Tag Archives: Sumter County

Dram shop claim overcomes 7-figure setoff for settlement (access required)

A man who claimed a Sumter restaurant served wine to an intoxicated customer has settled a wrongful death suit for $3 million, thanks in part to recent S.C. Supreme Court case law. Lawyers for plaintiff Paul Schmidt said the court's 2010 decision in a dram shop case helped Schmidt get the settlement despite a multi-million-dollar setoff resulting from an earlier, confidential settlement with the customer's employer. "We had a very high setoff that we would have had to overcome had we gone to trial - a high seven-figure setoff," said Mount Pleasant lawyer David Yarborough, a member of the plaintiff's legal team.

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Court says expelled Sumter High students got due process (access required)

Parents who went all way to the state Supreme Court with claims of due process violations by a school district are heading back to circuit court after the justices ruled that their sons had gotten the necessary due process. Joseph and Cynthia Stinney challenged Sumter School District 17 when a high school expelled their two sons in 2003. They claimed the district violated their sons' due process rights but they never took their appeal of the expulsions as far as circuit court. Two years later, they sued the district in tort, including due process claims among their causes of action.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Appeals – Jury Instructions – ‘Inference’ (access required)

State v. Barno. Although trial counsel objected to a jury instruction on the inference of knowledge and possession that arises when a defendant controls the area in which drugs are found, at trial the argument was that the inference instruction was burden-shifting; however, on appeal, defendant argues that the trial court should have included an instruction allowing the jury to accept or reject the permissive inference of knowledge and possession.

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