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April 2015



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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-001979    George Skipper, Veronica Skipper, Michael Perry Bowers, Specialty Logging, LLC, and Harold Moors, Plaintiffs, v. ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Brantley C. Rowlen, and Erin Lawson Coia, Defendants.

Mark B. Tinsley, of Gooding & Gooding, of Allendale, Randolph Murdaugh, IV , of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, of Hampton and Blake A. Hewitt, of Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, of Columbia, for Plaintiffs. Ronald K. Wray, II, and Gray T. Culbreath, both of Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A., of Greenville, Robert Rivera, Jr. and Robert S. Safi, both of Susman Godfrey L.L.P., of Houston, Texas, and Robert H. Hood, Robert H. Hood, Jr. and Deborah Harrison Sheffield, all of Hood Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, for Defendants.

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina asks this Court to determine whether a legal malpractice claim may be assigned between adversaries in litigation in which the alleged legal malpractice arose.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2014-000032    Joseph Azar, Frank J. Cumberland, Jr., and Michael A. Letts, Individually and as Class Representatives, Appellants, v. City of Columbia, Respondent.

Charles D. Lee, III, of McLaren & Lee, of Columbia and Gene McCain Connell, Jr., of Kelaher Connell & Connor, PC, of Surfside Beach, for Appellants. M. McMullen Taylor, of Mullen Taylor LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court certified this case to review the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the City of Columbia. The central issue is whether the City may legally use some of the approximately $110 million it collects each year in water and sewer fees for purposes unrelated to water and sewer services.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2013-000674    Hazel Jeisel Rivera, Respondent, v. Warren Jared Newton, Newton's Farm, J&J Logging, Inc., and Edgar Rivera, Petitioners.

Brandon A. Smith of King, Love & Smith, LLC, of Greenwood and John Dwight Hudson, of Hudson Law Offices, of Myrtle Beach, for Petitioners. Lawrence Sidney Connor, IV of Kelaher Connell & Connor, PC, of Surfside Beach, for Respondent.

In this appeal, Petitioners argue that the court of appeals erred in upholding the trial court's grant of Respondent's new trial motion after the jury returned a verdict in favor of Petitioners.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2014-001966    The State of South Carolina, Petitioner, v. Steven Louis Barnes, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Attorney General Melody J. Brown, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Donald V. Myers, of Lexington, for Petitioner. Jeffrey P. Bloom, William S. McGuire, and Emily Kuchar, all of South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted the State's petition for a common law writ of certiorari to determine whether respondent's convictions and death sentence should be reinstated.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 20-20-10-10)
2014-000642    Julie Freeman, Appellant/Respondent, v. J.L.H. Investments, LP, a/k/a Hendrick Honda of Easley, Respondent/Appellant.

Terry E. Richardson, David Butler and Brady R. Thomas, all of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, of Barnwell, A. Camden Lewis, of Lewis, Babcock & Griffin, LLP, of Columbia, Michael E. Spears, of Michael E. Spears, PA, of Spartanburg and Gedney M. Howe, III, of Gedney M. Howe, III, PA, of Charleston, for Appellant/Respondent. James Y. Becker and Mary M. Caskey, both of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA, of Columbia, Sarah P. Spruill, of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA, of Greenville, Marvin D. Infinger, of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Charleston and John T. Lay, of Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA, of Columbia, for Respondent/Appellant.

These cross-appeals following a jury verdict in favor of automobile purchasers, involve whether purchasers of automobiles were charged unfair and arbitrary closing fees or administrative fees in violation of the South Carolina Regulation of Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Act.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-002001    The State, Respondent, v. Manuel Marin, Petitioner.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek and Appellate Defender David Alexander, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Assistant Attorney General Anthony Mabry, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Barry J. Barnette and Assistant Solicitor Russell D. Ghent, both of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

The Court reviews the court of appeals' decision in State v. Marin, 404 S.C. 615, 745 S.E.2d 148 (Ct. App. 2013).

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-002246    In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Christopher Taft, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted the petition for certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion of In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Christopher Taft, Op. No. 2013-UP-334 (S.C. Ct. App. 2013). Taft challenges the jury's verdict that he meets the legal definition of a sexually violent predator. Specifically, Taft argues the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court's denial of his motions for directed verdict and judgment nonwithstanding the verdict, and further erred in affirming the trial court's decision regarding the 90-day timeline for court-appointed evaluations as set by statute.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2013-002464    Scott F. Lawing and Tammy R. Lawing, Petitioners/Respondents, v. Univar, USA, Inc., Trinity Manufacturing, Inc., and Matrix Outsourcing, LLC, Defendants, Of Whom Trinity Manufacturing, Inc. and Matrix Outsourcing, LLC, are Respondents/Petitioners.

John S. Nichols, of Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, of Columbia, Larry C. Brandt, of Larry C. Brandt, PA, of Walhalla, Robert P. Foster, of Foster Law Firm, LLC, of Greenville, William P. Walker, Jr. and S. Kirkpatrick Morgan, Jr., both of Walker & Morgan, LLC, of Lexington, for Petitioners/Respondents. Christian Stegmaier, of Collins & Lacy, PC, of Columbia and Amy L. Neuschafer, of Collins & Lacy, PC, of Murrells Inlet, for Respondents/Petitioners.

In this products liability case, the Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Lawing v. Trinity Manufacturing, Inc., 406 S.C. 13, 749 S.E.2d 126 (Ct. App. 2013), wherein the court of appeals affirmed the trial court's decision to charge the jury on the sophisticated user doctrine and reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment on a strict liability cause of action.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-212905    The State, Respondent, v. Isaac Antonio Anderson, Appellant.

Joshua Shaheen Nasrollahi, of Greenwood and Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr. and Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this direct appeal from his conviction for first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, appellant challenges the constitutionality of S.C. Code Ann. ยง 17-23-175 and the qualification of a witness as an expert.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-213171    Errol Washington, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Danny Washington, Petitioner, v. Alice R. Stewart, Leroy Stewart, Alvin E. Burch, a/k/a Alvin E. Birch, Rudell S. Burch, Sterling Lending Group, Inc., a South Carolina Corporation, Regent Bank, and Wachovia Bank, N.A., Defendants, Of Whom Alice R. Stewart, Leroy Stewart, Alvin E. Burch, a/k/a Alvin E. Birch, Rudell S. Burch and Wachovia Bank, N.A. are the Respondents.

T. Alexander Beard and Edward P. Guerard, Jr., both of Mt. Pleasant, for Petitioner. Trudy H. Robertson and Robert E. Sumner, IV, both of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, of Charleston, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Washington v. Stewart, Op. No. 2012-UP-420 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 11, 2012), wherein the court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment on Washington's aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and negligence claims.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-002002    The State, Respondent, v. Richard Burton Beekman, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Laura Ruth Baer, of Columbia, Carmen Vaughn Ganjehsani, of Richardson Plowden and Robinson, of Columbia and Dayne C. Phillips, of Lexington, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Christina Catoe Bigelow, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted the petition for certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion in State v. Beekman, 405 S.C. 225, 746 S.E.2d 483 (Ct. App. 2013). Beekman argues the court of appeals erred by affirming the trial court's denial of his motion to sever where he was charged with lewd act upon a minor and criminal sexual conduct involving different victims and arising under a different chain of circumstances.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-002247    The State, Respondent, v. Darren Scott, Petitioner.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek and Appellate Defender David Alexander, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

Petitioner, who was convicted of three counts of lewd action upon a child and one count of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, argues the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court's decision to admit the testimony of two witnesses who Petitioner sexually abused years before he began sexually abusing the victims in this case.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-001989    The State, Petitioner, v. Gregg Gerald Henkel, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Petitioner. C. Rauch Wise, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in State v. Henkel, 404 S.C. 626, 746 S.E.2d 347 (Ct. App. 2013).

Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument

Bryan L. Mulligan, Respondent, v. State of South Carolina, Petitioner.

Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Megan E. Harrigan, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Tara Dawn Shurling, of Law Offices of Tara Dawn Shurling, PA, of Columbia, for Respondent.