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2005-UP-075 - Leatherwood v. O'Conner

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Leatherwood, Walker Todd & Mann, P.C.,        Respondent,

v.

Denis O’Connor, BBT Financial Services Limited, and Mont Clava Limited,        Defendants,

Of Whom BBT Financial Services Limited, Third Party Plaintiff, and Denis O’Connor are        Appellants,

v.

James L. Rogers, Jr.,        Respondent.


Appeal From Greenville County
Edward W. Miller, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2005-UP-075
Heard January 12, 2005 – Filed January 31, 2005


DISMISSED


Desa A. Ballard, of West Columbia, for Appellants.

William A. Coates and Carroll H. Roe, Jr., of Greenville, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM: Denis O’Connor and BBT Financial Services Limited (“BBT”) appeal from a protective order limiting Appellants’ discovery requests to the time period Leatherwood, Walker, Todd & Mann, P.C. (“Leatherwood”) represented the Appellants.  We dismiss.

FACTS

BBT’s owner, Denis O’Connor, hired Leatherwood to assist in its purchase of a textile mill from Greenwood Mills.  However, the sale fell through and BBT sued Greenwood Mills in federal court.  Eventually, the case settled and Leatherwood formally terminated its representation of O’Connor.  Later, Leatherwood brought this action to collect attorney’s fees from O’Connor and BBT (Appellants).  Appellants counterclaimed for conversion, legal malpractice, and breach of fiduciary duty, and brought a third party complaint against a specific Leatherwood attorney.  Appellants’ claims concern the firm’s connection with a group of investors called Liberty Denim who eventually leased the mill from its new owner and received an option from the new owner to purchase a separate wastewater treatment facility.  This appeal follows an order issued by the trial court limiting Appellants’ discovery from third parties to the time period when Leatherwood represented BBT.                     

LAW/ ANALYSIS

Appellants claim the trial court erred by making factual conclusions that were unrelated and inappropriate to a protection motion, thereby quashing subpoenas seeking relevant information without proper legal justification and resulting in summary judgment as to Appellants’ counterclaims for malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.  However, an order denying or compelling discovery is not directly appealable because it is an intermediate or interlocutory decision not appealable before final judgment under section 14-3-330 of the South Carolina Code (1977). Ex Parte Whetstone, 289 S.C. 580, 580, 347 S.E.2d 881, 881 (1986).

DISMISSED.

ANDERSON, STILWELL, and SHORT, JJ., concur.