Today, the South Carolina Supreme Court has amended Rule 403, SCACR that pertains to the required 4 trial observations that a member of the bar must complete prior to practice.
Previously, Rule 403 required an in person observation of a criminal, civil, family and administrative proceeding with the ability to substitute one trial experience for the successful completion of the Judicial Observation Experience (JOE) Program
The Court amended the rule to include: allowing observations of a trial by video that has been previously approved by the Court; lowering the required number of observed witness direct and cross-examinations in a civil or criminal matter from (3) to (2); allowing observations of an alternative dispute resolution proceeding by a video approved by the Court or in person; and permitting two “day in court” experiences, which must include a minimum of four hours in court per day/experience, to satisfy a trial observation.
The videos approved by the Court can be found on the South Carolina Bar webpage under the Shop CLE- Rule 403 tab.
Another notable change permits current law students to begin their trial observations after completion of two-thirds of the credit hours needed for graduation. Formerly, the required completion was one-half.
The full amended rule can be found here.