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5 dean hopefuls visiting USC School of Law (access required)

Five lawyers seeking the top job at the University of South Carolina School of Law will be getting a who's who tour of the Palmetto State's legal community in coming weeks as the hunt for a new law dean moves into a new stage. Three candidates hail from outside the state. Two others have South Carolina connections. But all will be under scrutiny from a variety of legal professionals as well as law students, faculty, staff and members of the committee that's leading the search.

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Credit card payments, electronic deposits are legal ethics pitfall (access required)

The conveniences of technology abound for both lawyer and client, and lawyers like to make payment easy for clients. But those conveniences contain traps for both the wary and unwary, J. Cameron Halford told Lawyers Weekly. The state Supreme Court sanctioned the Fort Mill attorney last week over his handling of credit card payments and electronic deposits.

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Railroad beats fine for ugly bridge (access required)

The Midlands city of Cayce fined a freight carrier under a criminal ordinance for not painting a railroad bridge (pictured), but the company hadn't violated the ordinance because a federal law preempted it, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled. The law trumped the ordinance even though the two were not in direct conflict, the court said.

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Web-based technology setting next stage for trial preparation (access required)

Technology has revolutionized many parts of the legal industry, and trial presentation is no exception. Not long ago, hiring a trial presentation company was necessary for even the simplest needs due to high costs and the expertise required to operate software programs. Times have certainly changed. Now, myriad do-it-yourself solutions have hit the market, Microsoft PowerPoint is widely popular and hardware costs continue to shrink, all making it more feasible for law firms and corporate counsel to craft homespun solutions for their trial presentation needs.

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Retailoring the profession: S.C. Bar study on lawyer dissatisfaction garners national attention, approval (access required)

A 2009 study detailing Palmetto State lawyers' dissatisfaction with the legal profession is not only getting attention within the State Bar but is also drawing kudos nationwide. The study is becoming a model for other state bars that are doing their own assessments of their members' feelings about the legal profession, said Barbara George Barton, a Columbia lawyer who chairs the S.C. Bar's Professional Potential Task Force. And a nationally recognized expert on lawyer retention said she is touting the study as an unusually effective instrument for measuring the depth of lawyer dissatisfaction. "I can say that if I have my way it will have an impact around the country. I have already mentioned it in a blog," said Cynthia Calvert, senior advisor and co-founder of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Project for Attorney Retention.

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Judge Perry recounts civil rights struggles for Bar (access required)

Lawyers at the S.C. Bar's annual convention sat spellbound as Senior U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Perry Jr. told of standing for the rule of law at a time when the law didn't necessarily stand for him and others like him. During the Bar's plenary luncheon Jan. 21, Perry told of racial intolerance through which he lived and lawyered as an African-American attorney. As a young lawyer in the 1950s and 1960s, Perry gained a reputation for winning cases that promoted desegregation of beaches, parks, restaurants and public schools in South Carolina. In 1979, he became the first African-American judge to sit on the state's U.S. District Court.

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Emerging Legal Leaders recognized for service to community, profession

Lawyers from around the state gathered in Columbia Thursday to celebrate the achievements of top young attorneys as South Carolina Lawyers Weekly held its 2011 Emerging Legal Leaders awards reception. The event was the first in which the newspaper honored lawyers whose professional excellence, community involvement and contributions to the practice of law set them apart as up-and-coming leaders. Ten award winners were chosen from among 18 finalists. More than 100 well-wishers applauded as Publisher Tonya Mathis named finalists and winners and Managing Editor Gregory Froom handed out awards at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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Bar takes on anti-lawyer rhetoric, nixes pro bono reporting (access required)

An effort by the S.C. Bar to reach out to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley in the wake of an election season that jarred the image of lawyers surfaced as members met in Hilton Head Island for their annual convention. In a Jan. 21 videotaped speech to the House of Delegates, Bar President Carl Solomon (pictured) praised Haley for appointing lawyers to her cabinet and said he had written her a letter congratulating her on the appointments. "She sought out attorneys to handle very difficult issues in difficult situations," Solomon said of the governor.

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