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Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

March 2013

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The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-185186    The State, Respondent, v. Myron Samuels, Appellant.

James Mixon Griffin, of Lewis Babcock & Griffin, LLP, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General Christina J. Catoe and Assistant Attorney General Mark Reynolds Farthing and Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant challenges his conviction and sentence for assault of a high and aggravated nature on the grounds that the indictment was deficient by naming two separate offenses in one count and that the trial court erred by sentencing him for assault of a high and aggravated nature rather than for simple assault.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-184909    The State, Respondent, v. John Herndon, Appellant.

Appellate Defender Susan Barber Hackett, of Columbia, for Appellant. Tommy Evans, Jr. of South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant contests the circuit court order requiring him to register as a sex offender for failing to complete sex offender counseling. On appeal, Appellant asserts that he did not complete sex offender counseling because he did not admit guilt, and at sentencing, the circuit court did not provide Appellant notice that the completion of sex offender counseling required an admission of guilt.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-194610    In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Thomas Simmons, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey Durant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to consider an evidentiary ruling by the trial court that was affirmed on direct appeal by the Court of Appeals.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-196246    Lawton Limehouse, Sr., Respondent, v. Paul H. Hulsey and The Hulsey Litigation Group, LLC, Petitioners.

A. Camden Lewis, Keith M. Babcock and Arial Elizabeth King, all of Lewis Babcock & Griffin, LLP, of Columbia, Deborah Harrison Sheffield of Law Office of Deborah Harrison Sheffield, PA, of Columbia, James Bernard Hood and Robert H . Hood, both of Hood Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, John K. Weedon, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, of Jacksonville, Florida, for Petitioners. Frank M. Cisa, of the Law Firm of Cisa & Dodds, LLP, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondent.

This Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Limehouse v. Hulsey, 397 S.C. 49, 723 S.E.2d 211 (Ct. App. 2011), which affirmed the entry of default and subsequent default damages arising out of a defamation action. Petitioners raise several issues challenging the Court of Appeals' interpretation and application of certain federal removal statutes and the provisions of Rule 55 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs default proceedings.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: Argument time for this case is included in that provided for the 9:30 a.m. case.)
2010-151573    Lawton Limehouse, Jr., Respondent, v. Paul H. Hulsey and The Hulsey Litigation Group, LLC, Appellants.

A. Camden Lewis, Keith M. Babcock and Arial Elizabeth King, all of Lewis Babcock & Griffin, LLP, of Columbia, James Bernard Hood and Robert H . Hood, both of Hood Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, John K. Weedon, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, of Jacksonville, Florida, for Appellants. Frank M. Cisa, of the Law Firm of Cisa & Dodds, LLP, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondent.

This appeal in a defamation case arises out of the entry of a default and a subsequent award of damages. Appellants raise several issues regarding the trial court's application of Rules 55 and 60(b) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, the admission of evidence, and the award of punitive damages.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 20-20-5)
2010-170066    Shirley's Iron Works, Inc., and Tindall Corporation, Respondents, v. City of Union, South Carolina, Gilbert Group LLC and William E. Gilbert, Defendants, Of whom, City of Union, South Carolina is Petitioner.

Andrew F. Lindemann, of Davidson & Lindemann, PA, of Columbia, and William E. Whitney, Jr., of Whitney Law Firm, of Union, for Petitioner. Boyd Benjamin Nicholson, Jr., of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA, of Greenville, and Raymond Patrick Smith and Norman Ward Lambert, both of Harper Lambert & Brown, P.A., of Greenville, for Respondents.

The Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Shirley's Iron Works, Inc. v. City of Union, 397 S.C. 584, 726 S.E.2d 208 (Ct. App. 2010).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-212741    Perrin Babb; Debbie Babb; Wayne Elstrom; Sarah Elstrom; Alan Jackson; and Kathy Jackson, Plaintiffs, v. Lee County Landfill SC, LLC, Defendant.

Raymond Paul Mullman, Jr. and Gary W. Poliakoff, both of Poliakoff & Associates, PA, of Spartanburg, John S. Nichols, of Bluestein, Nichols Thompson and Delgado, LLC, of Columbia and William E. Hopkins, Jr., of Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles, PC, of Montgomery, Alabama, for Plaintiffs. Kevin A. Dunlap, of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, of Spartanburg, and Steven Daniel Weber, of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, of Charlotte, North Carolina, for Defendant.

This case presents five questions certified by the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in an action brought against a landfill by homeowners asserting nuisance, trespass, and negligence causes of action based on the alleged noxious odors produced by the landfill. The certified questions are as follows: (1) Under South Carolina law, when a plaintiff seeks recovery for a temporary trespass or nuisance are the damages limited to the lost rental value of the property? (2) Does South Carolina recognize a cause of action for trespass solely from invisible odors rather than a physical invasion such as dust or water? (3) Is the maximum amount of compensatory damages a plaintiff can receive in any trespass or nuisance action the full market value of the plaintiff's property where no claim for restoration or cleanup costs has been alleged? (4) When a plaintiff contends that offensive odors have migrated from a neighbor's property onto the plaintiff's property, may the plaintiff maintain an independent cause of action for negliglence or is the plaintiff limited to remedies under trespass and nuisance? (5) If an independent cause of action for negligence exists for offensive odors, does the standard of care for a landfill operator and breach thereof need to be established through expert testimony?

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-209666    Dr. Cynthia Holmes, M.D., Appellant, v. East Cooper Community Hospital, Inc., and Tenet HealthSystem Medical, Inc., Respondents.

Chalmers Carey Johnson, of Tacoma, Washington, for Appellant. Lindsay Kathryn Smith-Yancey, Erskine Douglas Pratt-Thomas and Daniel Simmons McQueeney, Jr., all of Pratt-Thomas Walker, PA, of Charleston, for Respondents.

In these consolidated cases, Appellant argues that the circuit court erred in sanctioning her under the South Carolina Frivolous Proceedings Sanctions Act (SCFPSA), S.C. Code Ann. ยง 15-36-10 of the South Carolina Code, and that the SCFPSA is unconstitutional.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: Argument time for this case is included in that provided for the 10:00 a.m. case.)
2011-198092    Dr. Cynthia Holmes, M.D., Appellant, v. East Cooper Community Hospital, Inc., and Tenet HealthSystem Medical, Inc., Respondents.

Chalmers Carey Johnson, of Tacoma, Washington, for Appellant. Lindsay Kathryn Smith-Yancey, Erskine Douglas Pratt-Thomas and Daniel Simmons McQueeney, Jr., all of Pratt-Thomas Walker, PA, of Charleston, for Respondents.

The case summary is the same as that provided for the 10:00 a.m. case, as these two cases have been consolidated.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-196767    The State, Respondent, v. Quashon Middleton, Appellant.

Appellate Defender Susan Barber Hackett of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., and Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant argues the trial court erred when it refused to charge the lesser included offense of assault and battery in the first degree under recently enacted S.C. Code s. 16-3-600(C)(3).

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-197267    In the Interest of Resean L., A Juvenile under the Age of Seventeen (17), Appellant.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., and Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant argues the family court erred when it refused to grant a directed verdict on a charge of assault and battery in the third degree under recently enacted S.C. Code s. 16-3-300(E).

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-211048    John S. Rainey, Appellant, v. Nimrata Nikki R. Haley, Respondent.

Richard A. Harpootlian, Graham L. Newman, M. David Scott and Christopher Phillip Kenney, all of Richard A. Harpootlian, PA, of Columbia, for Appellant. Kevin A. Hall, Karl Smith Bowers, Jr. and Matthew Todd Carroll, all of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this declaratory judgment action, Appellant challenges the circuit court's grant of a motion to dismiss for lack of standing and lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-196689    Robert Glenn Greene, Appellant, v. State Law Enforcement Division, and SLED Agent Roger Heaton, Respondents.

Mark V. Evans, of Charleston, for Appellant. Robert H. Hood and Elloree A. Ganes, both of Hood Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, and Deborah Harrison Sheffield, of Columbia, for Respondents.

Robert Greene appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on his causes of action for gross negligence and defamation based on SLED erroneously listing a conviction for lewd act upon a child on his criminal record.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-196449    Delores Williams, Personal Representative of the Estate of Edward Murry, Deceased, and Matthew Whitaker, Jr., as Personal Representative of the Estate of Annie Mae Murry, Deceased, Appellants, v. Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), Respondent.

Terry E. Richardson, Jr. and Christopher James Moore, both of Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, of Barnwell, and Robert A. McKenzie, of Columbia, for Appellants. Robert P. Wood and William H. Bowman, III, both of Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this declaratory judgment action involving a coverage dispute under an automobile insurance policy, Appellants appeal the circuit court's order finding in favor of the insurer. Appellants contend the court erred in failing to find: (1) the insurance contract was ambiguous; and (2) a coverage limitation provision, the "Family Member Exclusion," was void as against public policy.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 30-30-10)
2012-206987    State of South Carolina ex. rel. Alan Wilson, in his capacity as Attorney General of the State of South Carolina, Respondent, v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., f/k/a Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc., and/or Janssen, L.P., and Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Defendants, of whom Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is the Appellant.

Charles Mitchell Brown, William C. Wood, Jr. Allen Mattison Bogan and Miles Edward Coleman, all of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, Steven J. Pugh, Steven W. Hamm and Mason A. Summers, all of Richardson, Plowden and Robinson, P.A., of Columbia, Edward M. Posner and Chanda A. Miller, both of Drinker, Biddle and Reath, LLP, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Robert D. Cook and Assistant Deputy Attorney General C. Havird Jones, Jr., all of Columbia, John Belton White, Jr. and Donald C. Coggins, Jr., both of Harrison White Smith & Coggins, PC, of Spartanburg, John S. Simmons, of Simmons Law Firm, LLC, of Columbia, Fletcher V. Trammell, Robert W. Cowan and Elizabeth W. Dwyer, all of Bailey Perrin Bailey, PLLC, of Houston, Texas, for Respondent. Gray Thomas Culbreath and Laura Watkins Jordan, both of Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA, of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

In this direct appeal, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., raises various challenges to a jury verdict finding willful violations of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act and awarding civil penalties.