Opinions from the South Carolina Supreme Court

125px-SCSupreme_CourtSealOn August 24th, the South Carolina Supreme Court published seven opinions:

In the Matter of Spero C. Keretses and In the Matter of Eric G. Fosmire, the Court publically reprimands named attorneys for misconduct.

In the Matter of Joenathan Shelly Chaplin and In the Matter of Abigail P. Allocco, the Court suspends named attorneys and imposes other requirements.

In the Matter of George Thomas Samaha, III and In the Matter of Matthew Jeffrey Lester, the Court disbars named attorneys from the practice of law in this state.

Allegro v. Scully, Allegro, Inc (“Allegro”)  brought this suit seeking damages resulting from Emmitt Scully’s (“Scully”) departure from Allegro, in order to form a competing company with former Allegro employees.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of Allegro on all claims of civil conspiracy, breach of contract and breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act.  Petitioners, all former employees, moved for JNOV on all causes of action which the trial court denied. The court of appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial.

This Court addressed only whether the three claims should be included in the remand. The Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ finding and held that the trial court erred in denying the petitioners’ motions for a directed verdict on the claims of civil conspiracy, breach of contract, and breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act. Further, the Court reasoned that  those causes of action should have never been submitted to the jury because there were no material terms provided or alleged to find a contract on which Allegro can predicate its claims of breach of contract and breach of  contract accompanied by a fraudulent act.  Accordingly, the Court reversed the appellate court’s  decision and dismissed those causes of action and remanded for trial the remaining causes of actions.

On August 17th, the Court published two opinions:

In State v. Rearick, Appellant moved to bar subsequent prosecution on the charge of felony driving under the influence resulting in death on the ground a second trial would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. This appeal was  following the circuit court’s judge’s declaration of a mistrial over defense counsel’s objection. This Court dismissed the appeal without prejudice as interlocutory.

In Parsons v. John Wieland Homes, the Court reversed the court of appeals’ finding  that because the arbitration clause was located within the Warranty, its scope was limited to the terms of the Warranty and therefore unenforceable in this matter. Additionally, the majority of the Court would have ruled that the outrageous torts exception doctrine survives, contrary to the holding stated in the “majority” opinion.

Justice Hearn and Justice Beatty concurred in part and dissented in part in a separate opinion.  Acting Justice Toal dissented in a separate opinion.

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