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Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

December 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, December 4, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-191628    Harriet Arnold Wilburn, Respondent, v. Paul Elijah Wilburn, Appellant.

David Alan Wilson, of The Law Offices of David A. Wilson, LLC, of Greenville and Kenneth C. Porter, of Porter & Rosenfeld, of Greenville, for Appellant. Timothy E. Madden, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Greenville, for Respondent.

Husband and Wife divorced, and Husband appeals the classification of particular property as marital property, the classification of other property as Wife's nonmarital property, the equitable division of the marital estate, the reservation of jurisdiction as to Wife's request for alimony, and the award of attorney's fees and costs for Wife.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-190695    The State, Respondent, v. Ashley N. Hepburn, Appellant.

Andrew A. Mathias, of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Greenville, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Jerry W. Peace, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

In this direct appeal, Appellant appeals her conviction for homicide by child abuse, arguing that the trial court erred in denying Appellant's motion for directed verdict, admitting certain testimony and evidence, and refusing to declare section 14-7-1110 of the South Carolina Code unconstitutional.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-186526    Clifton Sparks, Petitioner, v. Palmetto Hardwood, Inc. and Palmetto Timber S.I. Fund c/o Walker, Hunter & Associates, Respondents.

Edward L. Graham, of Graham Law Firm, PA , of Florence, for Petitioner. Weston Adams, III and M. McMullen Taylor, both of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Columbia and Helen Faith Hiser of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondent.

In this workers' compensation case, the Court granted certiorari to consider Petitioner's contention that the Court of Appeals erred when it upheld the Commission's decision that Petitioner did not suffer physical brain damage within the meaning of S.C. Code Ann. § 49-9-10 despite also finding that Petitioner had suffered a compensable injury to the brain. Petitioner also challenges the Court of Appeals' finding that the Commission's decision is supported by substantial evidence.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-192266    State of South Carolina, Respondent, v. Timothy Wallace, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court has granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Wallace, 392 S.C. 47, 707 S.E.2d 451 (Ct. App. 2011), which affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence for trafficking in cocaine. Petitioner argues the arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to detain him after the conclusion of a traffic stop, and thus the trial judge erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence seized during the subsequent search.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-190669    Hampton Friends of the Arts, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Revenue, Respondent.

Marion Clyde Fairey, Jr., of The Fairey Law Firm, LLC , of Hampton, for Appellant. Milton Gary Kimpson, Harry T. Cooper, Jr. and Sean Gordon Ryan, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant, a non-profit corporation, challenges the administrative law court's order upholding the Department of Revenue's denial of its requested property tax exemption on certain property located in Hampton County, South Carolina.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-183646    Don D. Gause, Respondent, v. Nathan Dale Smithers and Edward W. Hunt, Defendants, of Whom Edward W. Hunt is the, Appellant.

Linda Weeks Gangi, of Thompson & Henry, PA, of Conway, for Appellant. David Eliot Rothstein of Rothstein Law Firm, P.A., of Greenville and John S. Nichols, of Bluestein Nichols Thompson & Delgado, LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this case arising from a car accident, Edward W. Hunt argues the circuit court erred in charging the jury on the family purpose doctrine, failing to grant a new trial after discovering the verdict form was unclear, failing to find that Hunt's actions were not the proximate cause of the injuries, and failing to grant a new trial based on references to inadmissible evidence.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-188246    Robert Coake and Susan Coake, Respondents, v. Kathleen Burt, n/k/a Kathleen Thomason, Petitioner.

Harold P. Threlkeld, of Anderson, for Petitioner. James Allbright Blair, III and Kirsten Elena Small, both of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Greenville, for Respondents.

Respondents Robert and Susan Coake (Buyers) filed an action against Petitioner Kathleen Thomason (Seller) seeking to recover damage allegedly sustained from Seller's violation of the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act, and other allegedly fraudulent acts related to the purchase of a home.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-183126    James David Farmer, Respondent, v. Florence County Sheriff's Office, Petitioner.

D. Malloy McEachin, Jr. of McEachin & McEachin, P.A. of Florence, for Petitioner. Patrick James McLaughlin, of Wukela Law Firm, of Florence, for Respondent.

The Court granted the Florence County Sheriff Department's petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals reported at 390 S.C. 358, 701 S.E.2d 48 (Ct. App. 2010). The main issue for review is the interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. § 38-15-1195 and an owner's right to the return of allegedly counterfeit goods seized by law enforcement.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2010-178266    The State, Respondent, v. Theodore David Wills, 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 Donald J. Zelenka and Assistant Deputy Attorney General S. Creighton Waters, all of Columbia and Solicitor John Gregory Hembree, of Conway, for Respondent.

This Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Wills, 390 S.C. 139, 700 S.E.2d 266 (Ct. App. 2010), in which Petitioner's conviction and sentence for murder were affirmed. Petitioner contends the Court of Appeals erred in holding that his videotaped statement, which was given as part of a "proffer agreement" with the State, was admissible as he asserts it was inadmissible pursuant to Rule 410 of the South Carolina Rules of Evidence.