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Coastal lawyer fined for website ‘puffery’ (access required)

When the South Carolina Supreme Court caught wind of possible false advertising on Michael Hensley Wells' website, the Conway attorney sprang into action. He scrubbed the offending lines from the site and pulled a bevy of firm brochures and business cards available at a mall kiosk. But for Wells, the founder of the Coastal Law firm, the damage had been done.

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Firm: SC lags in insurance for legal malpractice (access required)

The scenario sounds improbably bleak, but legal malpractice lawyers Ronnie Richter and Eric Bland swear it can happen to anyone whose attorney practices without the protection of malpractice insurance. They say it has happened in South Carolina, and will continue unless the state's lawyers accept full responsibility for protecting their clients:

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‘One day at a time’ (access required)

Lawyer Matt Webster huddled with his family in their basement as the tornado barreled through his Joplin neighborhood. "You could hear the freight train," said his wife, Kerry. And as the tornado roared overhead, she heard Matt yelling: "Our home is gone! Our home is gone!"

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Cancer-stricken mom in custody case files appeal (access required)

A Greensboro attorney on Tuesday filed a notice of appeal in the case of Alaina Levane Giordano, a breast-cancer-stricken Durham mother who has been ordered either to move to Illinois to be near the father of their two children or have her custody of them significantly reduced. The case has drawn international attention. Clint S. Morse (pictured), an associate with Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, said Tuesday that he is representing Giordano pro bono.

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Bar to critics of lawyers: Prepare for counterattacks (access required)

Warning to those, including prominent state politicians, who think bashing lawyers is politically profitable: The South Carolina Bar is about to start answering back, and vigorously. Newly seated Bar President Marvin Quattlebaum (pictured with Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal) said combating lawyer-bashing is one of the top three priorities of his year-long term. The Bar is forming a task force to tackle the problem. The task force will attempt to clean up the image of lawyers in the wake of political rhetoric, including recent comments by Gov. Nikki Haley, that Bar leaders say has hurt the legal profession.

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Holding on to the land and a heritage (access required)

James Jenkins' wish was fading, and his family needed help keeping it alive. Freddie Jenkins knew that James, his late grandfather, cherished that parcel of land he owned off Victoria Road in the Charleston-area island town of Daniel Island. The parcel was what connected the family - James' seven children, plus grandchildren and others - to the days when slavery ended and former slaves became landowners. "He did not want the property to be sold," Freddie Jenkins explained. "He wanted it to stay within the family."

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Court clears shooter in home-is-castle case; AG skeptical (access required)

The state fought hard to nail down the murder indictment, giving the trial court plenty of evidence in addition to the autopsy report on the victim, who died of a gunshot wound to his face. There were the witness statements. The photos and video of the crime scene. And the recording of the 911 call during the shooting. But, despite everything the state could throw at him, defendant Gregory Duncan was immune to prosecution - and properly so, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled. Robert M. Dudek (pictured) of the S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense in Columbia, represented Duncan.

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N.C. county hopes 4th Circuit is answer to prayers (access required)

Forsyth County, N.C.'s hope that its prayers-at-government-meetings practice will be ruled constitutional hinges on the county's open invitation to any religion to supply those prayers. The legal battle, in which the county lost its first two skirmishes, renewed May 12 with oral arguments in front of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court in Richmond, Va.

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