Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.
The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.
3-7-2011 - Opinions
26937 - Hollins v. Wal-Mart Stores
In this case, the Court granted certiorari to consider whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s decision not to strike a juror for cause.
26938 - Campbell v. Town of Yemassee
In this annexation challenge, the Court found the individual appellants lacked standing and the State's motions to intervene or be substituted in the action were untimely.
26939 - In the Matter of William Gary White, III
In this attorney disciplinary matter, we impose a definite suspension of ninety days on attorney William Gary White III for his lack of civility and professionalism while handling a zoning dispute with the Town of Atlantic Beach.3-14-2011 - Opinions
The Supreme Court granted Jack Edward Earl Parker's request for a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in State v. Parker, 381 S.C. 539, 673 S.E.2d 833 (Ct. App. 2009) affirming the trial court's decision to deny a motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy. The Court reversed, finding the solicitor goaded the defense counsel into moving for a mistrial, and thus double jeopardy attached, barring further prosecution.
Because we find Appellant's arrest was unlawful, we reverse his conviction for first-degree burglary and remand.3-21-2011 - Opinions
26942 - In the Matter of David Breen
This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.
26943 - In the Matter of Nancy Holland Mayer
In this opinion, the Court suspended Nancy Holland Mayer from the practice of law for nine months from the date of the opinion and imposed other requirements.
26944 - In the Matter of Michael Moore
In this opinion, the Court suspended Michael Davis Moore from the practice of law for six months from the date of the opinion and imposed other requirements.
26945 - In the Matter of Sheryl Schelin
In this opinion, the Court disbars Sheryl Sisk Schelin.
26946 - In the Matter of William Weems
In this opinion, the Court suspended William Barney Weems, III from the practice of law for one year from the date of the opinion, ordered restitution and placed conditions on reinstatement.
In this capital case, we affirm the circuit court's finding that Appellant is competent to waive his right to direct appeal and that his waiver is knowing and voluntary. Additionally, we affirm Appellant's sentence of death. Finally, we hold that neither the circuit court nor this Court is required to issue an order for a court-appointed psychiatrist to interview Appellant, in the absence of some indicia of incompetency, immediately prior to his execution to assure that he has remained competent.
26948 - State v. Blackwell-Selim
26949 - Evening Post v. Berkeley County School District
Evening Post filed a declaratory action against Berkeley County School District, alleging the district violated the Freedom of Information Act when it refused to hand over Board members' evaluations of the superintendent. The circuit court granted the district's motion for summary judgment based on the attorney-client privilege exception in FOIA and denied Evening Post's motion to compel production of certain documents. This Court reversed.
We hold the State must establish a chain of custody for fungible evidence as far as practicable and reiterate that every person handling the evidence need not be identified in all circumstances.
26951 - In the Matter of David Braghirol
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed formal charges with the Commission on Lawyer Conduct alleging David Arthur Braghirol engaged in the practice of law by accepting legal fees while his license to practice law in South Carolina was suspended. Following a hearing, a Hearing Panel of the Commission on Lawyer Conduct found Respondent committed misconduct and recommended his suspension from the practice of law for a definite period of fifteen months, retroactive to the end of the nine month suspension that was imposed in July 2009. The Court accepted the recommendation and ordered Mr. Braghirol's definite suspension for fifteen months.3-28-2011 - Opinions
26952 - Utilities Services v. Regulatory Staff
In this appeal from the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Court affirms the PSC's role as fact-finder but reverses and remands in light of several errors of law.
Petitioners brought an action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act, and the trial court granted summary judgment to the Respondents on those claims. Petitioners sought a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Turner v. Milliman, 381 S.C. 101, 671 S.E.2d 636 (Ct. App. 2009), which affirmed grant of summary judgment. The Supreme Court found whether the policy was a group policy presented a genuine issue of material fact and reversed the grant of summary judgment on the negligent misrepresentation claim, but, due to the heightened standard of review regarding fraud, affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the fraud claim.