HISTORY OF THE
South Carolina Association for Justice

On November 1, 1957, South Carolina claimants' attorneys met in Columbia and agreed to establish an organization that would be known as the South Carolina Plaintiff's Attorney Association. This was the first meeting of what has now become the South Carolina Association for Justice. As stated in the group's first newsletter, "...this organization should and would be concerned about protecting the rights of the claimants and the public..."

At this meeting, an executive committee was formed, primarily to function as a membership committee, consisting of one attorney from each judicial circuit. Edward Johnson of Spartanburg was named President and Richard J. Foster of Greenville was named Secretary-Treasurer. Ed Johnson was asked to prepare by-laws and to institute proceedings for incorporation to be presented at the next meeting, set for January 1958. Dues were established at $10 for each member in practice more than five years, $5 for each member in practice less than five years, and firms of three or more members were requested to contribute $25. Irving Steinberg made the first $25 contribution.

The organization met in January and adopted by-laws and authorized President Ed Johnson to proceed with incorporation of the Association. Irving Steinberg was named Vice President at this meeting. As of January 1958, the Association began with approximately seventy-seven (77) members.

The formation of an Association was prompted by the concern of trial lawyers to have a standard fee schedule established as a protection to the claimant and a guide to the members of the plaintiff's bar. At the organizational meeting, three members of the group were designated as members of a South Carolina Bar committee to recommend a schedule for attorneys' fees in compensation cases. Robert M. Figg of Charleston was chairman of the committee. The recommendations proposed by the Plaintiff's Attorney Association to the committee were adopted by the Bar with a few minor modifications and were recommended to the Industrial Commission in a unanimous report. It is this schedule; proposed in 1958 that now serves as the Worker's Compensation Commission Guidelines for Attorneys' Fees.

The group also recommended certain changes in common law or clincher agreements that would require a review by the Commission unless the claimant was represented by an independently employed attorney. This proposal was also accepted by the Industrial Commission. The group recommended the inclusion of the back as an organ for the schedule of disability compensation and this proposal was later adopted by the South Carolina Legislature.

The first annual meeting of the Plaintiff's Association was set in May at the same time as the South Carolina Bar. For several years thereafter the Trial Lawyers group had their annual meeting at the same time as the South Carolina Bar.

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


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ABOUT SCAJ

ACCOUNTABILITY.  INTEGRITY.  ACTION. 

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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