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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - July 2011

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.

7-7-2011 - Opinions

26996 - Cole v. Town of Atlantic Beach Election Commission

In this dispute over the results of a town council election in Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, held on November 3, 2009, Carolyn Cole and Windy Price appealed the circuit court order affirming the Town of Atlantic Beach Municipal Election Commission's decision to de-certify and order a new election for two Atlantic Beach Town Councilmember positions. This Court reverses.

7-11-2011 - Opinions

26997 - Epstein v. Coastal Timber Co., Inc.

We reverse a circuit court order finding Epstein's mortgages did not secure an interest in the property's standing timber and remand for further proceedings.

26998 - State v. Nance

In this case, the South Carolina Supreme Court found the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of an unavailable witness under Rule 804, SCRE, because when the unavailable witness gave the testimony, defendant's counsel had the opportunity to cross-examine him, but chose not to for acceptable strategic purposes.

26999 - In the Matter of Clyde Louis Pennington

27000 - In the Matter of Irby Ezell Walker, Jr.

27001 - In the Matter of Louis S. Moore

27002 - In the Matter of Gwendolyn Long Robinson

27003 - Pikaart v. A & A Taxi

In this workers' compensation case, we affirm a circuit court order finding Robert Pikaart was an employee of A & A Taxi, Inc. rather than an independent contractor.

27004 - State v. Reid

In this case, the Court considered the court of appeals’ decision to uphold the denial of a directed verdict by the trial court.

27005 - Town of Mt. Pleasant v. Roberts

We affirm as modified the circuit court's decision reversing Respondent's conviction for DUI.

27006 - Georgetown County League of Women Voters v. Smith Land Company

The Court reversed a circuit court order, holding that there is a private cause of action under the Pollution Control Act, that DHEC has jurisdiction under the Act over isolated wetlands, and that respondent violated the Act.

7-11-2011 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of David Ransom Lawson
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel has filed a petition asking this Court to place respondent on interim suspension pursuant to Rule 17(c), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, and seeking the appointment of an attorney to protect respondent’s clients’ interests pursuant to Rule 31, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR.
7-18-2011 - Opinions

27007 - SCDSS v. M.R.C.L.

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals' opinion, which reversed the family court's grant of TPR as to the mother.

27008 - In the Matter of Gilbert S. Bagnell

27009 - In the Matter of James Gerald Longtin

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) filed formal charges based on allegations of misconduct against Respondent arising from six separate complaints. The Hearing Panel of the Commission on Lawyer Conduct (Panel) recommended Respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months, along with other conditions. ODC took exception to the Panel's findings in two of the matters, and the Panel's failure to recommend Respondent appear before the Committee on Character and Fitness upon petitioning for reinstatement due to his recently diagnosed psychological disorder. The Court agreed with ODC that Respondent's actions amounted to misconduct under the Rules, and ordered Respondent's suspension from the practice of law for a period of nine months and adopted all of the other conditions recommended by the Panel, in addition to the requirement that Respondent appear before the Committee on Character and Fitness upon filing a petition for reinstatement.

7-25-2011 - Opinions

27010 - In the Matter of Mark Felker Dahle

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer.

27011 - Charleston County School District v. Harrell

The school district sued various state officials, contending a specific act was unconstitutional as special legislation and the Governor was a proper party. The Court found the school district's complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action but that the Governor was not a proper party.

27012 - Holden v. State

We reverse the circuit court's order granting PCR to Respondent as to her guilty plea.

27013 - Carolina Chloride v. Richland County

Carolina Chloride brought this action against Richland County alleging the County incorrectly advised it of the legal zoning classification of its property. The trial court directed a verdict for the County on all of Carolina Chloride's claims. The Court of Appeals reversed as to the claims for negligence and negligent misrepresentation and affirmed as to the remaining claims. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

27014 - State v. Brandt

Defendant appealed his forgery conviction and sentence. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

27015 - State v. Jacobs

In this case, the Supreme Court of South Carolina held that a judge may not suspend a sentence for burglary in the first degree, pursuant to section 24-21-410 of the South Carolina Code, because that crime is punishable by life imprisonment.