While perusing the shelves of the Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library, I came across one of the most useful resources I’ve ever seen. I am referring to South Carolina Rules of Court: Key Rules, Volume IA – State (2018 edition). Published by Thomson Reuters, this resource can easily be purchased by the general public. In fact, I found it on Amazon for $200. While the price may be fairly steep, its value far exceeds the cost.
This resource is part of a multi-volume series. There are editions published for each state as well as federal rules. This particular edition will be helpful to any attorney in civil practice in the state court. Imagine having an important case dismissed because you failed to file a document, missed a deadline, or inadvertently skipped a step in the service requirements.
A quick glance at this book while preparing your case could prevent such issues from arising. It provides you with a comprehensive guide to civil procedure in South Carolina. The beauty of this resource is how it is organized. Sure, someone can easily find South Carolina’s rules of civil procedure online, but how long would that take? You would have to click through several pages then search for a certain rule. With this book, you can find your information quickly and easily.
Your first step in using this resource is to look at the Table of Contents. The table is organized by the following categories: Pleadings; Motions, Oppositions and Replies; Requests, Notices and Applications, Appendix – Related Court Documents; Table of Laws and Rules; and Table of Cases. If you were about to file a complaint, you would first look at the table under the Pleadings section. This would guide you to the area concerning Complaints.
The first thing you will find is a checklist that will tell you all the required documents and any supplemental documents you may need. There is even a checklist for matters to be considered by the Defendant. After looking at the checklist, you can read the specific rules and explanations of the rules. Finally, you could then look at the Appendix to find an actual sample of a complaint. By following these steps, you have quickly determined which documents are required, understand the rules for filing those documents, and have seen what the end result should look like. This process may be repeated for motions, replies, requests, notices, etc.
As you can see, the ease of use and speed with which you can gather information is what makes this book so valuable. While the price may be a bit high, it is well worth the expense. A solo practitioner new to the law and with little money may feel like this book is too expensive, but if they consider that it could save them a lot or time and prevent trouble, they may realize it is a great investment. Additionally, they could also use the book for free in the library!
~by Brad Riley