Law Day Ceremony and Reception 2021
The Spartanburg County Bar Association celebrated Law Day on Thursday May 13, 2021 with a ceremony and reception at the Piedmont Club.
Judge Mark Hayes recognized Jocelyn Silva of Spartanburg County Early College High School for overall best essay in the Law Day Essay Contest. The best essay for 12th grade was awarded to Daniel Grooms of Byrnes High School, for 11th grade to Erin Ploeg of Dorman High School, for 10th grade to Jacqueline Bravo of Spartanburg County Early College High School, and for 9th grade to Vera Brooks of Spartanburg County Early College High School.
Keynote speaker for the event was retired SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean H. Toal.
The bar association presented the Littlejohn Young Lawyer to attorney Spenser H. Smith, the Taylor Distinguished Service Award to attorney Ben Harrison, and the Burnett Contribution to Law and Justice Award to Sharyn Walker.
Law Day and Annual Spartanburg County Bar Association Meeting
The annual meeting of the Spartanburg County Bar Association was held at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on June 25, 2020.
Officers elected for the upcoming year are Charles Edwards, President; Andrew Poliakoff, Vice President; Edwin Haskell, Executive Committeeman; and Ginger Goforth, Treasurer. Pat Anderson will remain a member of the Executive Committee succeeding Wesley Stoddard as immediate Past President.
The Claude Taylor Distinguished Service Award was presented to attorney J. Edwin McDonnell, recently retired as Deputy Director of Litigation and Training of Piedmont Legal Services. The Claude Taylor Award is presented annually to an attorney for outstanding humanitarian service.
Attorney Chelsea Rikard of A Business Law Firm was presented the C. Bruce Littlejohn Young Lawyer of the Year award. This award is to recognize outstanding contributions of young lawyers to the practice of law and to the Spartanburg community.
Dorothy Earle, Register of Deeds for Spartanburg County, was presented the E.C. Burnett III award. The E. C. Burnett, III award recognizes non-attorneys whose work has improved the legal system in Spartanburg County.
This year over 90 high school students from Spartanburg and Cherokee counties participated in the J. Mark Hayes, II Law Day Essay Contest.
Judge Hayes presented the overall winner award and a $500 check to Emma Saunders, a Byrnes High School student of Ms. Susanne Cash.
The subject of the essays concerned the 19th amendment to the US Constitution which provided for Women’s Suffrage.
This is the 11th year of the contest.
Bar President Wesley Stoddard speaks to newly appointed USDC Judge Donald C. Coggins, Jr. at March 2, 2018 Reception.
Spartanburg Firm featured in Living above the Bar.
Working in an office setting can be rather sedentary. Hours sitting behind a desk, working in front of a glaring monitor and the only opportunity to move about is the occasional stroll to the printer or down the hall to the restroom. Regardless of how much you love what you do or how important your work is, working in an office setting behind a desk all day can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Companies around the world now recognize this situation as an issue and are taking steps to help employees better enjoy their jobs and stay healthy at the same time. Many provide their employees with memberships to local gyms, time to integrate physical activity into their day, support local causes that host activities promoting health and wellness, and provide better food and snack options in the workplace.
At The Cate Law Firm in Spartanburg, the firm owner, Ruth Cate, cares a great deal about her attorneys and staff. She long ago recognized that she needed keep her staff focused and motivated in order to continue to provide the firm’s clients with quality client service. The firm has developed a family “vibe” that nurtures its employees with numerous opportunities to promote physical health and self-care, and it is obvious when you meet with any member of the firm that they, in turn, care a great deal about their clients and the outcome of their cases.
As a part of an ongoing effort to manage a top-notch staff and in celebration of Administrative Professionals Day, Ms. Cate recently purchased a new pair of Adidas Ultraboost X Running Shoes for each member of her staff. Ms. Cate shared that this was the firm’s effort to promote good health and wellness in her office. After receiving the gift, the staff coordinated a team walk on the Mary Black Rail Trail in Spartanburg, just down the street from their office. Many now walk the Rail Trail during lunch or right after work. Members of the staff hope to continue this trend, working to improve their overall health and mindset.
The firm has also taken steps to keep their kitchen stocked with fresh fruit and veggies to curb any mid-day cravings. They also keep a pitcher of water, infused with fruit, on hand for the staff. To promote mental health, massage appointments are offered to staff on a rotating basis. Annual weekend “destination work retreats” enable employees to connect and relax in a non-office setting, which provides respite and enhances interoffice relations and compatibility.
Planning for the future is an important element of our overall well-being and taking steps to improve our physical and mental health and wellness will not only help us improve our work effort but will help us to live longer and better lives. The Cate Law Firm is doing all it can to help their attorneys and staff maintain their own good physical and mental health so as to better serve the firm’s clients and to live longer and better lives.
WSPA 7 News hosted an Ask-A-Lawyer phone bank May 3rd, 2018 Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m. They had 159 calls into the phone bank, plus 98 on the web chat.
Judge Hayes presents award to Law Day Essay Contest Winner Kalika Bridwell.
Rob Davis and Wesley Stoddard present the C. Bruce Littlejohn Young Lawyer award to Chad Graham.
Judge Floyd presents the Justice Claude A. Taylor Distinguished Service Award to John C. Williams, Jr.
Solicitor Barry Barnette presents the Justice E. C. Burnett Contribution to Law and Justice Award to Lynn Hawkins.
County Bar Officers attend reading of Law Day Proclamation by Mayor White at City Hall.
Congratulations to Stinson Ferguson on being honored Rotarian of the Year (Rotary Club of Greenville)!
Letter From Jim Hudgens:
Colleagues; This email is long overdue.
I was diagnosed with ALS in March, 2013. This diagnosis was probably delayed by two years at least, if not longer, though it would not have made any difference.
Since my diagnosis I have been inundated with expressions of support and good will from members of the Bar Association and others. Mostly these have been from the older members. These have been in the form of personal visits, cards and letters, emails, phone calls, flowers, peaches, and even one watermelon. There have been three ice bucket challenges. I am writing to, belatedly, express my deepest appreciation to all of you. I have filled several scrapbooks.
I practiced law here for 42 years as a civil litigator. I loved the practice of law. I loved being around lawyers, judges, and the rest of the courthouse crowd including court reporters, law clerks, bailiffs, clerks of court and security personnel. I had a professor at UT Law School who used to say that lawyers are the only people who know how to think. I think he was right.
Over the years I handled thousands of civil law suits and I tried hundreds of them to a jury or bench verdict. I handled every kind of civil suit imaginable and I always tried to have fun, which I did.
Some of you have already heard me say this: I would estimate that 85-90% of my cases were settled by way of compromise. This makes me wonder why the members of the political class in Washington cannot ever seem to compromise. Perhaps they suffer from the same foot spurs that President Trump has. I think that President Trump would have benefited from going to law school.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Comments welcome, though not expected.