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Aug 4, 2023

Texas A&M reaches $1M settlement over job fiasco

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas A&M University reached a $1 million settlement Thursday with a Black journalism professor whose hiring was sabotaged by backlash over her past work promoting diversity. The nation’s largest public school agreed to pay Kathleen McElroy and apologized to her while admitting “mistakes were made during the hiring process.” Texas A&M, which […]

Jan 31, 2023

5 Questions With: Taylor Dewberry on DEI

In 2021, employment law attorney Taylor Dewberry was named Smith Anderson’s first chief diversity officer. Her practice focuses on employment-related counseling and defending employers against claims involving discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, harassment, and civil rights claims.   After graduating with honors from Stanford University in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in [...]

Feb 6, 2019

Diversifying the judiciary: Why the SC judiciary should look like the population it serves

  Statistics show that South Carolina’s courts are not as diverse as the populations they serve. Several studies conducted in the last 20 years have suggested that beyond increasing public trust in the judiciary, creating a more proportionally diverse judicial system can actually increase justice by influencing how decisions get made. “The Gavel Gap,” a […]

Sep 7, 2018

Civil Practice – Federal Jurisdiction – Diversity – Fraudulent Joinder – U-Haul – Collision

Even though plaintiff alleges that she collided with a U-Haul rental truck in South Carolina, since the evidence indicates that the truck had been stolen from a U-Haul lot in Charlotte – owned by recently added defendant U-Haul Co. of North Carolina – and driven to South Carolina, plaintiff has no possibility of recovery from […]

Apr 5, 2018

Civil Practice – Diversity Jurisdiction – Amount in Controversy – Ad Damnun Clause – Nonmonetary Relief

The complaint’s ad damnum clause limits the damages sought to $75,000. However, plaintiff also seeks nonmonetary relief under S.C. Code Ann. § 37-10-105(c), which could render defendant unable to foreclose on plaintiff’s property or to collect the outstanding mortgage balance. Since the total amount of principal and interest plaintiff is obligated to pay on the […]

Nov 6, 2017

Civil Practice – Removal Jurisdiction – Diversity – Individual S.C. Defendant – Premises Liability

Lee v. Walmart Store #795 (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-188-17, 7 pp.) (David Norton, J.) 1:17-cv-00507; D.S.C. Holding: On the day that South Carolina plaintiff Marie Lee was struck by football helmets falling off a shelf in the Barnwell Walmart’s sporting goods department, defendant Dyches was not yet the store manager; instead, she was the assistant […]

Jun 16, 2017

Civil Practice – Removal – Diversity – Fraudulent Joinder Claim – Insurance Adjuster

Aung v. GEICO (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-153-17, 8 pp.) (Patrick Michael Duffy, J.) 9:17-cv-00856; D.S.C. Holding: Under South Carolina law (1) generally, employees may be held personally liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, even if the employer is also liable by virtue of respondeat superior, and (2) no South Carolina […]

Jun 14, 2017

Civil Practice – Removal Jurisdiction – Prior Settlement – Federal Defense – Diversity – Home-State Defendant

Bank of New York Mellon v. White (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-152-17, 7 pp.) (Joseph Anderson Jr., J.) 3:17-cv-00693; D.S.C. Holding: Even if this action arises out of a breached settlement agreement that ended a case previously before this court, defendant has failed to indicate that this settlement agreement was incorporated into the order dismissing the […]

Feb 27, 2017

Judges decree: On diversity, we’re not there yet

Judges’ chambers across the Carolinas these days are home to a more diverse crowd than before, varying, of course, from one jurisdiction to the next. But a group of jurists who spoke with Lawyers Weekly echoed a very similar sentiment: We’re better than before, but not as good as we need to be. “We are […]

Jul 13, 2016

Minorities making moves, but diversity stagnant

Last month, Sharita Whitaker, an attorney with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, traveled to the Yale Club of New York City for the Chambers and Partners’ inaugural Chambers Diversity Awards. She walked away as the winner in the Future Leader — Minority Lawyers (Private Practice) category. According to the Chambers and Partners’ website, the […]

Oct 6, 2015

Diversity still an uphill battle for most firms

A May 2015 bulletin from the National Association for Law Placement notes that women and minorities have made “small gains” in representation among law firm partners in recent years. However, among all legal employers listed in NALP’s 2014-2015 directory, only 7.33 percent of partners were minorities, and only 2.45 percent were minority women. Many offices […]

Apr 20, 2015

Civil Practice — Federal Jurisdiction – Diversity – Fraudulent Joinder Claim – Remand – Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Silverado

Brazell v. General Motors, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-067-15, 9 pp.) (Timothy Cain, J.) 6:14-cv-04588; D.S.C. Holding: Defendant General Motors, LLC, argues that, after an initial failed attempt at service, plaintiff has not actively litigated this case against South Carolina defendant-seller Goforth Auto, Inc.; however, under South Carolina law, plaintiff still has the option to […]

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