SC Bar Foundation Gala Invitation from Shannon Scruggs

Dear Bar Leader:

Please join us for a great evening of fellowship and entertainment at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2010 when our Bar Foundation hosts its 4th Annual Gala. The event will be located at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The event will be a great opportunity to celebrate and to learn more about the SC Bar‘s charitable arm.  Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal will introduce the South Carolina Bar’s Nifty Fifty – the class of 1959. The South Carolina Bar will honor the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year and the SC Access to Justice Commission will present the Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year Award. Other special invitees include the Supreme Court of South Carolina and the SC Court of Appeals.

Individual tickets are $75 each and include an open bar, dancing and a seated dinner (it isn’t your typical rubber chicken, either!). There also will be a silent auction with sports memorabilia (Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, USC’s John Roche), spa certificates, music/film/TV mementos, beach stays, hotel weekends and more!

Gala 2010 is being held to help the Foundation in its efforts as the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability.

Please make plans to attend. For additional information you may RSVP via (803) 765-0517 or

Shannon Willis Scruggs, Executive Director

SC Bar Foundation

To view the invitation in pdf:   SCBarGalaInvite_2010

Ed McMahon, Your Legacy Lives On

Most everyone is familiar with Ed McMahon and the American Family Publishers Sweepstakes prize.  And some of us waited patiently for him to show up at our door with balloons and an over-sized check. Watching the few lucky prize winners was always a thrill. And today I had the honor of delivering balloons and flowers to the 2009 Ellen Hines Smith South Carolina Legal Services award recipient, Maureen White.

While the official award will be presented at the SC Bar Foundation Gala on March 11, 2010, Shannon Willis Scruggs of the SC Bar Foundation, and I delivered the good news to Ms. White today at the Greenville office of South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS). And wow, what a great feeling! To say that Ms. White was surprised would be an understatement. Below you’ll see some photos as we interrupted the Thursday morning staffing.

A little more about Ms. White:

  • She started work at SCLS in March 1997;
  • During her time at SCLS, she has conquered many legal issues including landlord/tenant, divorce, consumer and disability matters;
  • She is currently the lead bankruptcy attorney within the consumer unit of SCLS; and
  • She moved to South Carolina from Ohio where she had practiced for 12 years.

A few notes from the people who nominated her:

When she started at SCLS: Almost immediately, (no one can remember exactly when), she was fully oriented to the legal aid culture and was building a diverse caseload that has grown beyond all boundaries owing to her famous zeal at case acceptance meetings.

The justice system is better for her example, energy and abundant legal skill. Her humor enlivened every case acceptance meeting.

I could not be more impressed with her professionalism and cheerful work ethic – she is uniquely motivated in her desire to help others.

Maureen’s most significant achievement on a statewide level has been her work as our Lead Bankruptcy Attorney. When SCLS’ Bankruptcy Roadshow was created by the Consumer Unit, Maureen led the way as we went around the state training SCLS attorneys to handle bankruptcy cases. We significantly increased the number of attorneys handling bankruptcy and the number of clients being served by SCLS filing bankruptcy for them.

Meet Ms. Maureen White:

Once again – congratulations Maureen White!

And Ed McMahon – thanks for the inspiration . . . it’s a lot of fun to surprise people with flowers, balloons, and good news!


20 Under 40 – Ties to South Carolina Access to Justice

Congratulations Columbia Business Journal’s 2009 Class of 20 Under 40

Congratulations are in order for ALL who made the grade with the Columbia Business Journal’s 20 Under 40 this year, but it’s particularly exciting to note those with ties to the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.  We are especially excited to recognize Shannon Willis Scruggs, who is Executive Director of the South Carolina Bar Foundation, which is the largest financial supporter of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.

Other 20 Under 40 members include attorneys – Michael James Seezen of the McNair Law Firm; Tally Parham of Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham; Katie Cauthen of the Cauthen Law Firm; Thad H. Westbrook of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough; and Christopher R. Koon Vice president and general counsel of Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. We hope they’ll become familiar with South Carolina Access to Justice in their leadership roles.

As for the remaining 20 Under 40, SC Access to Justice hopes they’ll also play active roles in access to justice in their communities and by offering support. Cory J’von Adams of Boykin Contracting, Inc.; Dionne M. Fleshman of DESA Inc.; Clay Owens of Yankee Candle Co.; Forrest L. Alton of SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy; Ken Carey of Agil Staff Inc.; Charity Garris of Palmetto Health Richland;  Jeffrey R. Graham of Graham Realty and mayor of Camden;  Melissa Sprouse Browne of The Real Estate School of South Carolina and South Carolina Realty; Rozalynn B. Goodwin of SC Hospital Association and The Motherhood Priority; Kevin Lindler of First Citizens Bank; Boyd Summers of Colliers Keenan Inc.; Anne Marie Stieritz of Apprenticeship Carolina; Barbara Koosa Ryan of Grant Thorton LLP; and William W. Smith Sr. of Epiphany International/William W. Smith and Associates and Optimum Financial Services.

Again congratulations and we look forward to working with you in the future!

For more on 20 under 40, visit