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Leadership In Law 2011

South Carolina Lawyers Weekly recognized 15 outstanding members of the state's legal community at the Leadership In Law awards presentation and dinner, on Thursday March 24, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. Presenting the awards were Tonya Mathis, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Publisher and Managing Editor Greg Froom. Among the honorees were: Laurie A. Becker, W. Howard Boyd, Jr., Robert T. Bockman, Rita Bragg Cullum, Anne S. Ellefson, Ronald L. Motley, J. Bennett Mullinax, Edward W. Mullins, Jr., David T. Pearlman, Steven J. Pugh, Louis T. Runge, Jr., Carl L. Solomon, Daniel R. Unumb, Robertson H. Wendt, Jr. and Marguerite S. Willis.
Click here to read the event publication online.

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Patient gets $805K award in case with allegedly fake records (access required)

A woman who blamed a Rock Hill chiropractor for causing her to suffer a herniated disc has won $805,000 in damages after arguing that he committed medical malpractice and faked records to cover it up. But her lawyer told Lawyers Weekly that when she came to him for help, he wondered at first whether she had a case at all. That was because medical records she had obtained from the practice said nothing about her receiving the spinal manipulation she claimed had caused the herniation, said lawyer Robert V. Phillips (pictured) of Rock Hill.

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Justices hear SC case on right to counsel in child support nonpayment matter (access required)

The U.S. Supreme Court considered March 23 whether a civil contempt proceeding that results in a jail term triggers the constitutional right to counsel. Turner v. Rogers - formerly Turner v. Price - involves Michael Turner's failure to pay more than $5,000 in child support. After failing to appear at a contempt hearing, he was ordered to be jailed for six months or until he paid the outstanding amount. At another contempt hearing, where Turner was not represented by counsel, he said was unable to pay due to his incarceration, drug addiction and physical disability. The court sentenced him to a term of incarceration not to exceed 12 months or until he could pay.

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Border in the court! The battle for immigrant protection in criminal cases (access required)

Immigration cases are often won in criminal court, or conversely, lost forever. Attorneys engaged in the defense of aliens cannot underestimate this fact. Sports fans might liken the criminal proceeding to a late touchdown to tie the game. The immigration court proceeding is the extra point for the win. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky makes clear that defense attorneys can no longer ignore the issue. We are required to give affirmative advice, and anything less constitutes ineffective assistance.

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Future of class actions in U.S. Supreme Court’s hands (access required)

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, it will not only decide whether more than 1.5 million female Wal-Mart workers can proceed as a class in a lawsuit alleging that the company systemically paid them less than male employees. The Court will also decide a broader, hotly contested legal issue: just how similar must plaintiffs' claims be in order for a case to be certified as a class action? The answer will have far-reaching implications.

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Double jeopardy applied after solicitor ‘goaded’ mistrial, justices rule (access required)

man who was convicted of murder after two trials was barred from prosecution in the second trial under the Double Jeopardy Clause because of prosecutorial misconduct, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled. In a rare invocation of the clause, Jack Edward Earl Parker won reversal of his conviction by arguing that a prosecutor goaded defense counsel into moving for a mistrial during the first trial. A lawyer for Parker said the decision means his client, formerly accused of shooting and killing his sister's boyfriend, can walk free. "They can't prosecute him again on this charge," said Chief Appellate Defender Robert Dudek (pictured).

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$1.65M pretrial settlement reached in Wadmalaw Island wreck

A Lowcountry man who suffered severe injuries to his left arm in a 2009 auto collision has settled for $1.65 million in mediation over alleged reckless driving - and he did it without ever filing a complaint. In pre-litigation negotiations, lawyers for plaintiff James Fallon worked out the details of the settlement almost two years after Fallon was in a wreck on Wadmalaw Island in Charleston County. Not that it was easy.Fallon's lawyers, David Hoffman (pictured) of Charleston and Nathan Hughey of Mount Pleasant, said it's unusual to mediate a large settlement in an auto collision case. And, as far as the cause of the accident, about all they had to go on was that the defendant's trailer had shifted into their client's lane.

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Jury holds web host liable after site sold counterfeit golf clubs (access required)

A federal jury has awarded damages in a trademark-infringement action against an Internet company for helping to build and host a South Carolina website that sold counterfeit golf clubs. In what lawyers say may be a first nationwide, Roger Cleveland Golf Co., Inc., of Huntington Beach, Calif., won $770,750 in statutory damages against Bright Builders, Inc., of Utah for contributory trademark infringement and unfair trade practices. Internet intermediaries include companies that design websites, host them or provide search and optimization services, said Jeffrey Patterson (pictured), a Columbia lawyer who represented the plaintiff.

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How much is your nonprofit’s brand worth?

"It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A . . . " As the theme of the song goes, the YMCA has long been a leader in youth and adult recreation. The YMCA is a globally recognized nonprofit with a presence in over 3,000 communities. According to a 2009 study, the brand value of those four letters is over $6 billion and will only continue to grow as time goes on. Nonprofit organizations are an integral part of South Carolina's and the nation's economy. But how can these groups protect the goodwill that they strive so arduously to achieve?

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