When I first opened our South Carolina office, I quickly learned about South Carolina’s court appointments. At the time, lawyers were court appointed to cases in every county where they practiced.
Soon, I started getting court appointments in a multitude of courthouses. Fortunately, the Chief Justice ultimately changed the rule on court appointments there. Now, as a South Carolina lawyer, you only have to have your name placed in two counties. Then, you cannot be appointed to more than 20 cases per year, and I don’t receive that many in any calendar year.
I could spend many words on stories about being appointed to matters of unusual events. For the purposes of this blog, I will discuss Union County, because of a story that I just saw in the Spartanburg online newspaper.
First, my Union court appointments. At the time, Union was about two hours from my South Carolina office. All of a sudden, it seemed that I was constantly getting several court appointments from Union County. I called and spoke to the Court clerk, who advised that there were only 23 lawyers in Union County. Since I had chosen to place advertising in their local phone book, I was added to their roster of lawyers.
The rotation of 24 lawyers meant that I kept coming back up on the master list, for court appointment and the clerk told me that there was nothing I could do about it. Next time I received a call to renew my yellow page advertisement… I did not renew. I called the clerk and advised that I no longer was advertising there and I had no phone in that county. I was taken off the list!
The story I have attached is about the Union court clerk. This clerk was sworn in around 2004; so it was after my slew of appointments. It’s a story about the clerk being convicted of embezzling county money and being sentenced to jail time, and ordered to pay restitution of $239,982 to the county’s child support fund.
I feel bad that this happened and I am only blogging on this because my of my past experiences there. Now, when a Union story comes across my “in box”, it reminds me of my “practice” there. Coincidentally, several of my appointments related to juvenile and domestic matters that also sometimes included child support issues. I still don’t feel comfortable handling those matters. Let me stay right in the practice of injury law where I am comfortable!
For pic o’ day, here’s a golf game spoiled: