The South Carolina Supreme Court held class action sessions at USC Upstate in Spartanburg on October 29th and 30th. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, and is comprised of five seats: a Chief Justice, and four Associate Justices. These individuals are subject to ten year terms, and are elected by the state’s General Assembly. “The terms of the justices are staggered, and a justice may be re-elected to an infinite number of terms.”( https://www.sccourts.org/supreme/ ). As of now, the court consists of of Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty, Justice John W. Kittredge, Justice Kaye G. Hearn, Justice John Cannon Few, and Justice George C James, Jr.
One of the appealed cases that was up for review was the case of Cooper v. SCDSS. The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in BLH by Hensley v. S.C. Department of Social Services.
Acting as the petitioner was James Fletcher Thompson, of James Fletcher Thompson, LLC; and Charles J. Hodge and Timothy Ryan Langley, both of Hodge Law, PC of Spartanburg. Acting as the Respondent was Andrew F. Lindemann and Joel S. Hughes, both of Lindemann, Davis & Hughes, PA, of Columbia.
Before the judges entered the dark room, the crowd was asked to rise, and be seated when they were instructed to. Upon the crowd being seated, Chief Justice Beatty proceeded to explain to the audience how the court proceedings would follow. He told the crowd that they (the justices and the attorneys) would be taking questions at the conclusion of the arguments; that they would be treating the session like one of the class-action cases. By “class-action”, this means that the proceedings would be held like the classes that visit them at the Supreme Court. Students listen, and get to ask questions at the conclusion. However, people are not allowed to ask case particulars, but instead can inquire about lawyers using paralegals and other procedural questions.
Decisions from the South Carolina Supreme Court sessions that were held on campus can be viewed online via PDF at sccourts.org/opinions. Photograph courtesy of https://www.sccourts.org/supreme/ .