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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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September 2014



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, September 23, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-000073    Behrooz Taghivand, Plaintiff, v. Rite Aid Corporation, Eckerd Corporation, d/b/a Rite Aid, and Steve Smith, Defendants.

Allan R. Holmes and Timothy H. Lewis, both of Gibbs & Holmes, of Charleston, for Plaintiff. Benjamin Philip Glass and Luci L. Nelson, both of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, PC, of Charleston, for Defendants.

In this certified question, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina asks the Court whether, under the public policy exception to at-will employment, there is a cause of action for wrongful termination where an employee reasonably suspects that criminal activity, specifically, shoplifting, has occurred on the employer's premises, acts in good faith to report the suspected criminal activity to law enforcement, and the employee is terminated in retaliation for reporting the suspected criminal activity.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212349    Antonio D. Bordeaux, Respondent, v. State of South Carolina, Petitioner.

Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General J. Rutledge Johnson, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Appellate Defender Kathrine H. Hudgins, of Columbia, for Respondent.

This is a PCR action in which the Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Bordeaux v. State, Op. No. 2012-UP-284 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 9, 2012).

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-213178    Regions Bank, Petitioner, v. Richard C. Strawn, Robert K. Borchers, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Marie Borchers and Nancy Davidson Borchers, Respondents.

Harold P. Threlkeld, of Anderson, for Petitioner. Samantha N. Murphy, of Epps, Nelson & Epps, of Anderson, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Regions Bank v. Strawn, 399 S.C. 530, 732 S.E.2d 230 (Ct. App. 2012), wherein the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's order awarding damages to subsequent purchasers of real property under section 29-3-320 of the South Carolina Code (2007) for Petitioner's failure to mark satisfied a mortgage on the property.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212800    The State, Respondent, v. Larry T. Chestnut, Appellant.

Jeremy Adam Thompson, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this direct appeal, the Court considers the order of closing arguments where two codefendants are tried jointly and only one defendant presents evidence.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212389    Judy Marie Barnes, Employee, Petitioner, v. Charter 1 Realty, Employer, and Technology Insurance Co. Amtrust South, Carrier, Respondents.

David T. Pearlman, Michael J. Jordan and J. Kevin Holmes, all of The Steinberg Law Firm, LLP, of Goose Creek, for Petitioner. Natalie B. Fisher, of Clawson and Staubes, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion in Barnes v. Charter 1 Realty, Op. No. 2012-UP-025 (S.C.Ct.App. filed Jan. 25, 2012), affirming the Workers' Compensation Commission's denial of benefits for Barnes from an injury she sustained after falling at work.

10:15 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-000329    Carolyn M. Nicholson, Claimant, Petitioner, v. S.C. Department of Social Services, Employer, and State Accident Fund, Carrier, Defendants, Respondents.

Kathryn Williams, of Kathryn Williams, PA, of Greenville, for Petitioner. L. Brenn Watson and Zachary M. Smith, both of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA, of Greenville, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion in Nicholson v. South Carolina Department of Social Services, 405 S.C. 537, 748 S.E.2d 256 (Ct. App. 2013), reversing the Workers' Compensation Commission's award of benefits to Nicholson for an injury she suffered after falling at work.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-212451    Cynthia L. McNaughton, Respondent, v. Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, Inc., Appellant.

Thomas Bailey Smith, of Mt. Pleasant, for Appellant. Nancy Bloodgood, of Foster Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston and Lucy Clark Sanders, of Daniel Island, for Respondent.

Appellant contends that the circuit court erred in (1) denying Appellant's motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict on Respondent's breach of contract claim; (2) denying Appellant's motions for directed verdict, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and remittitur/new trial regarding special damages; and (3) awarding Respondent attorney's fees pursuant to section 15-77-300 of the South Carolina Code.

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212346    The State, Respondent, v. Kevin Shane Epting, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey Durant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Epting, Op. No. 2012-UP-152 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 7, 2012).

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-000086    The State, Respondent, v. Rushan Counts, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Carmen V. Ganjehani, of Columbia and Dayne C. Phillips, of Lexington, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing and Assistant Attorney General Julie Kate Keeney, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in State v. Counts, Op. No. 2012-UP-585 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Oct. 31, 2012), wherein the Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Petitioner contends the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the circuit court's denial of Petitioner's motion to suppress the drug evidence found in Petitioner's home pursuant to a "knock and talk" investigative technique.

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212777    The State, Respondent, v. James L. Carrier, Appellant.

Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, and Ernest Charles Grose, Jr., of Greenwood, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General John Benjamin Aplin, both of Columbia, and Solicitor David Matthew Stumbo, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

In this direct appeal, the Court considers whether the trial court erred in refusing to quash an indictment for lewd act, refusing to declare a mistrial, and refusing to find Appellant's sentence unconstitutional.