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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 2005

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

5-2-2005 - Opinions

3983 - State v. Young

In this criminal sexual conduct case, the majority of the Court reviews the "door opening" principle with specificity, and the dissent discusses the prejudicial impact of similar convictions.

3984 - Martasin v. Hilton Head Health System

This is an appeal of a directed verdict for the defendants in a medical malpractice action.

3985 - Brewer v. Stokes Kia, Isuzu, Subaru, Inc.

This appeal arises after summary judgment was granted to a car dealership in a claim for breach of contract, conversion, and violation of certain consumer protection laws brought by a purchaser whose car had been repossessed in what was alleged to have been a yo-yo sale.

3986 - Howard v. Nasser

In this will contest case, Appellants appeal the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of the surviving spouse and finding the will was not the product of undue influence.

3987 - State v. Preslar

In this criminal case, appellant was convicted of two counts of intimidation of a witness. The charges of intimidation of a witness stemmed from Appellant’s writing letters from jail asking his daughter not to proceed with twelve counts of criminal sexual conduct charges. At trial, the Circuit Judge allowed only one of the criminal sexual conduct charges to be submitted to the jury. Appellant alleges error because this evidence placed his character in issue. The State avers that the underlying criminal sexual conduct charge was a part of the res gestae.

3988 - Murphy v. Jefferson Pilot Communications

The court concludes whether an employee of Jefferson Pilot Communications and WCSC acted within the scope of his apparent authority in admittedly defaming the plaintiff is an issue requiring a jury determination based on the "bizarre" and "unique" facts of this case.

5-9-2005 - Opinions

3989 - State v. Tuffour

Kwasi Roosevelt Tuffour was convicted and sentenced for trafficking in crack cocaine, 100 to 200 grams. Tuffour appeals, claiming error in the admission at trial of prior bad act evidence, tape recordings, and impeachment evidence. We find the trial court erred in the admission of prior, unrelated alleged drug transactions under the common scheme or plan exception to State v. Lyle, 125 S.C. 406, 118 S.E. 803 (1923), and Rule 404(b), SCRE. Based on the admission of this forbidden propensity evidence, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

5-16-2005 - Opinions

3990 - Cowburn v. Leventis

James Cowburn brought several causes of action against Andrew Leventis and Fidelity National Bank related to his investment in an illegal Ponzi scheme. Both Leventis and Fidelity made motions for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. We affirm in part and reverse in part, finding genuine issues as to material fact on whether Leventis violated sections of the South Carolina Uniform Securities Act by selling securities as an unregistered broker-dealer.

5-23-2005 - Opinions

3991 - SC Department of Motor Vehicles v. Nelson

The issue in this case is whether the failure to comply with the videotaping requirements of section 56-5-2953 precludes the Department from suspending Nelson’s license for his refusal to submit to a breath test under section 56-5-2950.

3992 - Patrick v. Britt

In this child support action, husband appeals increased child support award to wife.

3993 - In the Matter of: Estate fo Niles Stevens

In this appeal from a declaratory judgment action involving a sizable trust, the court analyzes the boundaries of trustee discretion, particularly what considerations are appropriate when determining proper distributions for a benificiary's "support."

3994 - The Huffines Co. v. Lockhary

In this breach of contract case, appellants contend the Circuit Judge erred in directing a verdict in regard to his interpretation of the listing agreement/contract.

5-25-2005 - Opinions

3995 - Cole v. Raut

In this medical negligence action, Marty and Tracy Cole appeal from a verdict in favor of Dr. Raut and her medical practice. The Coles argue the circuit court erred in charging the jury on assumption of risk.