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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
 10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001593   The State, Respondent, v. Jose Reyes Reyes, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Kathrine H. Hudgins, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Senior Assistant Attorney General David Spencer, both of Columbia and Solicitor William W. Wilkins, III, of Greenville, for Respondent.

Jose Reyes Reyes was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The court of appeals affirmed his conviction. State v. Reyes, Op. No. 2019-UP-214 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 12, 2019). This Court granted Reyes a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision. Reyes argues the trial court erred in conducting a witness competency hearing in the presence of the jury, and Reyes argues the trial court and the State improperly vouched for the witness's credibility in the presence of the jury.

 11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001435   The State, Respondent, v. Fabian Lamichael Green, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Susan Barber Hackett, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General W. Jeffrey Young, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody J. Brown, all of Columbia and Solicitor David M. Stumbo, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in State v. Green, 427 S.C. 223, 830 S.E.2d 711 (Ct. App. 2019).

Thursday, September 17, 2020
 10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-000691   Eric Ragsdale, Appellant, v. Mark Keel, Chief, State Law Enforcement Division, and the State of South Carolina, Respondents.

Jonathan M. Milling and Sandra V. Moser, both of Milling Law Firm, LLC, of Columbia, for Appellant. General Counsel Adam L. Whitsett and Litigation Counsel Paul T. Ahearn III, both of South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, of Columbia, Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondent.

Eric Ragsdale challenges the constitutionality of the lifetime registration requirement for unenumerated offenders under S.C. Code Ann. ยง 23-3-400 et seq.

 11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2018-001124   Crystal L. Wickersham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of John Harley Wickersham, Jr., Plaintiffs, v. Ford Motor Company, Defendant.

Ronnie L. Crosby, of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, of Hampton and Kathleen C. Barnes, of Barnes Law Firm, LLC, of Hampton, for Plaintiffs. J. Kenneth Carter, Jr. and Carmelo B. Sammataro, both of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A., of Columbia, Adam H. Charnes and Thurston H. Webb, both of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Defendant. Steve A. Matthews, of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P. A., of Columbia and Victor E. Schwartz, Cary Silverman and Phil Goldberg, all of Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP, of Washington, DC, for Amicus Curiae, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. Frank L. Eppes, of Eppes & Plumblee, of Greenville for Amicus Curiae, South Carolina Association for Justice. Gray T. Culbreath and Jessica A. Waller, both of Gallivan White and Boyd, P.A., of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae, Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit asks this Court to determine: (1) whether South Carolina recognizes an "uncontrollable impulse" exception to the general rule that suicide breaks the causal chain for wrongful death claims, and if so, what is required to satisfy causation under the exception; and (2) whether comparative negligence in causing enhanced injuries applies in a crashworthiness case when the plaintiff alleges claims of strict liability and breach of warranty and is seeking damages related only to the plaintiff's enhanced injuries.

Friday, September 18, 2020
Supreme Court Courtroom
 11:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 20-20-5)  
2020-001069   Dr. Thomasena Adams, Rhonda Polin, Shaun Thacker, Orangeburg County School District, Sherry East, and the South Carolina Education Association, Petitioners, v. Governor Henry McMaster, Palmetto Promise Institute, South Carolina Office of the Treasurer, and South Carolina Department of Administration, Respondents.

Skyler B. Hutto of Williams & Williams, of Orangeburg; and W. Allen Nickles, III, of Nickles Law Firm, LLC, of Columbia for Petitioners. Shelly Kelly and Shawn D. Eubanks, both of South Carolina Treasurer's Office, of Columbia, for Respondent South Carolina Office of the State Treasurer. Thomas A. Limehouse, Jr., Chief Legal Counsel, Anita (Mardi) S. Fair, both of the Office of the Governor; Michael J. Anzelmo, of McGuire Woods, LLP; and Robert E. Tyson, Jr., J. Michael Montgomery, Vordman Carlisle Traywick, III, all of Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, all of Columbia, for Respondent Governor Henry McMaster. Kevin A. Hall and M. Todd Carroll, both of Columbia; Daniel R. Suhr and Brian K. Kelsey, both of Liberty Justice Center, of Chicago, Illinois, pro hac vice, for Respondent Palmetto Promise Institute.

This action brought in the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court involves the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund established by the Federal CARES Act. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, only the lawyers arguing will be allowed into the Supreme Court Building for the arguments in this case. Persons desiring to watch these arguments should do so using the Supreme Court Video Portal at In addition to live streaming, a recording of the arguments will be posted to the Video Portal on the afternoon following the arguments.