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Tag Archives: Evidence

Tort/Negligence – Professional Negligence Claim – Civil Engineer – Real Property – Commercial – Subsequent Purchaser – Civil Practice – Evidence – Expert Witnesses (access required)

Ross Dress for Less, Inc. v. Lauth Construction Group, LLC When a geotechnical engineering firm performed work on a commercial warehouse construction project for the contractor and project owner, the firm did not owe a duty of care to a subsequent purchaser of the warehouse. The court grants summary judgment to the engineering firm, the contractor, and the grading subcontractor on the new owner’s negligence and gross negligence claims. The court denies the motion of the contractor and grading subcontractor to exclude structural repair damages claimed by the new owner.

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Civil Practice – Evidence – Preliminary Injunction Order – Prejudicial – Appeals – Preservation — Expert Report – Hearsay (access required)

Allegro, Inc. v. Scully While defendants did not state specific grounds for their objection, the introduction of the preliminary injunction order was inherently prejudicial; thus, the grounds for the objection were patent. Admitting this order had a high possibility of influencing the jury due to its numerous findings of fact and statements concluding defendants’ liability. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting the order into evidence.

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Criminal Practice – CSC with a Minor – Evidence – S.C. Homeland Security Act – Wiretapping by Parent – Vicarious Consent – First Impression – Forensic Interview (access required)

State v. Whitner Since the minor victim’s mother acted in good faith when she recorded the victim’s telephone conversations with defendant, the recordings were admissible under the S.C. Homeland Security Act.

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Criminal Practice – Evidence – Photographic Line-Up – Relevance – ‘Mug Shot’ (access required)

State v. Stephens Throughout the trial, defendant consistently attacked the reliability of witness Bates' identification of him in a photographic line-up. By doing so, defendant made the photographic line-up far more important than it might otherwise have been, thereby increasing its probative value. Only by viewing the actual line-up could the jury determine for itself whether the allegedly poor picture quality or the six-photograph format likely influenced Bates' identification. The trial court did not err in admitting the line-up into evidence.

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Real Property – Partnership – Trusts & Estates – Promissory Notes – Evidence – Dead Man’s Statute – Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty (access required)

Nandwani v. Queens Inn Motel Since mortgages are real property, after the beneficiary of promissory notes secured by mortgages died, his heirs could immediately assign the promissory notes. They did not have to wait until the estate was probated under the intestacy statute. We modify and affirm the special referee’s decision.

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Criminal Practice – Homicide by Child Abuse – Evidence – Sticks with Protruding Staples – Harmless Error – Photos of Child (access required)

State v. Salley The trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence sticks (with staples protruding from them) which were seized from a trashcan outside defendant’s home, when those sticks were only submitted to show the type of instrument that could have caused the child-victim’s injuries.

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Criminal Practice – Drug Trafficking – Evidence – Civil Forfeiture – Conspiracy – Financial Assistance – Other Drug Sales (access required)

State v. McEachern Defendant gave lengthy testimony concerning where all the money found in her handbag came from in order to rebut any inference that the money was connected to the drugs seized from her handbag and her vehicle. Defendant also said that none of the money was drug money. Thus, defendant opened the door to the admission of evidence that she had agreed to forfeit the money in question.

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Criminal Practice – Evidence – Eyewitness ID – ‘Show-up’ – Neil v. Biggers Hearing – Witness’ Familiarity with Defendant (access required)

State v. Liverman Even though the trial court should have conducted a full Neil v. Biggers in camera hearing to determine whether a witness’s “show-up” identification of defendant was unduly suggestive, the error was harmless here given the witness’ familiarity with defendant before the shooting, his opportunity to see defendant at the time of the shooting, his prompt identification of defendant as the shooter, his description of defendant’s clothing, and his confirmation of his prior identification of defendant at the “show-up.”

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