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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.
4-3-2019 - Opinions
In this breach of contract action between Mac Papers, Inc. (Mac), Genesis Press, Inc. (Genesis), and one of Genesis's founders, Lawrence I. Kudeviz, Mac and Kudeviz filed cross-appeals. Mac, as Appellant/Respondent, argues the trial court erred in (1) finding Kudeviz's 1991 guaranty agreement was limited by Genesis's credit application, (2) finding Mac failed to prove that Kudeviz intended to be liable for more than $70,000, and (3) not addressing Kudeviz's liability under a 2008 guaranty agreement. Kudeviz, as Respondent/Appellant, argues the trial court erred in finding (1) he failed to terminate his personal guaranty, (2) he was not shielded from liability by equitable estoppel, and (3) he was not shielded from liability by the equitable doctrine of waiver. We affirm.
Georganna Paradeses, Pam Paradeses, Stephanie Starr, Robin Pace, Mary Paradeses, and Jim Paradeses appeal the probate court's determination that a deletion to the last will and testament of William D. Paradeses was not properly executed, and thus, invalid. We affirm.
In this premises liability action resulting from injuries suffered by Dr. Win Myat while working at Tuomey Regional Medical Center (Hospital), Myat appeals, arguing the trial court erred in (1) permitting Hospital to amend its answer to assert a new affirmative defense; (2) allowing Hospital to reopen its case and offer new evidence in support of its charitable affirmative defense; and (3) concluding Hospital was qualified to receive the protections of the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act. We affirm.
In this divorce action involving cross-appeals, Debra Moore (Wife) appeals, arguing the family court erred in reducing the amount of her alimony. Lee Moore (Husband) also appeals, arguing the family court erred in (1) not sufficiently reducing his alimony obligation and (2) finding Husband presented no evidence to support his claim that Wife cohabitated for 90 consecutive days with her boyfriend and any periods of separation were intended to circumvent the 90-day rule. Both parties argue the court erred in awarding attorney's fees. We reverse and remand.
4-10-2019 - Opinions
In this action challenging the validity of a will, Vinton Willis Tucker's (Decedent's) niece, Carol DeHaven, contends the circuit court erred in affirming the probate court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Ben R. Smith (Nephew) and Margaret P. Kelly (Niece) (collectively, Respondents). DeHaven argues summary judgment was improper because she presented sufficient evidence to the probate court of both undue influence and the existence of a confidential or fiduciary relationship, thus establishing a presumption of invalidity. We affirm.
After a bench trial, the trial court ruled that Courtney Feely Karp breached her fiduciary duty as Trustee of a trust created by her late mother by not timely distributing certain trust proceeds to Hugh Dereede (Hugh), Karp's stepfather, and to Tyre Dealer Network Consultants, Inc. (Tyre), Hugh's company. The trial court also awarded Hugh attorney's fees and held Karp personally liable for the verdict. Karp appeals these rulings, which we now affirm.
In this breach of contract action for the sale of a business, Robert Little and his company, CQI Oncology/Infusion Services, LLC, appeal the findings of the Master-in-Equity arguing the master erred (1) by finding Little breached the contract with Robin Johnson and her company, CQI Pharmacy Services, LLC; (2) by requiring he indemnify Johnson against claims arising from the sale of business assets; (3) in granting damages in the amount of $50,000; (4) in granting judgment on a theory of successor liability; and (5) in granting judgment against Little individually. We affirm as modified.
4-17-2019 - Opinions
Robert Palmer appeals the circuit court's dismissal of his complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), SCRCP. He contends the circuit court erred in finding no constitutional or civil remedy exists for a previous wrongful conviction. We affirm.
In this criminal case, Dean Alton Holcomb appeals his convictions for breach of trust and obtaining money by false pretenses, arguing the trial court erred in (1) failing to direct a verdict of acquittal due to the State's failure to prove a written check constitutes a trust relationship; (2) failing to direct a verdict of acquittal due to the State's failure to prove Holcomb made a fraudulent misrepresentation; and (3) refusing to grant a mistrial based on remarks made by the prosecution. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
4-24-2019 - Opinions
This is an appeal from a circuit court order compelling Lisa Moore (Client) to resolve a fee dispute through the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board of the South Carolina Bar (the Board). Client argues (1) Jean Derrick (Attorney) waived the right to compel her appearance before the Board by first filing an action in the circuit court, (2) the circuit court lacked authority to compel Client's appearance before the Board, and (3) Attorney's fee agreement is unenforceable under the South Carolina Uniform Arbitration Act.
In this civil case, Benjamin C. Gecy, River City Developers, LLC, and River City Real Estate, LLC (collectively, River City) appeal the circuit court's order granting partial summary judgment to Hilton C. Smith, Jr., Coosaw Investments, LLC, and Hilton C. Smith, Jr., Inc. of South Carolina (collectively, Coosaw) on River City's malicious prosecution claim. On appeal, River City argues the circuit court erred in finding River City was unable to prove the element of favorable termination of proceedings. We affirm.