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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.

2019 Young Lawyers Seminar – February 15, 2019 at Hilton Columbia Center, 924 Senate Street, Columbia, SC

The 2019 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.



     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.


 2019 Young Lawyers Seminar
(8 CLE credits, including one LEPR SA/MH credit)

Click for a printable schedule

Friday, February 15, 2019

7:30 a.m.  -  SCAJ Registration Desk

8:00 a.m.  -  An Introduction to Truck Wreck Claims
– Melissa G. Mosier

Private passenger vehicles weigh between 3,300 and 7,000 pounds – compare this with a tractor trailer weighing 80,000 pounds and over 75 feet in length.  When a truck and a car collide, the truck wins every time – usually resulting in serious injuries or death.  Cases involving tractor trailers are very different from car wrecks, and this presentation will provide you with valuable resources as well as key rules and safety regulations a lawyer must familiarize themselves with in order to fully serve his or her client.

Ms. Mosier graduated magna cum laude from the South Carolina Honors College in 2007 with a B.S. in criminology and criminal justice and a Spanish minor.
She received her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2010, and was admitted to practice law that same year.  Ms. Mosier is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, a USC School of Law Merit Scholar, and a five-time winner of the CALI Award in the areas of Consumer Law; Energy Law and the Environment; Immigration Law; Issues in Civil Rights and Legal History; and Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation. Ms. Mosier is currently an active member of the South Carolina Bar’s Practice and Procedure Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee.  Ms. Mosier is also currently the Publications Editor of the South Carolina Association for Justice, and a member of the SCAJ Board of Governors.  In the community, Ms. Mosier is a volunteer judge through the South Carolina Bar’s Law Related Education program, and she enjoys interacting with middle and high school students learning about law and government.
From 2015-2019, Ms. Mosier has been honored as a South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star.  She is an active member of the AAJ Trucking Litigation Group, and has been featured as a guest speaker at the New Jersey Association for Justice Trucking University (2015) and the AAJ Trucking College in Dallas, Texas (2015), and the AAJ Trucking Litigation Group Members Only seminar (2018).
In 2018, Ms. Mosier represented the parents of Crystal Cross, whose daughter, son-in-law and only grandchild were all killed by an 18 wheeler barreling through a construction zone on Interstate 95.  Before the trial began, Ms. Mosier prevailed in her efforts to keep the publicly-traded parent corporation for the trucking company in the case, and the trial judge pierced the corporate veil.  The case resulted in a $17 million verdict for the family in the U.S. District Court’s Charleston Division.

9:00 a.m.  -  The Plight of the Modern Day Lawyer (LEPR SA/MH hour) 
– S. Randall Hood

Pressure, Stress, Time-Demands, Financial Woes, Sickness, Instability, Anger, Sadness, Loneliness ………..The Plight of the Modern Day Lawyer
A new, landmark study conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs reveals substantial and widespread levels of problem drinking and other behavioral health problems in the U.S. legal profession.
The Journal of Addiction Medicine reports that 21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety. The study found that younger attorneys in the first 10 years of practice exhibit the highest incidence of these problems.
This can be a lonely profession though there are many screaming for you to reach out and simply ask for help.  You are not alone.  Older lawyers can have some of the same issues, but it is more prevalent in some of our younger members of the bar.  This is a young lawyers conference.  That is why this particular discussion is directed at you.  Let’s get real. 
Sage advice from a fellow warrior, “If you find yourself broke and down and out, just breath.  Remember, our value is much greater than what we can produce and achieve.  Our value is our humanity and our place in the spiritual world, far beyond the physical.   We are loved more than we know.   Have faith my brothers and sisters in this profession.  There is always a better day.“  Jody V. McKnight, Esq.

South Carolina injury attorney S. Randall Hood is a founding partner at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC and a 1992 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. A hard-working lawyer, Randy has dedicated his legal career to helping those who have suffered serious injuries or lost loved ones because of someone else’s negligence. Randy is also the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has over 20 years of experience helping injured people fight back against those who hurt them. In 2018, Randy was invited to join the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an organization of trial attorneys dedicated to protecting the civil justice system.
His catastrophic injury practice includes people injured in a medical malpractice case, tractor-trailer collision, product liability claim, birth injury case or some other serious incident. The catastrophic injuries suffered by some of his clients have included traumatic brain injury, burn injury, paralysis, amputation, cerebral palsy and death. Randall also represents people who have suffered some type of injury due to wrongful conduct on behalf of a corporation or organized entity. This type of situation presents an opportunity for Randy to represent a class of individuals (class action) or many individual claims in a consolidated action against corporate entities (Multi District Litigation, or MDL).  These class actions or MDL situations usually involve a defective drug or medical device.
Randy  is a proud parent and grandparent   When not practicing law, he spends his time golfing, enjoying time with family and friends (especially his grandchildren), following the Carolina Panthers football team (and anything football-related), the Charlotte Hornets, most things Gamecocks-related and dabbling in real estate.

10:00 a.m.  -  Secrets of Workers’ Compensation: Hidden Tips you Never Thought About  
– Stephen B. Samuels

Workers’ Compensation is an insider’s game.  Some techniques are buried in the statute and regulations.  Others are unwritten known only to experienced lawyers.  This seminar is a chance to get a leg up on younger lawyers and catch up with the older ones.  Stephen Samuels offers his insight into these little known and sometimes obscure issues to help you help your client.

Stephen received his JD in 1997 from USC Law when he was 38 years old. As a law student, he was a member of the Order of Wig and Robe, and Associate Symposium Editor for the South Carolina Law Review. Stephen was research assistant for Professor David G. Owen, coauthor of Prosser and Keeton on Torts.
After law school, Stephen worked as an attorney for a larger law firm in the midlands. In August 2008, he left that firm and opened the Samuels Law Firm. He decided to keep the firm small to ensure personal service and allow enough time to give individual attention to his clients.
Stephen has tried hundreds of workers’ compensation cases, concentrating on legally complex issues. He speaks several times a year at workers’ compensation seminars and conferences. Stephen also handles personal injury cases, including trying cases before juries. He is an active appellate lawyer who has appeared before the South Carolina Supreme Court and South Carolina Court of Appeals.

11:00 a.m.  -  Fundamentals of Wrongful Death, Survival and Minor Settlements 
– Ashley W. Creech

This presentation will provide a practical overview of documentation and pleadings required for minor, survival, wrongful death, and special needs settlement hearings. Additionally, the presentation will address jurisdictional issues, concerns regarding confidentiality and preserving government benefits for disabled persons and minors.

Ashley was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She attended college at Elon University in Burlington, NC and then attended the University of South Carolina School Of Law, where she met her husband Drew. While at the University of South Carolina, Ashley was Senior Articles Editor of the ABA Real Property Probate and Trust Journal, a member of the Moot Court bar, and Order of the Wig and Robe.
Ashley has successfully represented clients through trial, and assisted in reaching several of the top ten highest reported settlements in South Carolina in 2013 and 2014.  She handles all aspects of her clients’ cases and has argued at both State and Federal appellate courts.  In 2014 and 2015, Ashley was named a South Carolina Rising Star Lawyer, an honor reserved for less than 2.5% of all attorneys in the state.
Before joining McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, she worked as an associate with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough for several years, focusing mainly on product liability cases.
Ashley currently serves on the South Carolina Association for Justice Boar d of Governors, as well as the SCAJ Executive Committee.
In her spare time Ashley enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband, daughter, and dog Jake.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  -  LUNCH

1:00 p.m.  -  Demands: Tips and Strategies to Maximize Recoveries
– Mark J. Bringardner

Demands are what force insurance carriers to act, but an effective personal injury demand requires much more than sending a letter attached to some medical records. This presentation covers helpful strategies and advanced techniques that have been used to successfully obtain the liability coverage limits, and sometimes more, in automobile collision claims. This presentation also covers how insurance carriers review and analyze claims, the guiding principles that influence insurance decision makers, and the law that must be considered to maximize settlement.

Mark Bringardner is a personal injury trial lawyer at the Joye Law Firm. Mark focuses his practice on complex catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles, trucks and commercial vehicles, construction accidents, negligent security, premises liability, and insurance bad faith. He has extensive experience in cases involving traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries and prides himself on helping injured people and their families.
Prior to joining the Joye Law Firm, Mark practiced personal injury in Los Angeles, California. He has successfully recovered over $40 million for his clients, including many six and seven-figure verdicts and settlements. He often obtains jury verdicts many times greater than the “last and final” offer from the insurance company before trial. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife and his yellow lab. He also enjoys football, baseball, basketball and fishing.

2:00 p.m.  -  Child Abuse Cases:  Figuring Out Who To Sue and For What
 –  Heather Hite Stone

Instruction on issues relating to the representation of a minor, tackling the statute of limitations, the Tort Claims Act, substantive due process rights for foster children under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the challenges in connection with sexual abuse litigation.

Heather Stone is a personal injury attorney who pursues justice for abused and neglected children through the civil justice system.  Heather graduated from Davidson College in 2001, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. degree in Political Science.  She then attended the University of Georgia School of Law on an academic scholarship.  During law school she received the CALI award for Legal Ethics and Professionalism.  She earned her J.D. degree in 2004, graduating cum laude.  In the summer of 2003, Heather clerked with the Greenville law firms of Haynsworth, Johnson, Baldwin and Greaves (now Ogletree Deakins) and the Leatherwood firm.   She was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in November of 2004 and returned to her hometown of Abbeville to practice law with her dad and brother.  Her passion for fighting for abused and neglected children was inspired through her family court work and in particular her representation of the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem program in DSS abuse and neglect actions in Abbeville County.  She is a former member of the SC Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee.  Since 2012 she has been serving on the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Association for Justice as the Eighth Circuit Representative.  She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Abbeville Area Medical Center.  Heather is “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell.  In 2018, Heather was honored with a Leadership in Law award from SC Lawyers Weekly.  In March 2017, she obtained a 3.75 million dollar verdict against the South Carolina Department of Social Services for a child abuse victim in Spartanburg County.

3:00 p.m.  -  How to Litigate Mass Torts as a Small Plaintiff’s Firm 
– Graham L. Newman

Mass Torts is arguably the most heavily populated of Plaintiff’s practice areas as multidistrict litigation comprises approximately one-third of all litigation pending in the federal judicial system. Ironically, however, Mass Torts remains an enigma to most lawyers as the business is dominated by just a handful of law firms.
Every Plaintiff’s firm is fertile ground for a Mass Torts practice. In this presentation, learn how to identify and litigate Mass Torts actions that likely exist within your current client base.

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.
Graham joined Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. in June of 2014, buttressing the firm’s already formidable litigation practice.
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.

4:00 p.m.  -  Taking the Fear Out of Federal Court 
– W. Hugh McAngus, Jr.

Often Plaintiff’s attorneys, and especially young attorneys avoid federal court even if a case could properly be filed there.  They think the rules are too complicated and the procedures too tough to follow.  This presentation is designed for the young lawyers who may be intimidated by federal practice and is designed to provide an overview of federal trial level procedure from filing to trial.

Hugh McAngus leads Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.’s Litigation team, overseeing all files in active litigation. Hugh’s primary practice involves trucking litigation, representing individuals who have been injured or had family members killed in collisions involving commercial vehicles. 
Although focusing primarily on trucking cases, Hugh handles many other types of personal injury and wrongful death matters, including automobile collision, nursing home negligence, premises liability, dram shop, and products liability cases. Hugh’s trial victories include a $12,000,000.00 verdict in a personal injury case arising out of a shooting at a nightclub that left his client paralyzed from the chest down and a $5,000,000.00 settlement in a personal injury case in what is widely considered one of South Carolina’s most conservative counties. In addition to his trial level work, Hugh has also briefed and argued cases before the South Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
Hugh joined Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. as a law clerk and has practiced as an attorney since 2006.
Hugh also maintains leadership positions in many professional associations. He is the current Immediate Past President of the South Carolina Association for Justice and is South Carolina’s Revitalization Board Member of the American Association for Justice. He has also served on the Membership and Underride Committees of the AAJ’s Trucking Litigation Group.

5:00 p.m.  -  ADJOURNED


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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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