Library & IT Information, Including Hours, During the Exam Period

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Classes end tomorrow.  Exams begin Tuesday.  The library will be very busy. Please remember that it is a space that everyone must share. It is primarily used for researching and studying, two activities that contemplate and require quiet. Take cell phones and other conversations to the Barrister.  Use your whisper voice while in the stacks!

There is a lot of information in this email to I am going to break it up into parts:

  • Library Hours
  • Circulation, Reference, and Help Desks
  • Copier/Printer Money
  • Crunch Time & Stress Relievers
  • ExamSoft
  • Study Aids
  • Study Rooms

Library Hours

The library will begin extended hours on Friday, April 21st.  Starting tomorrow, the library will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 2:00 a.m., daily, until Friday, May 5th.  On Saturday, May 6th, it will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m.  Regular operational hours will resume on Sunday, May 7th.  Many thanks to CSOL Security for making this possible!

Circulation, Reference and Help Desks

The Circulation Desk will run its usual operating hours during the exam period. However, since it is staffed primarily by students, there will be some empty time slots for the Desk during the exam period. Security has graciously agreed to provide coverage during those times.  Please continue to follow the library’s policies and procedures regardless of who is seated at the Circulation Desk.  Please be polite to the students and Security who are staffing the Circulation Desk.  Their job is to enforce the library’s policies rather than debating the wisdom of the policy.

The Reference and Help Desks will provide limited service. If you need reference assistance, stop by my office, Professor Katie Brown’s office, or Ms. Allison Jones’ office. We can help.

IT will provide support for exams so stop by the 3rd floor of the 385 Meeting Street building for IT assistance. Someone from IT will be stationed outside of Dean Lawton’s office.

IT Student Support, i.e. the Help Desk, is in the Barrister area to provide laptop support as exams near. They will be there until Friday, April 21st. Please stop by to make sure that your laptop is ready for exams.

Copier/Printer Money

If your copier/printing funds are running low, you can add funds to your Equitrac account either with cash or check.  Please see one of the librarians to add money to your copier/printer account.

Crunch Time, Stress Relievers & Circulation, Reference & Help Desks

As part of Student Services’ Crunch Time, the library will provide pizza at noon on April 25th (Tuesday), May 2nd (Tuesday), and May 5th (Friday) during the exam period.   We’ll also have pizza at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26th.

Stress balls, puzzles, and chocolate will be available at the Relaxation Station upstairs. Coloring books, coloring pencils, and play dough will also be available.  Relax and engage your inner child.

ExamSoft

Download, install, register and take a mock practice exam, using the ExamSoft software before exams begin. ExamSoft exam taker tips can be found here while demo videos for PCs and MACs are here. If you have a MAC, make sure that you have downloaded this week’s patch to avoid a computer freeze during exams. 

Do MAC updates and Windows updates for PCs before exams start.

Don’t reformat your laptop’s hard drive until after you receive your grades.

Study Aids

Study aids, such as hornbooks, nutshells, and other series, are available.

Browse the titles located on the shelves adjacent to the Circulation Desk or search the library’s catalog via Collection Type: Study Aids.

Lexis Nexis Courtroom Cast

This resource provides students with access to the audio versions of selected cases and casebooks. It also provides access to training videos and selected trials and other trial related videos.

Study Guides for 1Ls

Last year’s library research assistants were busy last fall preparing research guides to help the 1Ls study and prepare for exams. Check out:

  1. 1L Guide to Surviving the First Year
  2. Civil Procedure I
  3. Contracts Study Aids
  4. Property Law Study Aids
  5. Torts Study Guide Resources

Study Rooms

Study rooms are very popular and will be in continuous demand during this time. Reserve your study room via the online reservation system @ http://www.charlestonlaw.libcal.com/ .

To allow everyone an opportunity to use the study rooms, study room policies will be strictly enforced regarding groups (2 or more) and time limits (3 hours.) If no one is waiting for a study room, the study room will be renewable.

Each group of people can have one 3 hour consecutive time slot in a 24 hour period. Please do not double book rooms. Your second reservation will be deleted. If you attempt to double book three times, you will not be able to reserve study rooms for the rest of the exam period.

Please be courteous to other students, or the circulation student workers, when asked to vacate a room when your time is up.

Please remember to keep your volume down, both outside and inside study rooms. The walls are thin and sound travels.

Please remove all trash from study rooms when leaving so that the person behind you does not have to clean up.

Remember:  the library is a resource that we all share.  Please be courteous to everyone you encounter here.  Please be quiet too!  It is time for noses to the grindstone.

Good luck on exams!

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Today’s opinions from the South Carolina Supreme Court.

125px-SCSupreme_CourtSealToday, the South Carolina Supreme Court published four opinions:

In the Matter of Robert Glenn Bacon, the Court suspended a lawyer.

In Lewis v. L.B. Dynasty, the Court reversed the court of appeals’ opinion and remanded the Petitioner’s compensation to the commission.

In the Matter of Melanie Anne Emery, the Court publically reprimanded a lawyer in this disciplinary opinion.

In the Matter of John Michael Bosnack, the Court suspended a lawyer for one year in this disciplinary opinion.

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Opinions from the South Carolina Court of Appeals

Court of AppealsThe Court of Appeals published two opinions:

In Argoe v. Three Rivers Behavioral Health, is an appeal of a medical malpractice action. The Appellant asserted that the circuit court erred in granting all respondents partial summary judgment. The Court held that the circuit court properly granted Respondents’ motion for partial summary judgment based upon the law of the case doctrine because the specific medical negligence claim Appellant asserted to the circuit court is based upon the medical professionals’ failure to discharge her from psychiatric care. Appellant did not specifically allege that she received improper or negligent care.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the circuit court.

In Sweeney v. Sweeney, is an appeal from the family court’s final divorce decree, in which, Husband argues the court erred in:  (1) awarding alimony to Irene M. Sweeney (Wife), (2) apportioning nonmarital property, (3) miscalculating the amount of rental proceeds he deposited in the parties’ joint account during the pendency of litigation, (4) holding him in contempt, and (5) awarding Wife attorney’s fees. Wife cross-appeals, asserting the family court erred in (1) failing to impute her income at the minimum wage, (2) awarding an insufficient amount of alimony, (3) overvaluing marital property, (4) crediting Husband for rental proceeds, and (5) failing to consider all of the necessary factors in determining her attorney’s fees

The court held, inter alia, that: (1) the family court did not err in granting alimony to Wife because it would be inequitable to require Wife to invade her only assets to support herself while Husband may save and continue to draw a substantial salary and dividends from his company; (2) the family court erred in apportioning the HSA established for the parties’ son because it is nonmarital property; and (3) the family court did not err in finding Husband in contempt because Husband willfully violated the temporary order by withdrawing marital funds. Wife raised five issues on cross-appeal: The court held, inter alia:  (1) the family court did not err in failing to impute Wife’s income at minimum wage because evidence in the record supports the family court’s conclusion that Wife has the ability to earn at least $1,500 per month; and (2) the family court erred in crediting Husband with $4,500 in rental proceeds he deposited in the Morgan Stanley account because the rental proceeds accrued before the final divorce decree and any credit to Husband is a windfall. Accordingly, the Court affirmed in part and reversed in part.

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South Carolina Court of Appeals’ Opinions

In March, the South Carolina Court of Appeals published seven opinions:

Fay v. Total Quality Logistics was a cross appeal involving the enforceability of an employee noncompete, confidentiality, and nonsolicitation agreement.

The Court of Appeals found that the Agreement did not comport with South Carolina public policy because its nondisclosure provisions effectively prevented Fay from every working in a similar capacity for one of TQL’s competitors. Specifically, the Court noted that the noncompete clause was not reasonably limited with respect to time by  restricting Fay’s rights to utilize his talents in earning a living for an indefinite time period, if not forever. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals revered the circuit court’s granting of summary judgment to TQL, and dismissed TQL’s cross-appeal because a party may not appeal the denial of summary judgment.

In SCDSS v. Myers, Andrew Myers (Father) appealed a family court order terminating his parental rights to his minor daughter (Child) and granting an adoption of Child to Respondents (Foster Parents).  In his appeal, Father argues the family court erred in (1)finding his consent was not required for Child’s adoption, (2) terminating his parental rights, (3) granting adoption to Foster Parents while finding they lacked standing to file an adoption petition, (4) allowing Foster Parents to be parties to this action, and (5) finding Child’s permanent plan should be termination of parental rights (TPR) and adoption

The Court of appeals found that the issue of Foster Parents intervention in the removal action is not properly before the Court as the order allowing the Foster Parents to intervene ws by agreement and consent of the Father who cannot now challenge it on appeal.

Additionally, the Court of Appeals found that the family court erred  in the following: (1) by considering adoption once it determined Foster Parents did not have standing to file an adoption action; (2) by terminating Father’s parental rights because Foster Parents failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a statutory ground for TPR existed.

On the first issue, the Court vacated the family court’s finding that Father’s consent was not required for the adoption and the family court’s order granting Foster Parents adoption of Child.

On the next issue, the Court found that the court may terminate parental rights only when a statutory ground for TPR exists and not only when it is in the child’s best interest. Accordingly the Court reversed the family court’s finding.

The Court vacated in part, reversed in part and remanded for a new permanency planning hearing pursuant to SC Code Section 63-7-1700.

In State v. Huckabee, Appellant sought review of his convictions for homicide by child abuse (HCA) inflicting great bodily injury upon a child, unlawful conduct toward a child, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor. Appellant argues the trial court erred in admitting testimony of a witness proffered as an expert in criminal behavior analysis.

The Court held that Agent LaRosa’s criminal profiling testimony was excludable under Rule 403, SCRE, because the testimony suggested Appellant’s guild on an improper basis, and therefore, the danger of unfair prejudice outweighed any possible probative value.

Accordingly, the Court reversed Appellant’s convictions for first-degree CSC with a minor, inflicting great bodily harm upon a child, and HCA and remanded for a new trial. The Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction for unlawful conduct toward a child because the testimony provided by the doctor who performed the child’s autopsy and Appellant’s own admissions overwhelmingly supported his conviction. 

Abel v. SCDHEC is an appeal from the Administrative Law Court (ALC), Dan and Mary Abel (the Abels) argue the ALC erred in refusing to enforce a previous consent order requiring that wetlands on neighboring property be maintained. The Court held that the ALC erred by interpreting the Consent Order to include a temporal restriction on clauses that contain no such limitation. The Court reversed the ALC’s order limiting the Consent Order and remanded for the court to consider the Appellants’ request for an injunction in light of the conclusions reached in this opinion.

State v. Davis is an appeal arising from Appellant’s conviction for conspiracy to traffic 100 grams or more but less than 200 grams of methamphetamine, the S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed Appellant’s conviction. The Appellant raised five issues on appeal.

The court held, inter alia, that: (1) the circuit court’s admission of hearsay from the confidential informant (CI) during Agent Asbill’s testimony violated Appellant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation because Appellant had no opportunity to cross-examine the CI; and (2) the circuit court’s error in admitting hearsay during Agent Asbill’s testimony was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because the jury had more than enough evidence from the co-conspirator’s testimony to find Appellant conspired to traffic 100 grams or more of methamphetamine.

In Nero v. SCDOT, is an appeal arising from the decision of the Appellate Panel of the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission (the Appellate Panel), this Court reversed the Appellate Panel’s decision.

The court held that the Appellate Panel erred when it found SCDOT did not receive adequate notice under section 42-15-20(A) of the South Carolina Code. Although Appellant never formally reported his injuries to his supervisors, his supervisors were both present at the time of his injury. In addition, the Court held that the Appellate Panel erred in finding Appellant failed to establish a “reasonable excuse” for any notice deficiency and that SCDOT was prejudiced by the lack of notice. Appellant’s reason for not formally reporting his workplace incident was that his supervisors were present when he lost consciousness. Moreover, Appellant’s supervisors talked to him while he was hospitalized and were aware of his treatment and subsequent surgery, as well as the fact that he never returned to work after his collapse.

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South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions for March

In March, the Supreme Court published four opinions:

In Clemmons v. Lowe’s Home Centers, the Court determined whether a claimant’s ability to work can affect his entitlement to disability benefits under the scheduled-member statute of the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act (the Act). The scheduled-member statute, in part, states that in cases where there is fifty percent or more loss of use of the back, there is a rebuttable presumption that the injured employee suffered total and permanent disability. The claimant injured his back and neck while working at Lowe’s. The Commission awarded him only permanent partial disability despite all of the medical evidence indicating that Claimant lost more than fifty percent of the use of his back. The court of appeals’ affirmed.

This Court  reversed the court of appeal’s decision and held that the Workers’ Compensation Commission erred in denying the petitioner permanent total disability. The Court found that evidence of a claimant’s ability to hold gainful employment alone cannot preclude a determination of permanent disability under the scheduled-member statute.

Justice Pleicones concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.

In State v. Bash, Bash was indicted for trafficking in cocaine and cocaine base. The circuit court found the arresting officers conducted an illegal search, and suppressed the drugs. The State appealed. The court of appeals reversed the circuit court’s suppression order and remanded for trial. This Court issued a writ of certiorari  to review the court of appeals’ decision. The Court reversed the court of appeals decision and reinstated the circuit court’s order suppressing the evidence. The Court found that the grassy area intruded up by the police is considered part of the curtilage of the home and within the umbrella of the Fourth Amendment protection. Accordingly, the evidence was rightfully suppressed.

In Stone v. State, the Court affirmed the PCR court’s denial of post-conviction relief for Stone convicted of murder for killing a member of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

In Retail Services v. SCDOR, the Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondents, holding that sections 61-6-140 and 61-6-150 of the S.C. Code (collectively, code sections) are unconstitutional.

Retail Services attempted to open a fourth liquor store in Aiken, however, SCDOR refused to grant Retail Services the necessary fourth liquor license under sections 61-6-140 and 61-6-150 of the S.C. Code, which limit a liquor-selling entity to three retail liquor licenses.  Retail Services brought a declaratory judgment that these code provisions are unconstitutional. Retail Services argues that the code provisions exceed

This Court found that Retail Services satisfied the burden of showing that the code sections were unconstitutional as violative of the General Assembly’s police powers under VIII-A, section 1 of the South Carolina Constitution,  finding that the State’s regulation exceed constitutional bounds and

Justice Kittredge dissented in a separate opinion.

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Articles Worth Reading

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

  1. Amplifying the Voice of the Client in Law Firms;
  2. Attorney-Client Privilege Waived When Non-Password Protected Files Stored Online;
  3. BigLaw Disconnect Driving Clients to Smaller Firms;
  4. Buying or Upgrading Practice Management Software?  4 Things to Know;
  5. Can United Order Passenger Ouster?  Check Out Its Contract of Carriage and Federal Compensation Caps;
  6. For Law Firms, It’s From Alternative Fees to Alternative Business Models;
  7. Hal Marcus of Open Text on AI and the Increasing Take-Up of Predictive Coding by Lawyers;
  8. Law 360’s Weekly Verdict:  Legal Lions and Lambs;
  9. Master the LSAT with Learning Science;
  10. Millennial Lawyers Aren’t Chasing Money, Report Says;
  11. New Mexico Outlaws “Lunch Shaming” in Law Said to Be First of Its Kind;
  12. Rule 26 and How It Applies to Electronically Stored Information;
  13. The Genius Innovation That Made the Great Library of Alexandria Work;
  14. These Are Six Communication Styles That Every Single Person Uses; and
  15. United Airlines Incident Highlights Limited Consumer Rights.

Happy reading!

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Tax Day Resources

tax-day-returns-april-wooden-letters-top-income-form-showing-filing-86949027tax-day-2017tax-season-2016-300x200

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, is the national tax day.  Either your 2016 tax returns or a request for an extension are due into the appropriate IRS Center and state revenue department.

If you are looking for federal tax forms, check out the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/. Form 1040 is available here while 1040EZ can be found here.   A  request to file an automatic extension, Form 4868, can be found here.  Additional forms are available here and can be searched by keyword, product number, title, or revision date.  Browse the 2016 tax tables here.

South Carolina’s Department of Revenue website is available at https://dor.sc.gov/.  South Carolina’s 1040 is here while South Carolina’s Form 4868, Request to File an Extension, is here.  Additional forms can be found here.

If you need tax forms for another state, check out the Federation of Tax Administrators website.  It provides links to the official revenue departments’ forms for all 50 states.

 

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