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Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

October 2012

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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, October 2, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2010-180746    The State, Respondent, v. Jeffrey S. Evans, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Deputy Attorney General David A. Spencer, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Christina Theos Adams, of Anderson, for Respondent.

The Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Evans, Op. No. 2010-UP-464 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Oct. 25, 2010), in which the court affirmed Petitioner's convictions for armed robbery and possession of a knife during the commission of a violent offense. Petitioner argues the court erred in failing to grant a mistrial when two of the State's witnesses referred to "the defendant" during their testimony, but none of the witnesses had been able to identify Petitioner as the robber.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2010-180906    Michael D. Crisp, Jr., Employee, Petitioner, v. SouthCo, Inc., Employer, and Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., Carrier, Respondents.

Kathryn Williams, of Greenville, for Petitioner. Carmelo Barone Sammataro, of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Columbia, and Vernon F. Dunbar, of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Greenville, for Respondent.

Petitioner asserts the court of appeals erred in reversing the circuit court and affirming the Workers' Compensation Commission because the Commission's finding that Petititioner did not sustain physical brain damage was not supported by substantial evidence in the record.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-188006    Ira Banks, James Bell and Vernon Holmes, Respondents, v. St. Matthew Baptist Church, an Unincorporated Association, and Clinton Brantley, of whom Clinton Brantley is the, Petitioner.

Weston Adams, III, Gunnar Nistad and Helen F. Hiser, all of of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Thomas O. Sanders, IV, of Sanders Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondents.

The Court will consider on certiorari a Court of Appeals decision allowing this defamation action brought by members of a congregation against the pastor to be heard in circuit court.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2010-173047    The State, Petitioner, v. Ricky Darren Sanders, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., all of Columbia, and Solicitor Ernest Adolphus Finney, III of Sumter, for Petitioner. Appellate Defender Susan Barber Hackett, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Petitioner, the State, contends the Court of Appeals erred in finding the trial court abused its discretion in excluding a remote conviction of the victim. If this Court agrees, the State further contends a second issue that was not reached by the Court of Appeals regarding the propriety of the jury charge should be addressed by this Court and affirmed.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-198146    Rocky Disabato, d/b/a Rocky D., Appellant, v. South Carolina Association of School Administrators, Respondent. State ex rel. Alan Wilson, Attorney General, Intervenor.

Kevin A. Hall, Karl S. Bowers, Jr. and M. Todd Carroll, all of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, of Columbia, for Appellant. Kenneth L. Childs, John M. Reagle and Keith R. Powell, all of Childs & Halligan, PA, of Columbia, for Respondent. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Robert D. Cook and Assistant Deputy Attorney General J. Emory Smith, Jr., all of Columbia, for Intervenor. Jerald A Jacobs, of Washington, DC, for Amicus Curiae, American Society of Association Executives. Scott T. Price, of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae, South Carolina School Boards Association. Marsha Anne Ward, of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP, of Atlanta, Georgia, for Amicus Curiae, The Student Press Law Center and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Appellant brought suit under the Freedom of Information Act seeking a declaratory judgment and an injunction compelling Respondent to produce certain records. Appellant contends circuit court erred in dismissing the suit on the ground that the Freedom of Information Act is unconstitutional as applied to Respondent.

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 20-20-10)
2010-154746    The State, Respondent, v. Stephen Christopher Stanko, Appellant.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek and Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka and Assistant Attorney General J. Anthony Mabry, all of Columbia, and Solicitor John Gregory Hembree, of Conway, for Respondent.

Appellant was convicted of murder and armed robbery, and sentenced to death. Appellant challenges his conviction and alleges the trial court erred.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2010-174706    Jorge V. Esguerra, Appellant, v. Jamie V. Brown, individually and d/b/a Southeastern Services, Robert Baroni, Boyd R. Laughlin and Associated Construction Consultants, Inc., Defendants, Of whom Robert Baroni, Boyd R. Laughlin and Associated Construction Consultants, Inc. are, Respondents.

Sean Michael Bolchoz, of Hale & Bolchoz, LLC, of Hilton Head Island, for Appellant. James Frederick Berl, of Law Offices of James F. Berl, PC, and John William Farrell, both of Hilton Head Island, for Respondents.

This is an appeal from an order finding for the contractor in a home renovation dispute.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-210367    In the Matter of Ernest W. Cromartie, Respondent.

Disciplinary Counsel Lesley M. Coggiola and Deputy Disciplinary Counsel Barbara Marie Seymour, both of Columbia, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. J. Steedley Bogan, of Bogan Law Firm, of Columbia, for Respondent.

This is an attorney disciplinary matter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2010-156746    Professional Financial Services Corporation, Respondent/Appellant, v. Terry White and White's Auto Sales, Inc., Appellants/Respondents.

Louis David Nettles, of Folkens Law Firm, PA, of Florence, for Appellants/Respondents. Joseph Gregory Studemeyer, of Columbia, for Respondent/Appellant.

This is a cross-appeal from an award of treble damages and attorney's fees under the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-191906    William D. Curtis, Respondent, v. Sandra Morris Blake, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Brandon T. Blake, Petitioner.

Thomas J. Keaveny, II and Amy B. Rothschild, of Keaveny Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, for Petitioner. Robert Norris Hill, of Law Offices of Robert Hill, of Newberry, Mark Brandon Tinsley, of Gooding & Gooding, PA, of Allendale, and C. Bradley Hutto, of Williams & Williams, of Orangeburg, for Respondent.

This cases arises from an automobile accident. Respondent filed suit against Petitioner, and the case proceeded to trial where Petitioner admitted negligence but contested damages. The jury rendered a verdict against Petitioner, and Petitioner challenges that verdict and the denial of a motion for a new trial.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2010-154986    Cynthia Holmes, M.D., Appellant, v. Haynsworth, Sinkler & Boyd, P.A., Successor to Sinkler & Boyd, P.A., Manton Grier and James Y. Becker, Respondents.

Chalmers Carey Johnson, of Tacoma, Washington, for Appellant. Richard S. Dukes, Jr., of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Charleston and R. Hawthorne Barrett, of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant is a licensed physician who also holds a bar license to practice law in South Carolina. Appellant hired the law firm Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., to represent her in a case against a hospital she worked for. Not satisfied with the law firm's service, Appellant sued the firm alleging professional negligence and asking for the return of $43,000.00 in fees paid. Her claims were dismissed by the trial court in a directed verdict, and she was sanctioned for pursuing a meritless law suit. Appellant now appeals the directed verdict and sanctions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2010-171126    Vernon Sulton and Willie Mae Scott, Respondents, v. HealthSouth Corporation, d/b/a HealthSouth of South Carolina, Inc., d/b/a HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Kathy Hoover, RN, Lisa Page, RN, Sharon Miller, RN, Kim Harris, RN, Betty Casteal, RN, and Norine Corbin, RN, Appellants.

Charles Mitchell Brown, William C. Wood, Jr. and Brian P. Cotty, all of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP of Columbia, and Carmelo Barone Sammataro, of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Columbia, for Appellants. John S. Nichols, of Bluestein Nichols Thompson & Delgado, LLC, Fernando Xavier Starkes, of Starkes Law Firm, LLC, William Jones Andrews, Jr., of McGowan Hood & Felder, LLC, all of Columbia, and Chad Alan McGowan, of McGowan Hood & Felder, LLC, of Rock Hill, for Respondents.

Appellants contend that the trial court improperly charged a heightened duty of care; that the verdict form was improper; that there was no evidentiary support for the loss of consortium verdict; and that the punitive damages award was improper.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2009-146786    16 Jade Street, LLC, Respondent/Appellant, v. R. Design Construction Co., LLC, and Carl R. Aten, Jr., Individually and in his capacity as principal and agent of R. Design Construction Co., LLC, Catterson & Sons Construction and Michael S. Catterson, Individually and in his capacity as principal and agent of Catterson & Sons Construction, Defendants, Of whom, Carl R. Aten, Jr., is Appellant, and Michael S. Catterson, Individually and in his capacity as principal and agent of Catterson & Sons Construction, is Respondent, R. Design Construction Co., LLC, Third Party Plaintiffs, v. Kintz Electric, Third Party Defendant.

Mary Bass Lohr, Thomas A. Bendle and William T. Young, III, all of Howell, Gibson & Hughes, PA, of Beaufort, for Appellant. Ernest Mitchell Griffith Michael D. Freeman and Matthew D. Cavender, all of Griffith Sadler & Sharp, PA, of Beaufort, for Respondent-Appellant.

This case is a rehearing of an appeal presenting the question of whether a member of a limited liability company can be held personally liable for torts he committed while engaged in company business.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2010-152786    The State, Respondent, v. Gene Tony Cooper, Petitioner.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh , Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka and Senior Assistant Attorney General W. Edgar Salter, III, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Donald V. Myers, of Lexington, for Respondent.

This Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Cooper, 386 S.C. 210, 687 S.E.2d 62 (Ct. App. 2009), in which Petitioner's convictions and sentences for murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and kidnapping were affirmed. Petitioner contends the Court of Appeals erred in finding that he was not denied his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

 

Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument

Ja Ja D. B. Okera, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.

JaJa D. B. Okera, of Ridgeland, pro se Appellant. Lake Eric Summers and Katherine Phillips, of Malone Thompson Summers & Ott, LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Brad Keith Sigmon, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, and William Harry Ehlies, II, of Greenville, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka and Senior Assistant Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

The State, Respondent, v. Jarmel L. Rice, Appellant.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Attorney General Mark Reynolds Farthing, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Christina Theos Adams, of Anderson, for Respondent.

Lamar A. Graves, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Attorney General Suzanne Hollifield White, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Walter Mortgage Company, Respondent, v. Natasha L. Green and Shilon L. Green, Petitioners.

Natasha L. Green and Shilon L. Green, of McBee, pro se Petitioners. Charles Harry McDonald and Joseph Kershaw Spong, of Robinson McFadden & Moore, PC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Allen J. Capers, Petitioner, v. The State, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Breen Richard Stevens, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCorey Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Karen Christine Ratigan, all of Columbia, for Respondent.