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Young Lawyers Seminar

This unique seminar opportunity will give the new generation of trial lawyers an in-depth look at important aspects of the profession from some of the most experienced lawyers in the state.

2020 Young Lawyers Seminar – February 27, 2020 at Hilton Columbia Center, 924 Senate Street, Columbia, SC

The 2020 Young Lawyers Seminar will be held at Hilton Columbia Center, 924 Senate Street, Columbia, SC.  During this intensive one-day seminar you will receive instruction, advice, and invaluable tips from some of the top Trial Lawyers in South Carolina. Pending approval for 8 hours of CLE credit, which includes 1 hour of ethics credit.

     or click here for a Printable Registration Form

Note: Speaker times could change based on their schedules.  We will make every attempt to update this page accordingly.


 2020 Young Lawyers Seminar
(8 CLE credits, including one Ethics credit)


Thursday, February 27, 2020

7:30 a.m.  -  SCAJ Registration Desk

8:00 a.m.  -  Misunderstood Ethics Rules - Michael J. Virzi, Esq.

9:00 a.m.  -  Criminal Law Legislative Updates - Heath P. Taylor, Esq.

10:00 a.m.  -  Developing Damages Witnesses - Theile B. McVey, Esq.
11:00 a.m.  -  Trial Technology - J. Edward Bell, III, Esq.
12:00 p.m.  -  LUNCH
1:00 p.m.  -  Closing Statements - David R. Williams, Esq.
2:00 p.m.  -  Trial Objections - Graham L. Newman, Esq.
3:00 p.m.  -  Opening Statements - Daniel W. Luginbill, Esq.
4:00 p.m.  -  Cases All Young Lawyers Should Know (And Know How to Use!) - Francis M. "Brink" Hinson, Esq.

5:00 p.m.  -  ADJOURNED



Michael J. Virzi 

Michael Virzi teaches Legal Writing and Professional Responsibility at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he has also taught Fundamentals of Law Practice and Professionalism and Advanced Legal Writing. He has a solo practice in Columbia, focusing on lawyer ethics, discipline, and malpractice. Prior to joining the law school and establishing his solo practice, Michael served for three years as an Assistant Disciplinary Counsel in the South Carolina Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel. He serves on the South Carolina Bar’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Advisory Committees, the latter of which he chaired from 2007 to 2010. Michael is a frequent CLE speaker and law school guest lecturer on the topics of ethics, malpractice, and lawyer discipline, including co-teaching the Advertising School course the South Carolina Bar and Supreme Court’s semi-annual LEAPP program. He is currently the Ethics Chair for SCAJ and is a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, the South Carolina Association of Ethics Counsel, and Phi Delta Phi. He graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2000, after which he practiced primarily business litigation for several years before joining the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Heath P. Taylor

Heath P. Taylor graduated from Newberry College in 1995, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History.  He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1998.  He is a partner in the Taylor Law Firm LLC located in West Columbia. His practice areas include all types of criminal defense, with an emphasis on DUI defense. He also represents individuals in catastrophic injury and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Taylor formerly served as an Assistant Prosecutor for the Town of Irmo and as Associate Municipal Judge for the City of West Columbia.  He is licensed to practice in all federal and state courts in South Carolina. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar where he serves on the Criminal Law Council, Lexington County Bar, American Association for Justice, South Carolina Association for Justice, where he serves as the Criminal Section Chair, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, where he formerly served as President and is currently co-chair of the Legislative Committee, and National College for DUI Defense.  In 2012, he was named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for DUI. Heath and his wife have two sons.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, backpacking and participating in triathlons.

Theile B. McVey

Theile B. McVey is managing partner at Kassel McVey, a personal injury law firm based in Columbia, SC. McVey has dedicated her career solely to representing plaintiffs – the individuals and their loved ones injured or killed in personal injury cases such as vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, premises liability and product liability. Theile McVey studied at Columbia College and graduated with honors in 1997, then graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2000. She briefly returned to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina to practice law, but decided soon after to return to Columbia to practice law with John Kassel. Theile partnered with John to form Kassel McVey, a personal injury litigation firm dedicated solely to representing plaintiffs – individuals and their loved ones injured or killed due to the negligence of others. She has tried many cases to verdict, including mesothelioma cases, two of which involved verdicts of $38,000,000 and $14,000,000 and nursing home cases with awards and verdicts of $450,000 and $382,000 respectively.

J. Edward Bell, III

South Carolina native, J. Edward Bell III, founder and senior partner of Bell Legal Group, is an attorney, businessman, and entrepreneur.  In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has distinguished himself as a top litigation attorney at local, state, and national levels and tried more than 300 major cases throughout the United States. A graduate of University of South Carolina School of Law, Bell distinguished himself as a top civil litigator in the field of complex litigation law with his success in the demanding auto torts and auto safety field. His unique approach in auto case work led him to establish a Vehicle Safety Research Center, a facility that conducts auto defect investigations, accident re-enactments, develops exhibits, and explores the complex nature of the issues surrounding injury and accident cases. Since its inception, the center has evolved into a multi-disciplined Science and Technology Center used to assist attorneys in unraveling technical information associated with trial work. His work in the legal field is extensive and renowned, yet more notable is his work with students and young attorneys.  His history of mentoring students interested in pursuing the law has included assistance with financial aid, internships and housing for national and international students.  It is this passion for sharing knowledge and understanding of the law that led Bell to his newest position as President of the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina.  His work in environmental law coupled with his love of Southern culture led him to explore opportunities for land development with an emphasis on environmental conservation.

 David R. Williams

David focuses his practice on civil litigation including but not limited to Automobile Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Tractor – Trailer Accidents, Products Liability, Child Injuries, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Insurance Bad Faith, Premises Liability, Construction Litigation, and Wrongful Death. David is admitted to practice law in South Carolina, the District Court of South Carolina, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. David is AV rated, a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Super Lawyers Rising Star, Best Lawyers, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, American Society of Legal Advocates Top 100, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40, America’s Top 100 Attorneys and many other sources of recognition. David was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics with an emphasis in Computer Science and Information Management and a minor in Government from Wofford College. At Wofford he was on the Dean’s List; played tight end for the Terriers; was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order; studied abroad in Honduras, France, Hong Kong, Thailand and Costa Rica; and served as a Counselor at Palmetto Boys State. He attended Harvard University for a summer where he studied eCommerce and Capital Markets and Investments. David received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina where he was a member of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court, Student Bar Association, Phi Delta Phi, Palmetto Law Society, Beaux Arts Society, and the Law Democrats. David resides in Orangeburg with his wife Virginia “Ginny” Watson Williams and their three children. Ginny also practices law with David.

Graham L. Newman

Graham Newman‘s work has focused on commercial class actions, contractual litigation, insurance bad faith, and products liability in both state and federal court. His trial court victories have included a $14.5 million insurance bad faith verdict, an $8 million class action judgment, and a $4.75 million products liability verdict. Graham has briefed numerous appeals before the South Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. He has also argued four cases before the South Carolina Court of Appeals and one case before the South Carolina Supreme Court. In addition to practicing law, Graham teaches an undergraduate legal course through the University of South Carolina Honors College and serves on several boards and committees dedicated to the improvement of the judicial system. Graham has a five year-old son who doubles as his fishing buddy and a three year-old Portuguese Water Dog who can often be found greeting clients in the hallways of Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.

Daniel W. Luginbill

Dan came to South Carolina during his six-year tenure with U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet. After his service, Dan graduated from the College of Charleston, cum laude, and the USC School of Law in 2000. After graduation, Dan started a family in his wife’s hometown of Bamberg, where he continues to practice trial law today. After a few years of general trial practice, Dan began to focus on the trial of personal injury cases. Believing there is no better teacher than experience, Dan has tried dozens of personal injury trials to verdict. Thankfully, most have had positive outcomes that were better for the client’s that the insurance companies were willing to pay.  As a result, lawyers from around the state have associated Dan to assist them in trying their complex personal injury cases. Believing that everyone has a duty to make their community better, Dan has devoted his time to coaching youth sports, serving on the Bamberg County Economic Development Committee, and the Greater Salkehatchie Community Resource Foundation. Dan is active within the legal profession as well. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Association of Justice and is a member of the American Association of Justice and the American Bar Association. Dan has given presentations for continuing legal education for other lawyers as well. When time permits, Dan takes advantage of the unique coastal waters of South Carolina to pursue his passion for fishing. He also manages to take in some minor league baseball, and catch a few South Carolina sporting events.

Francis M. “Brink” Hinson

Mr. Hinson focuses his law practice on civil litigation, regularly handling catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice and business litigation claims. He is admitted to practice before all courts in the state of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Through pro hac vice admissions, Mr. Hinson has worked with cases in a multitude of states, including Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. After graduating from Furman University, Mr. Hinson worked in Charleston at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2002, he moved to Columbia to attend graduate school. During law school, Mr. Hinson served on the University of South Carolina's Law Review, was a member of the Trial Advocacy Bar and competed on the school’s mock trial team. He earned academic recognition on the dean’s list and was the recipient of the University’s 2004 Karen Lee Award. While working on his juris doctorate, Mr. Hinson also earned an International Masters of Business Administration degree from the Moore School of Business, graduating at the top of his class. While in business school, Mr. Hinson worked as a teacher’s assistant in the statistics department. Following completion of his MBA and law degrees, Mr. Hinson served as a law clerk on the South Carolina Court of Appeals for the Honorable Ralph King Anderson, Jr. Upon finishing of his clerkship, in 2007, Mr. Hinson joined the South Carolina office of a national practice group headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, advocating for clients throughout the United States. He has appealed cases to South Carolina’s Court of Appeals and presented oral argument before the South Carolina Supreme Court. In 2014, the National Trial Lawyers named Mr. Hinson one of South Carolina’s Top 40 Under 40attorneys. He joined the Finkel Law Firm in 2015. Away from the office, Mr. Hinson sits on the regional board of directors for the American Lung Association as well as the board of directors for the Contemporaries at the Columbia Museum of Art. He is a member of St. John's Episcopal Church and has been involved in coaching high school and middle school mock trial teams in the Columbia area.




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The South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ) was founded over 50 years ago by a small group of trial lawyers. Since then, our mission has been to serve our members and those we are sworn to protect.  We work to uphold and defend the constitutions of our state and nation. We fight tirelessly to protect the rights of the individual; to seek justice through open and fair courtrooms; to resist unjust laws; to support policies that hold wrongdoers accountable; to strengthen the civil justice system through education; and to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in the legal profession.

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