EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES
At the request of a party the court may order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses, and it may make the order of its own motion. This rule does not authorize exclusion of (1) a party who is a natural person, or (2) an officer or employee of a party which is not a natural person designated as its representative by its attorney, or (3) a person whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of the party's cause.
The federal rule requires sequestration of witnesses upon the request of a party. The South Carolina rule adheres to prior state practice which leaves the sequestration decision in the sound discretion of the trial judge. See State v. Jackson, 265 S.C. 278, 217 S.E.2d 794 (1975); State v. Miokovich, 257 S.C. 225, 185 S.E.2d 360 (1971). Otherwise, the South Carolina rule is consistent with the federal rule.