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South Carolina
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Release of Opinions
(12/23/2014)

Due to the holiday schedule, the opinions of the Supreme Court and the Shearouse Advance Sheet will be released at noon on Tuesday, December 23, 2014.


Attached is a copy of an Order of Chief Justice Jean H. Toal, dated December 22, 2014, the original of which is filed in our Office. The Order designates Chief Judges and Associate Chief Judges for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts. The Order becomes effective January 1, 2015.


Applicants interested in using laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the February 2015 South Carolina Bar Examination must complete and return the attached "Request to Participate" form by Monday, January 12, 2015.


Amendment to Rule 31 of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR


Court issues order lifting injunction on issuance of marriage licenses by probate judges to same-sex couples.


Opinion issued in Abbeville County School District v. State of South Carolina.


The Court has amended a number of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement within Rule 413, SCACR, which were proposed by the Commission on Lawyer Conduct.


The Court has amended Rules 408 and 420, SCACR, at the request of the Chief Justice's Commission on the Profession concerning the requirement that newly admitted members complete an Essentials Series course during their first annual Continuing Legal Education reporting year.


Supreme Court Issues Orders Regarding the General Election for House District 114


The results of the July 2014 Bar Examination were posted on the Bar Admissions Page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2014.


The Civil Action Coversheet, SCCA/234, bearing a revision date of 10/2014 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina.


Order outlining changes in the membership of the Access to Justice Commission.


The Court has approved the South Carolina Bar's request to amend the Bar Constitution to eliminate the provision prohibiting Chair of the House of Delegates from being eligible for nomination to the office of President-Elect for two years following the expiration of a term as the Chair of the House of Delegates.


Order Filed in The State of South Carolina ex rel Alan Wilson, Attorney General v. Irvin G. Condon, Judge


Filings in The State of South Carolina ex rel Alan Wilson, Attorney General v. Irvin G. Condon, Judge


The Board of Law Examiners requests the Court approve its proposed amendments to the Rules of the Board of Law Examiners found at Appendix A to Part IV of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, the Court approves the Board of Law Examiners' proposed amendments to the Rules of the Board of Law Examiners.


Columbia Homeless Court Program


On September 23, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court, in partnership with South Carolina Educational Television will begin live streaming of oral arguments via the internet.


Chief Justice Toal has issued an order regarding the Business Court Procedures which includes extending the Pilot Program for two years, effective September 18, 2014. The Order also approves changes to the procedure so that a copy of the Motion for Business Court Assignment be sent to Chief Justice Toal.


At the request of the South Carolina Bar, the Court has amended Rules 1.6 and 1.17 of the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning the permissible disclosure of client information to detect and resolve conflicts of interest.


IT IS ORDERED that all domestic relations and juvenile cases in the State of South Carolina, with the exception of DSS Abuse and Neglect cases, shall be disposed of within 365 days of their filing. 


On Thursday, August 21, 2014, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal addressed members of South Carolina's Judiciary at the Annual Judicial Conference.


IT IS ORDERED that in addition to their other duties as circuit court judges


IT IS ORDERED that the Motion for Case Assignment to the Business Court Pilot Program (SCCA Form 101) with a revision date of 07/2014 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of South Carolina.


The deadline for uploading today's answers will be extended. The new deadline will be announced at the start of the examination on Wednesday morning.


The Court has agreed to adopt, with minor changes, the American Bar Association's Model Court Rule on the Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster, which is codified as Rule 426, SCACR. Additionally, a reference to Rule 426 has been added to Comment 14 to Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.


Administrative Order Regarding Rule 41.2, SCRCP in Family and Probate Courts


The South Carolina Bar has proposed amending Rule 45(b)(1) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure to alter how witness fees and reimbursement for mileage are tendered to witnesses. The Court has elected to defer taking action on the proposed change pending receipt of written public comments.


Senator Strom Thurmond established the Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement to recognize law enforcement officers in South Carolina whose performance demonstrates the highest ideals of excellence in law enforcement. An annual award is given in each of four categories: (1) city officer; (2) county officer; (3) state officer; and (4) federal officer.


Extensions in Cases Seeking Review of Decisions of the South Carolina Court of Appeals


The Supreme Court issued its opinion in Harrell v. Attorney General of the State of South Carolina.


Public Access to the Appellate Case Management System has been expanded to include certiorari proceedings seeking review of decisions of the South Carolina Court of Appeals (excluding family court cases).


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the circuit courts, and family courts; fees and related charges of the registers of deeds


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the magistrate courts and municipal courts


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the circuit courts, family courts, magistrates courts and municipal courts; fees and related charges of the registers of deeds


On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, the Court of Appeals surprised Judge Pieper by arranging a small retirement luncheon to say farewell. The Governor awarded Judge Pieper the Order of the Palmetto, which Judge Kristi Harrington presented to Judge Pieper at the luncheon. 


Oral arguments scheduled for Tuesday, June 24th beginning at 2:30 pm in the Supreme Court case - Robert W. Harrell, Jr. v. Attorney General of the State of South Carolina - were streamed live over the internet by SCETV.


I find that clarification is needed regarding implementation of Act No. 192 of 2014, which amended S.C. Code Ann. §22-2-190 relating to magistrate court jury areas in each County, so as to revise and update the territorial description of the jury areas.


Chief Judges for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts


Settlement Procedure for Minors or Incapacitated Persons


Judicial Elections
(05/28/2014)

Judicial elections were held May 28, 2014.


Applicants interested in using laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the July 2014 South Carolina Bar Examination must complete and return the attached "Request to Participate" form by Friday, June 13, 2014.


Rule 7.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, has been amended, by the addition of section (i), to set forth requirements for disclaimers in lawyer advertisements. The amendment is effective July 1, 2014.


At the request of the South Carolina Bar, the Supreme Court has amended Rule 410(j), SCACR, to increase the annual license fees paid by members of the South Carolina Bar.


At the request of the South Carolina Bar, the Supreme Court has amended Rule 411, SCACR, to increase the number of members of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Committee and to increase the annual assessment for the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection.


Richland County JUVENILE Mental Health Court


IT IS ORDERED that the Confidential Reference List of Redacted Identifiers (SCRCP Form 6) with a revision date of May 2014 is approved for use in civil cases in the Circuit Courts, Family Courts and Magistrates Courts of South Carolina. 


Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 404 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules is amended to read as shown in the attachment to this order.


Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 17(e) of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (RLDE) contained in Rule 413 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR) is amended.


The results of the February 2014 Bar Examination were posted on the Bar Admissions Page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014.


The Supreme Court has issued an order administratively suspending lawyers under Rule 419, SCACR, for failing to comply with Continuing Legal Education Requirements.


The Supreme Court issued its opinion in S.C. Libertarian Party v. S.C. Election Commission.


I find that in the State of South Carolina there are currently under supervision 135 individuals who have been charged with a criminal offense and subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI).


The Supreme Court of South Carolina has scheduled oral arguments in the case of South Carolina Libertarian Party v. South Carolina State Election Commission at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014.


The Commission on Lawyer Conduct requests that the Court adopt the American Bar Association's Model Court Rule on the Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of a Major Disaster with minor changes. The language the Commission proposes for adoption as Rule 426 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, along with a recommended amendment to the comments to Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct contained in Rule 407, SCACR, is attached.


Since ninety days have passed since submission without rejection by the General Assembly, the amendments contained in the above orders are effective immediately.


Revised Order Concerning Personal Identifying Information and Other Sensitive Information in Appellate Court Filings


Since ninety days have passed since submission without rejection by the General Assembly, the amendments contained in the above orders are effective immediately.


The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Amisub of South Carolina, Inc. v. SCDHEC.


Chief Justice Jean H. Toal delivered her State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly today, April 9, 2014, at 11:30 am.


The Supreme Court has issued an order quashing various notices of deposition and subpoenas duces tecum issued by Charles Brooks in the case of South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense v. Charles Thomas Brooks, III.


The Supreme Court has issue an order administrative suspending lawyers under Rule 419, SCACR, for failing to pay license fees to the South Carolina Bar.


Public Access to the Appellate Case Management System has been expanded to include appeals from the court of general sessions.


IT IS ORDERED that SCCA Form 430S – Short Form Financial Declaration bearing a date of (2/2014), is approved for use in the Family Courts of South Carolina.


Judicial Elections
(02/05/2014)

Judicial elections were held February 5, 2014.


The Board of Law Examiners (the Board) will not test on these revisions during the February 2014 South Carolina Bar Examination. It will begin testing on the revisions during the July 2014 South Carolina Bar Examination.



Pursuant to Article V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution, the following rule changes were submitted to the South Carolina General Assembly on January 15, 2014.


Court Issues Order Amending Rule 402(i), SCACR


Pursuant to the provisions of Article V, §4, of the South Carolina Constitution, and in furtherance of this Court's opinion in State v. Langford, the Court has created the General Sessions Docket Committee and appoints the following representatives from the Judiciary, Solicitors, Public Defenders, Private Counsel, and Clerks of Court to the Committee. The Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Court concerning the adoption of a rule or order for the orderly administration of the docket in the Court of General Sessions. 


Pursuant to the provisions of S.C. Const. Art. V § 4, I find that the South Carolina Business Court Pilot Program, established on September 2, 2007, by Order 2007-09-07-01, and extended by Order 2009-10-13-01 and Order 2011-11-30-01, has successfully created an option to litigate complex business, corporate, and commercial matters in the circuit courts of this State and should be expanded statewide.


The Supreme Court issues order regarding the legal rate of interest on money decrees and judgments.