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Tag Archives: Legislature

Getting Mugged: Lawmakers, record-keepers aim to curtail mug shot publishers, but questions about free speech, public records access arise (access required)

Mugged

Lawmakers are expected to take up a bill this session aimed at giving South Carolina residents ammunition against websites that publish arrest mug shots and then demand hundreds of dollars to remove the embarrassing photos. The bill is part of ...

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Senator on tort reform bill: ‘We’ve got a problem’ (access required)

An amendment tacked onto a legislative proposal that would limit punitive damages in civil cases threatens to derail the bill on the Senate floor, said state Sen. Larry Martin, a key supporter of the proposed cap. The amendment would turn South Carolina away from the state Supreme Court's 2010 designation of the risk-utility analysis as the sole test for defective design in many products liability cases. In Branham v. Ford Motor Co., a split court reversed a $31 million verdict against the automaker last August and said state courts no longer would charge juries with the venerable consumer-expectations test except in manufacturing-defect cases.

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Punitives cap passes House, still pending in Senate (access required)

A bill that would cap punitive damages in the South Carolina is now before the state Senate's Judiciary Committee, having won a thumbs-up from a judiciary subcommittee last week. The bill, H. 3375, named the Fairness in Civil Justice Act of 2011, passed the House of Representatives by a 100-to-11 vote on Feb. 10. It would limit punitive damages to $350,000 or three times the amount of the compensatory damages, whichever is greater. "We believe the fact that South Carolina doesn't have any caps when every other state around us does means that we're simply at a competitive disadvantage when other states are recruiting economic development head to head with us," said state Sen. Larry Martin (pictured).

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Bar takes on anti-lawyer rhetoric, nixes pro bono reporting (access required)

An effort by the S.C. Bar to reach out to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley in the wake of an election season that jarred the image of lawyers surfaced as members met in Hilton Head Island for their annual convention. In a Jan. 21 videotaped speech to the House of Delegates, Bar President Carl Solomon (pictured) praised Haley for appointing lawyers to her cabinet and said he had written her a letter congratulating her on the appointments. "She sought out attorneys to handle very difficult issues in difficult situations," Solomon said of the governor.

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