Articles Worth Reading


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

  1.  Big Data Gets Bigger:  5 Ways to Employ Legal Analytics;
  2.  Could Spreading the Bar Exam Over Three Years Raise Passage Rates?;
  3. Envisioning the Fully Integrated Library;
  4. Five Tech Tools Every Lawyer Should Be Using;
  5. How Accessible Is Your Law Firm Website? (The Answer Should Be “Very”) ;
  6. How to Prepare for an Interview on Short Notice;
  7.  New Search Engine for Open Source Projects;
  8. Libraries, Marketing, Money, Credit, and People;
  9. Mind Your Metadata:  Ethics Rules on Hidden Data;
  10. Orrick Attorney, Once a Juvenile Defendant, Follows Unconventional Path to the Bench;
  11. Saving Lawyers 1 Breath at a Time:  Mindfulness in the Law;
  12. Tablets 1.0:  Ancient Cuneiform Pieces Find Home in Creighton’s Law Library;
  13. The 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market Finds 10 Years of Stagnation Changing the Industry; Says Innovation Key to Law Firm Success;
  14. The Skills Associates Need Today They Didn’t Need 10 Years Ago;
  15. Wise Words from 9 Women Leaders in Law; and
  16. Year in Review:  2016 Cases Will Not Hinder Litigation Funding.

Happy reading!

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Library Closed on Monday, January 16th, in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service


Over the upcoming holiday weekend, the Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library will be open for regular operating hours on Saturday, January 14th, and Sunday, January 15th.  The library, along with the Charleston School of Law, will be closed on Monday, January 16th, in honor of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service.

Regular operating hours resume on Tuesday, January 17th, at 7:30 a.m.



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South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions



The South Carolina Supreme Court published three opinions:

State v. Cain was an appeal of a criminal conviction for trafficking methamphetamine. Appellant argued the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict because the State produced insufficient evidence as to the requisite amount of drugs for trafficking.

The court of appeals found the core of the argument not preserved for appellate review and affirmed the findings of the trial court. This Court reversed the appellate court finding Appellant’s argument is preserved.

Likewise, Gonzales v. State was an appeal of  a criminal conviction for trafficking methamphetamine, in which, Appellant argued his trial counsel had a conflict of interest which adversely affected trial counsel’s performance. Both the PCR court and the court of appeals denied relief. This Court examined whether or not the appellate court erred in holding that in order to prevail on a claim of ineffective counsel that the petitioner was required to prove trial counsel recognized an actual conflict of interest.

This Court  reversed the appellate court’s decision that suggested that ” only an attorney who intentionally violates his duty of loyalty has a conflict of interest“. This Court further holds that this assertion is an error of law and contrary to the Court’s precedent, which states [w]hile trial counsel’s failure to recognize the actual conflict may have resulted in his inability to provide effective counsel, his recognition of the conflict is not required to show it adversely affected trial counsel’s performanceSee Duncan v. State, 281 S.C. at 438 (1984).

The Court found that regardless an attorney recognizes an actual conflict of interest, if the conflict adversely affected the attorney’s performance the applicant has established his entitlement to relief. Accordingly, the Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals.

In Ramirez v. State, the Court examined the issue of whether a severely mentally retarded individual should be afforded post-conviction relief  where his plea counsel failed to request an independent competency evaluation prior to this guilty plea.

The PCR court denied relief finding plea counsel was not deficient and that there was no evidence of prejudice. The court of appeals disagreed finding that counsel was deficient but affirmed the PCR court’s prejudice finding applying the “any evidence” standard. This Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the court of appeals’ opinion and held that the PCR Court erred in denying Ramirez’s application for relief. This Court found that there was clearly established evidence at the PCR hearing from the doctor’s report, that established a reasonable likelihood that Ramirez was incompetent to plead guilty. Court precedent establishes that a PCR application need only show there was a reasonable probability he was incompetent at the time of his pleaSee Matthews v. State, 385 S.C. at 459-60 (2004). Accordingly, the Court reversed the holding that Appellant was not prejudiced by the deficiency and affirmd the court’s finding of deficient performance by plea counsel.

J. Pleicones dissented in a separate opinion.

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Articles Worth Reading


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

1. 7 Legal Industry Predictions for 2017;

2.  10 Ways to Be a Better Employee in 2017;

3.  Algorithm-Driven Design:  How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Design;

4.  Ask the Legal Tech Marketer:  Preparing for a Successful New Year;

5.  Beyond the Hype of Virtual Reality for the Courtroom;

6.  Debuting Tomorrow:  A Keyboard Designed Just for Lawyers;

7.  Do Law Schools Adequately Prepare Students for Practice?  Surveys Say…No!

8.  Favorite Apps:  5 Clicks;

9.  Goodbye to All That:  Weary Attorneys Forge Careers Outside BigLaw;

10.  Six Ways Law Schools Can Make Students More Practice Ready;

11.  The Five Strategies of Highly Successful Firms;

12.  The Industrial (Legal) Revolution;

13.  The Whole Lawyer and The Character Quotient;

14.  Wake Up Call:  Welcome to 2017!  Here’s the Latest; and

15.  Why Sole Provider Isn’t Really a Thing and I’m Not Going to Say It Any More.

Happy reading!




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Briefings Sessions for Spring 2017


The following sessions are planned for the Spring 2017 Briefings series for students.  All sessions will be at noon in the library, Room 101.  Pizza will be provided.  Sign up sheets are on TWEN.  Please plan to join us.

Dispute Resolution Data Database Training on Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Library 101A

Upper Level Writing Papers:  Preemption Checking & Resources on Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Library 101A

Job Hunting?  Check Out the Library’s Resources on Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Library 101A

Jump Start Your Summer Clerkship:  Research Skills, Resources & Techniques on Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Library 101A




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Welcome and Welcome Back!


I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break and had a relaxing time.  I want to say “welcome” to the incoming January 1Ls and “welcome back” to returning students, faculty and staff.

The library, along with the law school, re-opened yesterday at 7:30 a.m.  Normal hours for the library have resumed.  Classes begin for everyone on Monday, January 9th.

Below are links to library and IT information for the upcoming semester:

Resources Available for Studying:  The library has several resources to assist with studying, research, and class preparation.  These include:

Services to Students including LexisNexis Courtroom Cast Powered by CVN Network & CALI:  The library provides access, information, research and technology assistance to students via its Circulation, Help, and Reference Desks.  In addition to class reserve materials, there are also:

  • study aids located in the Study Aid collection adjacent to the Circulation Desk which include hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aid items;
  • LexisNexis Courtroom Cast Powered by Courtroom View Network which provides audio playback of cases by party name or textbook.  Sign up while on campus, using your CSOL email address and selecting Charleston School of Law from the drop down menu; and
  • CALI lessons, an electronic tool that provides legal information about a subject and then quizzes the student on this information.  Again, use your Charleston School of Law email account and the CALI authorization code which can be retrieved from the Reference Desk.

Again, welcome and welcome back!  If there is anything that we can do to help you, please let us know.



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Library Closure During December Holiday Break


The Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library, along with the Charleston School of Law, is closed for the December holiday break as of today.  We will re-open and resume regular operating hours on Tuesday, January 3rd, at 7:30 a.m.

While our print collection will not be available, our electronic resources, i.e. the discovery tool, the library’s catalog, the library’s databases, and the library’s Internet portal, remain available and accessible.

Enjoy the holidays!

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