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Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Administrative – Sex Offender Registry – Removal Petition – Pardon Requirement – Juvenile Adjudication

Doe v. State Our sex offender registry statutes require that, in order to be removed from the registry, one must receive a pardon. There is no indication that the legislature intended to allow only adult offenders the chance to ask for a pardon, so we construe “conviction” as used in S.C. Code Ann. § 24-21-940(A) to include a family court adjudication of delinquency.

Aug 15, 2012

Civil Practice – Service of Process – Pleadings Amendment – Statute of Limitations

Mims v. Babcock Center, Inc. Plaintiff filed her original complaint on May 29, 2007 but never served it. She filed an amended complaint on May 7, 2008 and served it on May 12, 2008. Reading S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-20(B) and Rule 3(a), SCRCP, together, we find the trial court erred when it granted defendants’ motion to dismiss based on insufficiency of process and insufficiency of service[...]

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – ‘Anonymous’ Jury – Murder Trial – First Impression – Constitutional – Hearsay Evidence – Murdered Witness — Conspiracy

U.S. v. Dinkins Using an ‘anonymous’ jury whose biographical information has been withheld from defense lawyers and defendants accused of drug-trafficking and the murder of government witnesses is not a reason to overturn their convictions; the 4th Circuit follows decisions by its sister circuits and provides guidelines for use of anonymous juries.

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Impersonating an Officer – Constitutional – First Amendment – Freedom of Speech

U.S. v. Chappell The 4th Circuit says a former deputy sheriff who told an officer he was a deputy in an attempt to avoid a speeding ticket cannot overturn his conviction for impersonating an officer by claiming the Virginia statute at issue, Va. Code § 18.2-174, violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Firearm Possession – Personal Right of Self-Defense — ‘Home Possession’ – Insufficient Showing of Residence

U.S. v. Smoot A defendant cannot claim a personal right of self-defense under D.C. v. Heller to a weapons charge, as he did not prove that he lived at the address where he was arrested in the backyard; the 4th Circuit also rejects defendant’s challenge to the jury instruction on the interstate commerce element of the gun charge.

Aug 15, 2012

Administrative – Immigration – Deportation – ‘Material Support’ for Guerrillas

Barahona v. Holder An El Salvadoran native loses his request for review of the Board of Immigrations Appeals’ final order saying he was ineligible for a “special removal” cancellation of deportation under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act of 1997; the 4th Circuit upholds the agency decision that found petitioner had provided material support to Salvadoran guerillas by a[...]

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Stabbing in Afghanistan – South African Defendant – British Victim – Private Contractors – Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act

U.S. v. Brehm A South African employee of a private contractor can be convicted under U.S. law for stabbing a British citizen while both were working for separate private contractors supporting the NATO war effort in Afghanistan; the 4th Circuit affirms the conviction pursuant to an indictment that relied on the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act.

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Estimated Speed

U.S. v. Mubdi The 4th Circuit upholds a traffic stop based on two officers’ separate visual estimates of defendant’s speed, as the officers’ radar certification training required them to visually estimate vehicle speed within a narrow margin of error; the subsequent open-air search by a drug-sniffing dog did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, and his convictions for [...]

Aug 15, 2012

Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Illegal Reentry into U.S. – Prior Child Abuse Conviction – No Enhancement

U.S. v. Gomez A district court erred in enhancing a defendant’s sentence for illegal reentry into the U.S. by determining her prior child abuse conviction to be an aggravated felony; the 4th Circuit joins the majority of its sister circuits and says the “modified categorical approach” for evaluating a defendant’s prior conviction as a crime of violence should be applied only to st[...]

Aug 15, 2012

Attorneys – Discipline – Lack of Diligence – Public Reprimand

In re Swope In several instances, respondent was not diligent in his representation of clients; moreover, he failed to respond to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and our Court of Appeals in a timely manner on more than one occasion.

Aug 13, 2012

Intellectual Property – Patent Infringement – Civil Practice – Pleadings Amendment – Theory of Infringement – Doctrine of Equivalents

Pure Fishing, Inc. v. Normark Corp. Despite agreeing to a schedule that required it to disclose its theory of infringement (literal infringement, the doctrine of equivalents, or both) by April 15, 2011, plaintiff did not disclose its theory of infringement or move to amend its Aug. 16, 2010 complaint to set out a theory of infringement until June 8, 2012.

Aug 13, 2012

Civil Practice – Personal Jurisdiction – Florida Resident – S.C. Businesses – Guarantor

CresCom Bank v. Terry According to the complaint, defendant Terry, a Florida resident, executed and delivered to the plaintiff-bank multiple guaranties, guarantying the payment and performance of all debts that three companies owed to the S.C. bank.

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