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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.
11-7-2011 - Opinions
This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.11-21-2011 - Opinions
Appellant, Alexander Michau (Employee), appealed a ruling by the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission) denying Employee's claim for repetitive trauma injuries to his shoulders. Employee challenged the Commission's interpretation and application of S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-172 (Supp. 2010). The Court reversed and remanded on the grounds that the Commission erred in admitting a medical opinion that was not stated to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as required under section 42-1-172. The Court held that the plain reading of the statute requires that "opinion or testimony" must be "stated to a reasonable degree of medical certainty" while "documents, records, or other material" is not similarly modified. The Court recognized that medical "records" will often also contain physicians' opinions, but in this case, the doctor who examined Employee was not Employee's normal treating physician, and Employer specially sought out this doctor to evaluate Employee and issue a medical "opinion" to decide the compensability of Employee's claim. Under these facts, the doctor's letter did not constitute "documents, records, or other material," but is an "opinion or testimony" that must be "stated to a reasonable degree of medical certainty."
This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer.
This is an opinion in which the Court reciprocally disbars a lawyer and denies the lawyer's Petition for Reinstatement.
The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision to order a new trial after the trial judge refused to charge the jury on the law of self-defense. The Court dismissed the writ as improvidently granted.11-21-2011 - Orders
ORDER - In the Matter of Gary D. James, Sr.
ORDER - In the Matter of Rose Marie Cooper
This is an order granting a Petition for Reconsideration of an order placing a lawyer on interim suspension.ORDER - In the Matter of Wilton Darnell Newton
IT IS ORDERED that respondent’s license to practice law in this state is suspended until further order of the Court.11-22-2011 - Opinions
This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspends a lawyer from the practice of law for six months.