Quantcast
Home / Top Legal News (page 180) /

Top Legal News

Lawyers – and judges – say the darndest things (access required)

When is a girlfriend in a legal dispute a machine for cutting lawns? Only when a lawyer misspells the word "paramour" as "power-mower" in a brief submitted to the S.C. Court of Appeals. Supreme Court Justice Kaye G. Hearn was on the appeals court when the case hit her desk. For her, the error underscored an all-too-easily forgotten truth: Lawyers make mistakes, too. "This was dealing with a paramour in a case, and all throughout the brief it was mistyped as ‘power-mower,' and that's something spell-check won't pick up. I tell lawyers, ‘Be really careful.' Don't just rely on your secretary or spell-check to catch something like that," Justice Hearn told Lawyers Weekly.

Read More »

A primer on broadcast rights for sporting events (access required)

"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 »

Panel: Jury instructions should have included habitation (access required)

A wheelchair-bound paraplegic convicted of murder in connection with a 1999 shooting death may get another trial after the Court of Appeals ruled that a trial judge should have instructed the jury on the defense of habitation, which doesn't include a duty to retreat. Thomas T. Bryant was convicted after a Richland County judge instructed the jury on self-defense. He was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. In a Dec. 15 ruling, the appeals court reversed and remanded for a new trial after Bryant argued that the trial judge erred in not charging the jury on both defenses. A lawyer for Bryant, Robert M. Dudek (pictured), said a new trial would allow his client to rely on defense of habitation in addition to self-defense.

Read More »

Court: Homeowners should have pled better defense in landscaper’s suit (access required)

Hilton Head Island homeowners Richard and Anne Ulbrich should have pled in their answer to a landscaper's lawsuit that an unlicensed contractor could not enforce a contract or a mechanic's lien. If they had, they might have won dismissal of the suit. Instead, the S.C. Supreme Court upheld a Beaufort County Circuit Court judge's denial of their motion for reconsideration. It let stand the circuit court's ruling in Earthscapes Unlimited, Inc. v. Ulbrich (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-156-10, 6 pp.) that the landscaper had a valid contract with the property owners and a valid lien on their property.

Read More »

IOLTA grantees get by despite funding cuts (access required)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Economic downturn? Sure, it's meant less IOLTA revenue for the S.C. Bar Foundation to distribute to grantees, but it's fueled determination among foundation officials and grantees alike to keep moving with their respective missions. All along, the foundation made a concerted effort to soften the blow, said SCBF Executive Director Shannon Scruggs. "When we first realized what IOLTA revenues were doing, we went to our grantees and we told them, and, obviously, the economy was changing, so it wasn't a complete and total surprise for them," Scruggs said.

Read More »

$100K in punitives upheld for pouring sugar in gas tank (access required)

The pool of Greenville County's fertilizer and lime-spreading business wasn't big enough for two fish, so one - Benjamin Scott Few and Few Farms, Inc. - tried to get rid of the other. Few hired Johnny Lindsey to pour five pounds of sugar into the gas tank of his competitor Kenneth B. Jenkins's Ford F-700 fertilizer truck. Few paid Lindsey a total of $200 for his role in two sugar-pouring hits on Jenkins' truck, according to testimony from an August 2008 trial. Few and Jenkins operated their businesses in the Blue Ridge area north of Travelers Rest, in what Greenville attorney Fred W. Suggs III called "the dark corner, a term that dates back to the bootlegging days. It's a place where revenuers wouldn't go."

Read More »

Technology allows national firm to field offices in smaller markets (access required)

They call it the depo room. It's a small cube of space on the freshly revamped 12th floor of a downtown Columbia office building where the products liability defense firm of Bowman and Brooke opened its southernmost office a year ago. The room has one desk with a chair. Atop the desk are a keypad, a mouse and a scanner. Dominating the wall opposite the desk is a massive video screen, a camera perched unobtrusively atop it. When Joel Smith, the firm's managing partner in Columbia, settles into the chair and hits a few buttons, the screen goes live with a view of a similar room at the firm's headquarters in Minneapolis.

Read More »

Supremes ponder service provider’s securities liability (access required)

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court grappled with the question of whether a claim may be stated against a service management company for alleged securities violations of the mutual funds it sponsors. Appealed from the 4th Circuit, the case, Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders, is a class action brought by shareholders who claim they received misleading information in prospectuses regarding a group of mutual funds - Janus Funds, sponsored by the Janus Capital Group, which is managed by its subsidiary Janus Capital Management (JCM).

Read More »

Support crucial for women lawyers to serve in politics (access required)

"You live through it." Newly elected state Rep. Elizabeth Munnerlyn (D-Chesterfield, Marlboro) uses that phrase to explain how she managed to run a full-time law practice, keep up with her two young children and successfully campaign for political office over the past year. Where some politicians might be able to "put everything on hold and just campaign, I did not have that luxury," said Munnerlyn, who is a solo practitioner in Bennettsville. "You just take it one day at a time, and I found there were a lot of people who wanted to help."

Read More »

Protected pleadings: Attorneys could copyright their documents, but should they? (access required)

Of course lawyers don't need anyone's blessing to copyright their own work. The question is, when they do, are their claimed rights enforceable? The short answer is yes, maybe. Intellectual property attorney John C. Nipp of Charlotte, N.C.-based Summa, Additon & Ashe told Lawyers Weekly that the requirements for obtaining a copyright are not strict. "It has to be a literary work in a tangible form of expression that involves some degree of creativity," he said. "Plenty of documents in the legal world meet that definition."

Read More »