There are two contradictory admonitions every trial lawyer should heed when preparing a closing argument. First: "It is improper for counsel to make a closing argument to the jury ... calculated to arouse passion or prejudice." Gathers v. Harris Teeter Supermarket, Inc., 282 S.C. 220, 231, 317 S.E.2d 748, 755 (Ct. App. 1984). Second: "Passion and prejudice govern the world, only under the name of reason." John Wesley (1736).Read More »
Guest Commentary: Specializing in Social Security disability can help you and your clients
Many clients and even attorneys are unaware that there is now a national certification process approved by the state of South Carolina for attorneys specializing in Social Security disability law. The specialization, accredited by the American Bar Association, was established in 2005 by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC) on accreditation. The S.C. Commission on CLE and Legal Specialization has recognized the specialty since June of 2009.Read More »
Dicta From Desa: New Year’s thoughts – A wish list for 2011
No later than February of each year, the South Carolina Supreme Court has the opportunity to submit amendments to the court rules to the General Assembly. The General Assembly then has 90 days to reject them, which has never occurred to my knowledge. No changes can be made. The legislature's only choice is to ignore the rules, in which case they take effect, or reject them. This bizarre process is the result of a compromise between the General Assembly and the South Carolina Supreme Court in the early 1980s, after a period of wrestling between the two over which body had the ultimate authority to establish court rules. Prior to that time, lawyers had to search both statutes and court rules for procedural rules that governed court proceedings in the state.
Tagged with: Discipline Ethics General AssemblyRead More »
Coach’s Corner: The lawyer as consultant – Should you charge?
Most law firms, whether large or small, begin a new client engagement with a consulting process: a stated period of time, such as an hour, that potential clients spend with an attorney to discuss their matter and explore whether to establish a client relationship. This consulting process is essentially a business-development effort, targeted to converting prospects into clients. It is marketing in its purest and most immediate sense - at the end of the hour, the lawyer either does or does not have a new client.
Tagged with: Business of Law Coach's Corner Practice ManagementRead More »
Guest Commentary: Has Congress abdicated climate change to the courts?
Prolonged heat waves last summer in North America and Northern Europe, sparking massive fires in Russia, occurring simultaneously with unprecedented flooding in Asia and parts of interior Europe, have been cited by many as examples of the prophecy of global warming becoming reality. Vindication, perhaps, after a cold and snowy winter left many skeptical that global warming was real. Is climate change flexing its muscles?
Tagged with: Climate Change Environmental LawRead More »
A primer on broadcast rights for sporting events
"Professional sports leagues and major collegiate athletic conferences have dealt with broadcast and multi-media agreements for many years. Now, with the increase in cable television channels and technological advances in Internet video streaming, sports promoters and organizers that never have had to deal with such issues (entities such as state high school athletic associations, promoters of high school basketball holiday tournaments, and smaller colleges and universities) are licensing the rights to broadcast on television or the Internet coverage of games organized by the promoter," attorney S. Graham Robinson writes.Read More »
Commentary: Why law firms should pay attention to diversity
Law firms, corporate and public law departments, and bar associations have focused attention in recent years on increasing the diversity of their workforces. Those organizations that explore increasing diversity face a number of common questions. What are the rationales for a focus on diversity? Which individuals and groups should be considered? How much progress has the profession made in recent years, and how far does it have yet to travel? What forms should diversity programs take?
Tagged with: Diversity law firmsRead More »
Guest Commentary: Old laws, new consequences for having open containers
By STEVE SUMNER, Special to Lawyers Weekly [email protected] In 1996, South Carolina reorganized certain criminal offenses dealing with the transportation of liquor and moved them to an area dealing with “moonshiners” or “bootleggers.” The original laws – providing for ...
Tagged with: DUIRead More »
Red Flags Rule set for enforcement – or is it?
By KIMBERLY ATKINS, Dolan Media Newswires [email protected] After being repeatedly delayed over the course of two years, the Federal Trade Commission is set to begin enforcement of controversial identity fraud prevention regulations that affect almost any business that accepts deferred ...Read More »
Commentary: Patents and collectivism – Snowballs in Hades
"Nearly two years ago, I exhorted business owners and inventors to protect their intellectual property due to - not in spite of - the depressed economy. My suggestion still stands. However, the passage of time begs this question: is intellectual property - patents in particular - incompatible with policies that trend toward such things as 'redistribution of wealth' and 'universal health care?'," Greenville attorney Bernard Klosowski writes in a guest commentary.
Tagged with: Intellectual PropertyRead More »