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Chief Judge Kaye G. Hearn
Judge Kaye Hearn has served as a member of the South Carolina Court of Appeals since her election on March 21, 1995. On June 21, 1999, she was elected Chief Judge. From 1986 until her election to the Court of Appeals, she served as Family Court Judge for the 15th Judicial District, comprising Horry and Georgetown Counties. She was the chief administrative judge in the 15th Circuit from 1987 until her election to the Court of Appeals. During her tenure as family court judge, she served as treasurer, vice-president, and president of the South Carolina Conference of Family Court Judges.

Prior to going on the bench, Judge Hearn was a trial lawyer with the firm of Stevens, Stevens, Thomas, Hearn, and Hearn. Immediately upon graduation from law school, she was law clerk to The Honorable Julius B. Ness, Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Judge Hearn received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Bethany College in 1972, and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977. She received an L.L.M. degree from the University of Virginia’s Graduate Program for Judges in May 1998.

Judge Hearn is a past member of the South Carolina Board of Bar Examiners, the CLE Commission, and the University of South Carolina Law School’s Partnership Board. Currently, she is a member of the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Professionalism Committee, the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Since the Fall of 2006, Judge Hearn has been an adjunct professor at Charleston Law School, and she is a frequent lecturer at CLE programs. Judge Hearn contributed a chapter on comparative negligence to the South Carolina Bar’s Damages treatise. In 2004, Judge Hearn was the South Carolina Trial Lawyers’ portrait honoree. She is also actively involved with the Council of Chief Judges of Courts of Appeal, a nationwide network of chief judges of intermediate state courts, for which Judge Hearn served as President from November 2005 to November of 2006.

Judge Hearn is married to George M. Hearn, Jr., a Conway attorney. They have one daughter, Kathleen, who attends Wofford.

Photo of Justice Kaye Hearn