Showing posts from August, 2012

Accusations of the Unauthorized Practice of Law: A Banker's Primer in Prevention

By Drew Walker Note:  This article was originally published in the Summer 2012 Issue of Palmetto Banker , published by the South Carolina Bankers Association . Don’t Give It Away:   Avoiding New Unauthorized Practice of Law Consequences Banks lend money – they don’t give it away.   However, recent rulings from South Carolina appellate courts may close the courtroom door to a bank seeking mortgage foreclosure and a money judgment. Without relief from the courts for bad loans, the bank has essentially given their money away. South Carolina law requires an attorney to perform or supervise certain steps in a real estate closing.   Lenders and lawyers have known this for 25 years.   The 1987 Buyers Service case and its progeny ( State v. Buyers Service Co., Inc. , 292 S.C. 426, 357 S.E.2d 15 (1987); Doe v.McMaster ; and Doe Law Firm v.Richardson ) served notice on lenders that an attorney must supervise the following aspects of a real estate closing [1] : preparing the lo

Recent Cases on the Reach of the S.C. and Federal Arbitration Acts

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of South Carolina recently have had occasion to consider the interplay of the South Carolina Uniform Arbitration Act (“SCUAA”) with the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the requirements of an international treaty. The Convention Act Trumps The McCarran-Ferguson Act and the SCUAA In ESAB Group Inc. v. Zurich Insurance, PLC , a group of insurers refused to defend and indemnify ESAB Group in a number of product liability actions.  ESAB Group is a foreign-owned company, but also a South Carolina-based manufacturer of welding materials and equipment.   ESAB Group sued these insurers in state court in Florence seeking coverage under several insurance policies, and the insurers removed the case to federal court.  Magistrate Judge Rogers referred all claims related to the insurance policies to arbitration in Sweden based upon the arbitration agreements contained therein, and ESAB Group appealed that decision. The Fourth Cir