Criminal Section Afternoon Session
working with SCDC
(30 minute cle)
1:15 - 1:45
+ Bryan Stirling
Bryan P. Stirling was appointed Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections by Governor Nikki Haley October 1, 2013. Prior to Joining the Correctional System, Director Stirling served Governor Haley as Chief of Staff from October, 2012 to September 2013 and served the state of South Carolina as Deputy Attorney General from January, 2006 to October 2012. Prior to public service, he was a lawyer in the private sector with a focus on Government Affairs, Civil Litigation and Real Estate. As Director, Stirling is committed to public safety, reducing recidivism and rehabilitation through education, jobs training and effective programs and services.
DUI Update: A Review of Recent Decisions and Trends in DUI Defense for the Practitioner
(30 minute CLE)
1:45 - 2:15
+ Steve Sumner
Steve graduated from the USC School of Law in 1992. As a student, he was named to the “Order of the Wig and Robe” for superior academic achievement. Additionally, Steve was part of the “Mock Trial Competition” winning team at USC, which represented USC in the Southeastern regional of the national competition. Steve served as a state court prosecutor from 1992 to 1994. His primary case load consisted of prosecuting DUI, Felony DUI, Reckless Homicide and Traffic offenses.
In 1997, Steve opened his own practice as a criminal defense attorney, with a special focus on defending clients accused of DUI, Felony DUI, all driving offenses and drug cases. These recognitions include the following: South Carolina Super Lawyers - DUI Defense, Best Lawyers in America - DUI Defense and Best Attorneys of America - Lifetime Charter Member. Steve also holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate - and was named winner of the 2012 “Business of Integrity Award for Customer Service.”
2:15 - 2:45
Domestic Violence update/operation "Home Front"
(30 minute CLe)
+ Jennifer Wells
Jennifer Wells is an Assistant Solicitor in the 7th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties in upstate South Carolina. She currently leads a joint Federal-State task force on domestic violence on behalf of both the Solicitor’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for South Carolina. She supervises the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit for the 7th Judicial Circuit. Prior to working in South Carolina, Jennifer was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of North Carolina, where she served in the OCDETF unit for just over eight (8) years. She has prosecuted cases in both state and federal court for over fifteen (15) years.
3:00 - 3:30
Is this WHAT THE COURT WANTS? perspectives and tips from career law clerks
(30 Minute CLE)
+ Alec Smith
Alec Smith currently serves as a career law clerk to the Honorable Bruce H. Hendricks, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina. Since joining Judge Hendricks' staff in 2015, Alec has prepared written rulings of the Court in every manner of civil and criminal case and served as legal advisor to Judge Hendricks on a broad spectrum of issues. In addition, Alec assists the Court in operating the BRIDGE Program, a federal drug court which has received national acclaim as a model for new problem solving courts around the country.
Prior to his current position, Alec served as a Captain and Judge Advocate on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. As a trial attorney in the Defense Services Organization at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, he litigated a broad range of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases from inception to conclusion, handling every aspect of trial preparation and execution. In that role, Alec's legal writing and oral advocacy were recognized when he was selected as Defense Counsel of the Year for the Marine Corps' Eastern Region.
Alec received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, in 2004 and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011. He and his wife Jill live in Greenville with their four children.
+ Valerie McDonald
Valerie is from Myrtle Beach and graduated in 1987 from Coastal Carolina with a B.A. in Political Science. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1990 where she was a member of the Law Review. Since 2010, Valerie has served as the Career Law Clerk for United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain in Anderson, SC. Prior to that, she clerked for United States Magistrate Judges Bruce H. Hendricks for five
years and William M. Catoe, Jr., for three years. Valerie has also worked as a temporary law clerk for United States District Judge Henry M. Herlong, Jr., while his career clerk was on maternity leave. Valerie has clerked for two South Carolina Supreme Court Justices: Justice James E. Moore for nine years and Justice John H. Waller for two years. She has also worked as an Adjunct Legal Writing Instructor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Valerie lives in Greenville. She is married to Kevin McDonald and they have three children.
+ Christine M. Schanen
Christine graduated from Clemson University and the Marquette University Law School. Christine practiced for three years as a litigation associate at Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough in Greenville. In 2004, Christine accepted a federal clerkship with the Honorable Henry M. Herlong, Jr., Senior United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina.
+ Carrie Fisher Sherard
Carrie Fisher Sherard is an Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina. Carrie joined the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2008. She is a graduate of Furman University and the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorneys Office, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Karen J. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Carrie currently works as the asset forfeiture attorney for the office and she also serves as the human trafficking coordinator and the tribal liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina
3:30 - 4:00
tales and tips from the bench
(30 minute CLE)
+ The honorable perry Gravely
Perry Gravely was born in the hamlet of Pickens in 1960 during times when the land was covered with Kudzu and local whiskey was used for “medicinal purposes” only. He later graduated from Wofford College as a History Major (1983) and earned his law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law, graduating in 1986. He started his legal career at Leatherwood, Walker, Todd & Mann in Greenville before returning to Pickens to be a country lawyer. In 2015, he was elected as Circuit Judge for the 13th Circuit to fill the unexpired term of Hon. G. Edward Welmaker.
He is married to Kathryn Gravely and they have 4 children, all of whom are allegedly grown, but one has provided him with a grandson. Judge Gravely enjoys music, playing his guitar, reading, outdoors and has served as Scoutmaster for Troop 51 in Pickens for more than 15 years.