial court to change the jury that the victim’s testimony need not be corroborated by additional evidence pursuant to SC Code Ann Section 16-3-657 which provides, “the testimony of the victim need not be corroborated in prosecutions [for criminal sexual conduct].” In its ruling, the Court overruled the precedent that condone the use of this instruction finding that instructing the jury on the statute is an impermissible charge on the facts and therefore unconstitutional.

In the Matter of Robert W. Herlong, the Court issued a pubic reprimand for an attorney.

State v. Griffin,  the Court affirmed the appellate and trial court’s decision  finding that the deputies involved in Griffin’s arrest could be considered de facto deputies despite their failure to comply with all of the statutory requirements of sections 23-13-10 and 23-13-20.

The Court modified the appellate court’s decision regarding de facto sheriff’s deputies unnecessary as it is well established that the illegality of an initial arrest does not bar the accused person’s subsequent prosecution and conviction of the offense charged.

Gibson v. State, the Court found trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the jury charge that malice may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon because the charge did not include the permissive inference language approved by this Court.

In State v. Jones, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s order granting Respondent, who was indicted for murder, immunity from prosecution under sections 16-11-440(c) of the Protection of Persons and Property Act.

SC Pubic Interest Foundation v. Lucas, the Court struck down Provisio 84.18 from the 2015-2016 General Appropriations Act finding that the inclusion of the Provision in that Act violated South Carolina Constitution Art. III, Section 17

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