The South Carolina Supreme Court has rescinded its order permitting the online completion of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules Rule 403 trial experiences. The last broadcast will be Oct. 14.
According to Rule 403, with some exceptions, an attorney licensed in the state may not appear alone as counsel in any hearing, trial, or deposition in a case pending before a court until the attorney’s trial experiences have been approved by the Supreme Court.
Because of the hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Judicial Branch on Oct. 14, 2020 altered the courts’ normal operating procedures by continuing many jury trials and limiting attendance at in-person hearings and trials.
The Supreme Court authorized attorneys and bar candidates to satisfy the trial experiences by observing one live civil or criminal jury trial and two live day-in-court proceedings via Cisco WebEx broadcasts.
But according to the new order, the risks posed by COVID-19 have dissipated and the high court no longer finds the exception to be warranted.
“Attorneys and bar applicants who completed the trial observation requirements under the October 14, 2020 order shall follow the directives contained in that order to report completion of a trial experience via Cisco WebEx to the Office of Bar Admissions,” the order states.
South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Staff