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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - September 2011

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.

9-7-2011 - Opinions

4885 - State v. Abraham

John C. Abraham (Abraham) appeals his conviction for possession of cocaine. On appeal, Abraham argues the circuit court erred in (1) denying his motion to suppress because he was subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment and (2) failing to grant his motion for a directed verdict. We affirm. [1]

4886 - State v. Singleton

Appellant Eugene Singleton was indicted in Bamberg County for first degree burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and criminal conspiracy. After a trial, a jury convicted Singleton of first degree burglary and criminal conspiracy. Singleton appeals, arguing (1) the circuit court erred in allowing the victim to identify Singleton in court when her out-of-court identification was arguably unreliable and created a substantial likelihood of misidentification, and (2) the circuit court erred in allowing the State to call a reply witness who did not comply with the sequestration order imposed by the circuit court at Singleton's request. We affirm on both points.

4887 - West v. Morehead

In this appeal from a jury verdict in favor of Rebecca West for actual and punitive damages on a defamation claim, we address the "fair report privilege" and whether West introduced sufficient evidence of Appellants' fault. We affirm the jury's award of actual damages. However, we find as a matter of law that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of actual malice, and reverse the award of punitive damages.

9-14-2011 - Opinions

4888 - Pope v. HeritageCommunities

Heritage Communities, Inc., Heritage Riverwalk, Inc., and BuildStar Corporation appeal the jury's verdicts in these consolidated construction defect actions. We affirm.

4889 - Team IA v. Lucas

This is an appeal from a circuit court order granting partial summary judgment to Respondent Cicero Lucas on the grounds that the non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in an employment agreement he signed were overly broad and unenforceable. Appellant, Team IA, Inc. (Team IA), argues the circuit court erred in granting partial summary judgment to Lucas, when (1) there were material facts in dispute as set forth in the Supplemental Affidavit of Brent Yarborough; (2) the circuit court applied Georgia law despite the presence of a choice of law provision in the agreement signed by the parties requiring the application of South Carolina law; (3) had the circuit court applied South Carolina law to evaluate whether the non-solicitation clause was an unreasonable restraint on trade, the circuit court arguably would have reached a different result; (4) there was no evidence presented that the non-competition provision would improperly curtail Lucas's efforts to earn a livelihood; and (5) the circuit court could have limited the nationwide geographic restriction in the non-competition clause to the less expansive restricted territory alternatively defined in the employment agreement as South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. We reverse and remand.

4890 - Potter v. Spartanburg School District 7

Claimant appeals his workers' compensation case, claiming the circuit court erred in affirming the following findings: (1) Potter did not suffer any "physical brain damage" causally related to the accident; (2) the only body part with resulting impairment from the accident is the right leg; (3) Potter has not suffered a psychological/mental injury; and (4) Potter has not suffered permanent and total disability. We affirm.

9-21-2011 - Opinions

4892 - Sullivan v. Hawker Beechcraft

This appeal arrises from a dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. Sullivan contends the trial cour erred in dismissing Respondnets and for failing to allow him to conduct jurisdictional discovery and amend his complaint for a second time prior to dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice. We affirm.

9-28-2011 - Opinions

4893 - Rawlinson v. Jackson

The Rawlinson Road Homeowners Association (Association) appeals from the master-in-equity's order granting Ronald D. Jackson's motion for summary judgment and denying the Association's request for injunctive relief. We affirm.