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Lawyers In The News: Feb. 28, 2011

Wyche Burgess Freeman & Parham announced that Hannah Rogers Metcalfe has been elected to the board of directors of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association.

Metcalfe is a litigator focusing on civil litigation, appellate, complex and class action litigation, First Amendment and media law, personal injury and matrimonial law. She is president-elect of the South Carolina chapter of the Federal Bar Association and former clerk of the Hon. William B. Traxler Jr., chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit; and the Hon. Anita B. Brody, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Metcalfe earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School.


The Minority Corporate Counsel Association has honored Ford & Harrison for its diversity initiatives with the 2011 Thomas L. Sager Award for the South/Southwest Region (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas). This award is given to law firms that demonstrate a sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys.

The firm has an office in Spartanburg.


Attorney Rita Bragg Cullum, a shareholder in Ellis Lawhorne, has been named to the University of South Carolina’s Educational Foundation Board. Cullum also has served for a number of years as chair of the USC Guardian Society, which promotes planned giving.

Cullum is a member of the firm’s trusts and estates practice group. In addition to developing estate plans, she also works in the complex area of planned giving that includes charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities and other gift agreements.

Cullum holds two degrees from USC. She graduated magna cum laude and No. 1 in the School of Business and earned her juris doctor from the USC School of Law. She is involved in the South Carolina Planned Giving Council, Columbia Tax Study Group and Columbia Estate Planning Council. She is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the South Carolina state chair-elect of the organization.


The South Carolina Bar will bestow the 2011 Pro Bono Award upon two lawyers for their contributions to meeting the civil legal needs of those citizens who cannot afford the services of an attorney. The recipients will be recognized at the Bar Foundation Gala on March 3 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Alex Paterra of The Paterra Law Firm in Greenville contributed extensive direct volunteer assistance to South Carolina Legal?Services over the past year. After practicing law in a large firm for nearly four years, Paterra opened his solo practice in 2009 and became involved with SCLS?later that year. Throughout 2010, Paterra volunteered hundreds of hours to help SCLS with intake interviews and case assessments, advised and co-counseled with SCLS attorneys across South Carolina and represented several SCLS clients through the Private Attorney Involvement program.

Christopher Genovese of Nelson?Mullins in?Columbia provides free representation to parents wishing to establish guardianship and/or conservatorship for their special-needs children who have reached, or soon will reach, the age of majority. Over the past three years, Genovese has worked with South Carolina Legal?Services in?Columbia, serving as guardian ad litem in several cases at no cost. He developed the guardianship-conservatorship program at Nelson?Mullins, and he oversees and participates in that program as well.

Also at the March 3 gala, the South Carolina Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and the South Carolina Bar Foundation will bestow the 2010 Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year Award to Susan J. Firimonte.

Firimonte is the managing attorney in the Pee Dee office of S.C. Legal Services. A graduate of Binghamton University, Harpur College with high honors in history, she obtained her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and was subsequently admitted to the S.C. Bar in 1990.

The Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year Award is named in memory of Ellen Hines Smith of Spartanburg. Smith was the founding director of Piedmont Legal Services.


Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein has appointed Sidney J. Evering II as its new director of diversity. Evering will take on this role previously held by Kristi Kessler Walters, who was just named the firm’s first-ever chief talent officer.

Evering will promote and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives. He will work closely with Walters, the firm’s diversity committee and attorneys across the firm. He will also play a vital role in helping the firm expand relationships and opportunities with minority-owned businesses.

Evering is special counsel in the firm’s Columbia office. He earned his J.D. from USC in 2002.

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