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South Carolina
Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In re: Amendments to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules


The Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession has proposed amending Rule 403, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, to provide that required Family Court trial experiences must include direct and cross-examination of at least two witnesses, rather than three witnesses.  The amendment also deletes the requirement that such matters include opening and closing statements.  The Commission suggested the amendment because trials in the Family Court rarely include opening or closing statements and often have less than three witnesses.  We agree.

Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, we hereby amend Rule 403(c), South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, as set forth below.  The amendment is effective immediately.

RULE 403

.     .     .

(c) Trial Experiences Required.  An attorney must complete four (4) trial experiences.  The required trial experiences are:

(1) one (1) civil jury trial in a Court of Common Pleas or in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina;

(2) one (1) criminal jury trial in General Sessions Court or in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina;

(3) one (1) trial in the Family Court; and

(4) one (1) trial experience which must be either a trial in equity before a circuit judge, master-in-equity, or special referee, or an administrative proceeding before an Administrative Law Judge or administrative officer of this State or of the United States. The administrative proceeding must be governed by either the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act or the Federal Administrative Procedure Act, and the hearing must take place within South Carolina.

Each of the trial experiences set forth in (1) and (2) above must include an opening statement, a closing argument and direct and cross examination of at least three witnesses.  Trial experiences in the Family Court set forth in (3) must include direct and cross examination of at least two witnesses.

.     .     .     .


s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
June 28, 2010