Congratulations Professor Robert T. Bockman!

Yesterday South Carolina honored Professor Robert T. Bockman with the Order of the Palmetto, one of the two highest civilian honors in the state. South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal presented the prestigious award to Professor Bockman, who had been nominated by his law school students.

Thanks to both The State and The Daily Gamecock for their coverage.


If you missed it, you have another chance to view it

South Carolina State of the Judiciary Online

In case you missed the South Carolina State of the Judiciary yesterday, you can now view it online on the South Carolina Courts’ website.

 Yesterday, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal of the South Carolina Supreme Court delivered the South Carolina State of the Judiciary. The video with full audio and the PowerPoint slides are available online.


SC State of the Judiciary at 11:00 a.m. today


The time for South Carolina State of the Judiciary has been moved to 11:00 a.m. today instead of 12 noon.

If you would like to watch LIVE streaming video, go to and click on the bottom left hand corner LIVE Broadcasts and select your preferred media.

South Carolina State of the Judiciary: 2/25/09

Tune in for the South Carolina State of the Judiciary on February 25, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. Chief Justice Jean H. Toal will deliver the address to the General Assembly which will also be broadcast live on the Internet and archived for later viewing. 

To access the live broadcast, go to this page.

Move to the bottom of the page and find links located under the heading Live Broadcasts for the House of Representatives. Click on your computer’s player.


For those unable to watch the live broadcast, SCETV will provide an archived version.  Details for the archived version will be available on the Court’s website.


SCATJ’s 8 Reasons to Give Thanks in ’08

8. Public Hearings are Complete.

And the response was really good. South Carolina Judges, Attorneys and members of the public spoke about barriers to civil justice that they had witnessed or encountered.

7. SCETV’s The Big Picture and staff.

On December 11, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. The Big Picture will feature speakers from the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s public hearings. The topic will be self-represented litigants. The next morning, Friday, December 12, 2008, the radio program will continue discussion of this topic.

6. Support of National Access to Justice community.

Shout-outs to Bob Echols, Richard Zorza, Deborah L. Rhode, Jim Sokolove, Judy Meadows, Kate Bladow and all the many others who have contributed this past year to show me that access to justice is larger than South Carolina. There are many pieces within access to justice, all of which are important. The list is too numerous to mention here and I hope you all know who you are.

5. Support of the South Carolina Bar.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission works out of the South Carolina Bar building and without the assistance of the many Bar employees, the Commission would not have been able to accomplish as much as it has. Additionally, the support of all the Bar members has been overwhelming. Attorneys who are already working hard within the legal services community are familiar with access to justice and working toward this goal every day. Additionally without the care and support of the private bar, access to justice would remain an unrealized concept.

4. Support from the South Carolina Bar Foundation.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is currently fully funded by IOLTA funds from the South Carolina Bar Foundation. Thanks for making everything possible.

3. Active Participation of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The final hearing was the ultimate in Supreme Court participation. All of the five justices actively joined in the somewhat lively discussion. They prepared meticulous questions and settled only for thorough answers. And their questions often indicated their interest in identifying solutions to the broad problems facing disenfranchised South Carolinians.

2. Wonderful South Carolina Access to Justice Commission Members.

There are 27 members of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. Each one of these members has contributed to the success of the past year.

1. Supportive Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal and Steering Committee.

Special thanks to the support of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission Chair, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, and Vice Chair, Stuart Andrews. Additionally, many thanks to Stephanie A. Nye, counsel to the Chief Justice, and George Cauthen, ex-officio. Without each of them individually and collectively, the Commission would not exist. Many thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Dear New SC Bar Admittees,


 November 17, 2008

Dear New SC Bar Admittees,

Welcome to the profession. You have entered the same profession of President-Elect Barack Obama, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, Alexis de Tocqueville, Franz Kafka, Francis Scott Key, Tim Russert, Justice John G. Roberts, South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Horton Wilkins, and former 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Wilkins to name a few.

Take a few moments to bask in your new role of attorney at law, legal counselor or lawyer (you choose your own term). You’ve worked hard and deserve a moment to reflect on the road you’ve taken and the road ahead. You will hit some potholes (cases you lose, unhappy clients). You’ll have some smooth road (case wins, happy clients). You may even take a few turns (change in practice areas or firms). Just make sure you stay on the road (communicate with your clients, pay your dues, meet your CLE requirements in a timely fashion,  follow the rules) and that you stay alert to avoid accidents (don’t lie, cheat or steal).

Now take a few minutes to think about your responsibilities to the profession. Ok, take a few more.

Now breathe.

You’re going to be fine. Think about mentors – both within and outside your firms. Think about organizing your time. Think about building your networks. Think about balancing your work and home life. Add in some ideas about access to justice – volunteering for the SC Bar’s Pro Bono Program, signing up to be a PAI attorney with SCLS, or donating to the SC Bar Foundation,

If you have questions, please let me know. I hope you enjoy this profession as much as I.