1970-1974

Beginning in 1970, the Association became concerned with researching and influencing the formulation of national no-fault legislation. Richard Foster, then SCAJ's Treasurer and Editor along with Ken Childs, a part-time employee of a special South Carolina Bar Committee, made significant contributions to this effort. The Bar Committee, which was created to monitor no-fault developments at the state and national levels, was funded by contributions from members of the Bar, SCAJ and the South Carolina Defense Attorneys Association.

In 1972, Ken Childs represented South Carolina at the ATLA Annual Convention in St. Louis. This meeting was the beginning of an association between Walter Biddle, then Executive Director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, and Ken, which ultimately led to Walt's coming to South Carolina in 1975. At the St. Louis meeting Ken and Walt spearheaded a successful effort to organize what is now the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives, a development which proved quite important to ATLA and the state associations.

At the 1972 Annual Meeting of SCAJ, held in Myrtle Beach, Kermit King, a Columbia attorney who had been active in the Association's efforts to monitor and analyze no-fault developments, was elected President. Thomas L. Poteat was named Editor of the Bulletin, and Ken Childs, who was by then a freshman law student, became part-time Administrative Assistant for the Association. The program that year included a special seminar on environmental law, which was the beginning of a number of projects, and programs on this subject sponsored by the Association.

No-fault insurance continued to be the Association's principal concern during the 1973 Session of the General Assembly. Ken Childs was involved extensively in the legislative process and ably assisted the Association's members in the Legislature.

One of the highlights of 1973 was a seminar in Columbia on trial advocacy sponsored jointly by the Bar, SCAJ and ATLA, at which the Association honored Second Circuit Judge Julius B. Ness and Greenville County Judge James H. Price. SCAJ's 1973 Annual Convention at the Grove Park Inn was a tremendous success, with a seminar on the Federal Rules of Evidence attracting a statewide audience. At this Annual Meeting, the Association's by-laws were amended to create an Executive Committee, and the Association's offices were moved to Columbia.

In January 1974, Lucy McAmis, a freshman law student, was hired as part-time secretary for the Association. During the next two and one-half years she assisted the Editor of the Bulletin, making regular contributions to that publication, and worked with Ken Childs on the program for the Convention, which by 1974 was becoming an event of statewide significance.

In 1974, SCAJ continued its extensive involvement in the legislative process. The Association was instrumental in passage of the 1974 No-Fault Liability Insurance Bill which contained "no prohibition against the right to sue in tort." The Association's efforts were instrumental also in the enactment of HR 2493, a bill proposed by SCAJ member James Moss of Beaufort, which adopted Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 402A and imposed a strict tort theory of liability upon sellers of defective products for harm caused by such products.

This year also marked an increase in SCAJ member participation in the ATLA Convention. Ken Childs and Lucy McAmis helped to put together a charter flight for some two hundred trial lawyers and their spouses from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia to attend the ATLA Convention in San Francisco. In the summer of 1974, Stewart Hayes, a first-year law student, was hired to work on membership for the Association, and the Association's membership increased substantially as a result.

The 1974 Annual convention was the largest at that time in the Association history and included seminar sessions on the new no-fault law, workers compensation and strict liability law. Fayrell Furr of Columbia was elected Editor at this meeting, succeeding Thomas Poteat who had resigned to accept a legislative assignment in Washington. Fayrell retained that position until September 1977, when he was succeeded by Cody Smith of Charleston.

Index    The Beginning    1960 - 1969    1970 - 1974 
1975 - 1979
    1980 - 1985    1986 - 1989    1990 - 1999 
2000 - Present
    Prologue

 


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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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