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Nov 22, 2023

Contract – Declaratory Judgment – Settlement Agreement – Nominal Damages – Equitable Setoff

The Master-in-Equity must recalculate the issue of lot maintenance fees, as the master should have provided nominal damages in recognition of the time that appellant’s operations were located in the boat shed. We affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. This case involved events that have taken place over a period of over 30 […]

Nov 22, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Defamation – South Carolina Tort Claims Act – Immunity – Actual Malice

Public official plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence of actual malice and failed to show that the statements in question were directed at him individually or that they were false. We affirm the circuit court’s orders granting summary judgment to Councilman McCall and Councilwoman Cammick and denying the motion to amend. In this defamation action, […]

Nov 13, 2023

Civil Practice – Defamation – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – Rule 60(b), SCRCP Motion

Circuit court properly dismissed appellant’s claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. We affirm. Appellant James Earl Tegeler claimed Northgate Baptist Church improperly terminated his employment as music director due to the allegedly defamatory reports of respondents Hannah Collier (Daughter), Charlotte Collier (Mother), and Linda Smith (Grandmother). He contended[...]

Oct 26, 2023

Criminal Practice – Post-Conviction Relief – Ineffective Assistance of Counsel – Failure to Call a Witness

PCR court improperly found that respondent established prejudice and erred in holding that a witness’ name being on the indictment constituted a structural error. PCR court’s order granting respondent’s application for post-conviction relief is reversed. In this post-conviction relief action, petitioner the State of South Carolina sought review of an order granting respondent James L. [&hell[...]

Oct 6, 2023

Attorneys – Definite Suspension – Bar Disciplinary Board – Reciprocal Discipline

A definite suspension of 18 months is the appropriate sanction as reciprocal discipline for respondent lawyer’s professional misconduct in Virginia. No reason to justify different discipline; definite suspension imposed. On August 11, 2022, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposing an 18-month definite suspension as a sanction […]

Feb 20, 2020

Civil Rights – Attack on patient was violation of rights

Where the trial court’s finding that a defendant encouraged a hospital patient to attack the plaintiff was based on its credibility determination of the witnesses, it was affirmed. But where the doctor’s decision regarding treatment was based on his professional judgment, that decision was not a violation of the patient’s due process rights nor was […]

Feb 20, 2020

Civil Rights – Qualified immunity correctly denied because of disputed facts

Officers sued for wrongful arrest in a case involving employee theft at a Walmart were correctly denied qualified immunity because the record did not provide an objectively reasonable belief in the probable cause required to justify an arrest. Background In July 2012, a report of employee thefts of iPods at a Walmart in South Charleston, […]

Feb 20, 2020

Criminal – Cyberstalker’s convictions upheld

Arguments by a man convicted of cyberstalking that he was not competent to stand trial, that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for sending threatening interstate communications and that there were errors in sentencing, were  all rejected. Background A jury convicted William Scott Davis Jr. of one count of cyberstalking and three counts […]

Feb 20, 2020

Criminal – Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel

A habeas court found the defendant’s counsel rendered ineffective assistance by misadvising him during plea negotiations, but this finding was improperly ignored by later reviewing courts. The case was remanded with instructions to grant the habeas petition. Background Shane Monroe Dodson appeals from the district court’s judgment denying his petition for habeas corpus relief brought […[...]

Feb 20, 2020

Insurance – Two holes-in-one are unlucky for PGA tournament host

Where the sponsor of a PGA tournament accepted the terms of a policy that insured payouts for a hole-in-one at least 170 yards in distance, its claims that the insurer breached duties by failing to obtain a policy covering holes-in-one from 137 yards was rejected. Background In July 2015, Old White Charities Inc. hosted and […]

Feb 20, 2020

Criminal – New evidence wouldn’t change outcome of habeas petitions

Although the defendant argued the commonwealth violated his constitutional rights by failing to produce potentially exculpatory evidence, his petition for a successive habeas petition was denied because he could not demonstrate that newly discovered evidence would have resulted in a not-guilty verdict and thus could not establish prejudice. Background Donell Blount was convicted of armed […[...]

Feb 20, 2020

Insurance Auto – UM Claims Denial – Statutory Prerequisite – Summary Judgment Stage

In its pleadings, the defendant-insurer asserted that plaintiff could not recover on its uninsured motorist claims because defendant provided only excess coverage. Defendant waited until the summary judgment stage to argue that plaintiff’s claims failed because plaintiff had not sued and obtained judgments against the uninsured motorists. Since suing the uninsured motorists is an element [&helli[...]

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