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Supreme Court Published Opinions - May 2012

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.

5-2-2012 - Opinions

27118 - Grier v. AMISUB

The Court held that in a medical malpractice action, the pre-suit expert affidavit required by Sections 15-36-100 and 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2011) does not need to contain an opinion as to proximate cause.

27119 - Ex parte: David Cannon v. Estate of James Brown

We affirm as modified an order of the circuit court awarding attorneys' fees and costs to opposing counsel in this contempt action.

27120 - Anderson v. South Carolina Election Commission

In its original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court issued a declaratory judgment that the unambiguous language and expression of legislative intent of S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-1356(B) and (E) (Supp. 2011) require an individual to file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) at the same time and with the same official with whom a Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC) is filed, and prohibit political party officials from accepting an SIC which is not accompanied by an SEI. The Court directed the appropriate official of the political parties to file with the State Election Commission or the appropriate county election commission, by noon on May 4, 2012, a list of only those non-exempt candidates who simultaneously filed an SEI and an SIC as required by § 8-13-1356(B).

5-9-2012 - Opinions

27121 - In the Matter of Christopher Blakeslee Roberts

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court disbars a lawyer.

27122 - State v. Binnarr

This Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Binnarr, Op. No. 2010-UP-077 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Feb. 2, 2010), in which the Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner’s conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. We reverse.

27123 - Eldridge v. Eldridge

This case involves a breach of fiduciary duty by a nonparty trustee and whether title to a home located on Hilton Head Island should be transferred to a revocable trust. The circuit court ultimately found that Appellants failed to timely assert their claim to the home. The Supreme Court reversed that decision, first finding Appellants did not have a legal remedy, then concluding that the equitable doctrine of laches did not bar Appellants' claim. The Court remanded with direction that the home be placed back in the revocable trust.

5-16-2012 - Opinions

27044 - Atlantic Coast Builders and Contractors v. Lewis

In this case arising out of the breach of a commercial lease, the Court holds the two-issue rule bars consideration of Laura Lewis’s argument that the court of appeals erred in affirming the judgment against her for negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. However, the Court holds the court of appeals did err in not returning Lewis’s security deposit to her.

27125 - Neeltec Enterprises v. Long

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that an order requiring the plaintiff to substitute defendants was immediately appealable under S.C. Code Ann. § 14-3-330 (2)(a). The case was remanded to the Court of Appeals for a decision on the merits.

27126 - Goins v. State

Michael Goins appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, arguing the circuit court erred in finding trial counsel was not ineffective for allowing Goins to plead guilty when key evidence was obtained pursuant to an illegal search. The Court holds counsel was ineffective, but it affirms the denial of post-conviction relief because Goins was not prejudiced by counsel’s errors.

27127 - State v. Ellis

Appellant’s probation was revoked and terminated in the circuit court. Appellant appealed and argued that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the probation violation warrant was not issued during the term of his probation. According to Appellant his term of probation expired prior to the issuance of a probation violation warrant.