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Supreme Court Published Opinions - January 2004

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.

1-5-2004 - Opinions

25762 - State v. Curtis

Case involves application of S.C. Code Ann. § 16-13-470, defrauding drug and alcohol screening tests, and whether Curtis violated the statute in selling his urine.

25763 - State v. Frazier

This is a murder case. Evidentiary issues concern propriety of a videotape made of the scene of the crime, a photographic line-up study, and testimony of the defendant's co-worker.

1-12-2004 - Opinions

25764 - Hospitality Management Associates, Inc., v. Shell Oil Company

The main issue of this appeal is whether two nationwide class action settlements approved by the Alabama and Tennessee state courts are entitled to full faith and credit.

25765 - Randall v. State

PCR certiorari. Issues are whether counsel was ineffective in not advising the defendant concerning his parole eligibility, and in failing to object to solicitor's argument comparing the defendant to a cockroach.

25766 - In the Matter of Arsi

This opinion disbars Joseph Wendell Arsi for misappropriating approximately $412,000 and for numerous irregularities related to closing and title insurance matters.

25767 - In the Matter fo Pstrak

This opinion publicly reprimands Stephen M. Pstrak for failing to provide competent and complete representation during two closing matters.

25768 - In the Matter of Wolf

This opinion disbars C.T. Wolf for misappropriating client funds.

25769 - Stanley v. Kirkpatrick

This case involves the issues of whether the Court of Appeals erred by reversing the trial court's grant of petitioner's summary judgment motion on respondent's section 1983 action and by reversing the trial court's denial of respondent's motion to amend the complaint.

25770 - Samuels v. State

This post-conviction relief case involves the issues of whether the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to convict petitioner and whether appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to appeal the trial court's denial of petitioner's directed verdict motion.

1-12-2004 - Orders

ORDER - Rules of Professional Conduct

This administrative order states that lawyers who assist, on a volunteer basis, in the prosecution of criminal domestic violence cases, is not prohibited from representing clients in civil matters and criminal matters unrelated to any case the lawyer has prosecuted. The same applies to the lawyer's firm.
ORDER - Administration of Amended Lawyers Oath contained in Rule 402, SCACR.
1-20-2004 - Opinions

25771 - State v. Smith

Petitioner was entitled to a directed verdict on a misprision charge because she reasonably believed that full disclosure of the facts surrounding the underlyng felonies could subject her to prosecution as a principal or accessory after the fact.

25772 - Main Corporation v. Black

This Court granted certiorari to determine whether the Court of Appeals properly dismissed an appeal from a binding arbitration order. We affirm as modified.

1-27-2004 - Opinions

25773 - Robertson v. First Union National Bank

Certiorari was dismissed as improvidently granted.

25774 - Sunset Cay v. City of Folly Beach

This case presents the issue of whether a municipality is required by the state Constitution and statutes to provide sewer service to all residents when it provides such service to any resident. The Court concluded that (1) a justiciable controversy exists in the present case, such that review of the Developer’s challenge to the facial validity of the ordinance is appropriate under the S.C. Declaratory Judgments Act; (2) the City properly exercised its legislative power to enact the challenged ordinance, and the ordinance is not contrary to statutory or constitutional provisions; and (3) the challenged ordinance does not violate the Developer’s constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process under the law.

25775 - Thompson v. State

This PCR case involves a challenge to a conspiracy indictment on jurisdictional grounds. The opinion discusses the distinction between jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional defects.

25776 - State Auto Property and Casualty

The Court established a two-prong test to determine whether an insured is engaged in a "business pursuit" as it pertains to an exclusion within a homeowners insurance policy. The Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that insureds' dog breeding, showing, and selling practices were a "business pursuit" and that injuries resulting from those practices were excluded from coverage.

25777 - Gilliland v. Doe

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that Petitioner met the "independent witness" requirments of S.C. Code Section 38-77-170 when she supplied an independent witness who offered circumstantial evidence that an unknown driver caused her accident. Petitoner is thus entitled to inusurance proceeds pursuant to her uninsured motorist coverage.

25778 - Cothran v. Brown

This case involves, among other things, whether the doctrine of judicial estoppel applies to prevent the appellant from asserting a comparative negligence defense in a civil proceeding when the appellant previously entered a guilty to plea to criminal charges arising from the same automobile accident.

25779 - Heyward v. Christmas

This case involves the issue of whether the Court of Appeals erred by reversing the trial court's decision granting petitioner's directed verdict motion.

25780 - McWee v. State

This opinion addresses a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

1-27-2004 - Orders

ORDER - Amendments to Rules 4(f)(4) of Rule 413 and 502, SCACR

The Supreme Court corrects technical errors in Rule 4(f)(4) of Rules 413 and 502, SCACR.