A federal judge has awarded more than $700,000 in fees to a South Carolina lawyer who has spent the past seven years representing a group of plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit over lost retirement benefits. Stanley G. Jackson of ...Read More »
Attorneys for the adoptive parents of a 4-year-old girl caught up in a custody dispute have filed paperwork in Oklahoma seeking $1 million in legal fees from the Cherokee Nation and the girl's biological father, who has dropped all legal claims to his daughter.Read More »
Judy v. Judy Although land conveyances that defendant made in the 1990’s were an attempt to defraud different creditors, under the Statute of Elizabeth, his current creditors can reach back and void those conveyances, in addition to more recent fraudulent conveyances.
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Civil Practice – Attorney’s Fees – Trade Secrets Act – First Impression — No Bad Faith Showing – Frivolous Proceedings Act – Copyright Act
Uhlig LLC v. Shirley Even though plaintiff’s claims against defendant Eventelope, LLC remained until plaintiff withdrew them just prior to submission of the case to the jury, plaintiff was substantially unable to complete the discovery which would have revealed the extent of Eventelope’s involvement in the misappropriation of trade secrets due to the parties’ disputes over the proper protocol for the examination of defendants’ electronic files.Read More »
Insurance – Attorney’s Fees – Declaratory Judgment Action – Duty to Defend – Appeals – First Impression
Jessco, Inc. v. Builders Mutual Insurance Co. S.C. law permits an insured to recover attorney’s fees when the insured wins a declaratory judgment stating that its insurer breached its duty to defend. The court logically extends this case law to encompass attorney’s fees incurred by the insured when it successfully defends such a judgment on appeal.Read More »
Cannon v. Georgia Attorney General’s Office Service of his contempt jail sentence did not purge the appellant-attorney of contempt. He was still required to abide by the trial court’s order that he pay opposing counsel’s fees that arose from appellant’s contemptuous conduct.Read More »
A South Carolina lawyer can hire an out-of-state attorney who is not a member of the South Carolina Bar to assist in a case in federal court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Using the out-of-state lawyer to write a brief may not constitute a “special circumstance” that would render a fee award to the out-of-state lawyer “unjust” under the Equal Access to Justice Act, the court said. But whether engaging the services of an out-of-state lawyer is a violation of the Local Civil Rules for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina is an open question. And until that question is answered, Spartanburg attorney Paul McChesney (pictured) – whose hiring practices figured prominently in the court’s deliberations — won’t hire any out-of-state help.
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Although Jim Brown lost his battle for attorney’s fees at the South Carolina Supreme Court, he won the war for every other attorney in the state. The court rejected Brown’s appeal of Beaufort County Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen’s decision not to award him fees in excess of the $3,500 statutory limit for his representation of Alfonzo J. Howard, an indigent defendant who was charged in 2007 with armed robbery, kidnapping and first degree criminal sexual conduct. But the court accepted an amicus curiae brief filed by the South Carolina Bar in the case and, based on it, held “that the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is implicated when an attorney is appointed by the court to represent an indigent litigant. In such circumstances, the attorney’s services constitute property entitling the attorney to just compensation.”Read More »
Bosley v. Mineral County Comm’n A woman who sued defendant deputy after her suicidal husband shot himself when the deputy was trying to take him into custody for a psychiatric examination can collect $66,464 in attorney’s fees and costs, in addition to $30,000 under defendants‘ Rule 68 offer of judgment; although defendants’ Rule 68 offer of judgment for $30,000 made no mention of attorney’s fees or costs, the 4th Circuit upholds the fee award under 42 U.S.C. § 1988.Read More »