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2011-UP-432 - Dills-Pittman v. Lowcountry Council of Government

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Helen Dills-Pittman, Appellant,

v.

Lowcountry Council of Government, L. Chriswell Bickley, Jr., and Sherry Smith, Defendants,

Of Whom L. Chriswell Bickley, Jr., is Respondent.


Appeal From Colleton County
Honorable George C. James, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-432
Heard September 12, 2011 – Filed October 10, 2011


AFFIRMED


R. Thayer Rivers, Jr., of Ridgeland, for Appellant.

Kathryn Thomas, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Helen Dills-Pittman filed an action for civil conspiracy, negligence, and defamation against Lowcountry Council of Governments (COG), L. Chriswell Bickley, Jr., and Sherry Smith arising from her termination of employment at COG.  Dills-Pittman appeals the jury's verdict in favor of Bickley, Jr., arguing the trial court erred in excluding testimony and in its jury charge.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to whether the trial court erred in excluding testimony:  Fields v. Reg'l Med. Ctr. Orangeburg, 363 S.C. 19, 25-26, 609 S.E.2d 506, 509 (2005) (stating the admission or exclusion of evidence is within the sound discretion of the trial court, and the decision will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion); Bakala v. Bakala, 352 S.C. 612, 632, 576 S.E.2d 156, 166 (2003) (holding that a judge could not overrule the prior unappealed order of another judge, and it became law of the case).

2.  As to whether the trial court erred in charging the jury: Rule 51, SCRCP ("No party may assign as error the giving or the failure to give an instruction unless he objects thereto before the jury retires to consider its verdict, stating distinctly the matter to which he objects and the grounds for his objection."); Creech v. S.C. Wildlife & Marine Res. Dep't, 328 S.C. 24, 35-36, 491 S.E.2d 571, 577 (1997) (concluding the failure to timely request or object to a specific jury charge will constitute a waiver of any right to complain on appeal of error in the charge).

AFFIRMED.

SHORT, WILLIAMS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.