COURSE # 171500


Criminal Section Afternoon Session


State or Federal:  Should I Stay or Should I Go?

1:15 - 1:45


+ Walt Wilkins

Walt Wilkins was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1996 he graduated from Wofford College and received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1999. Walt began his professional career as an attorney with Lockheed Martin Aircraft in Argentina, and in 2000 he joined the Greenville law firm of Leatherwood, Walker, Todd and Mann. He also served as an adjunct professor at Greenville Technical College. In 2003 he was selected Young Lawyer of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2005 Walt was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Greenville Office. While there he handled several noteworthy cases including one of the largest mortgage fraud cases in the district, a large scale gambling operation which resulted in one of the largest forfeiture cases in the Upstate, and a high profile human trafficking case. In 2006 Walt received the United States Secret Service Award for Outstanding Prosecution and the United States Attorney's award for Outstanding Prosecutor. In 2007 he was recognized for Outstanding Contribution to the Asset Forfeiture Program. On May 7, 2008 President George W. Bush appointed Walt the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina, and he was subsequently confirmed by the US Senate. As the forty-ninth United States Attorney for South Carolina, Walt served as the chief federal prosecutor for the state of South Carolina and chairman of the District's Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee. When he became US Attorney, Walt's main prosecution priorities were violent crimes, gangs and white collar crime. Through his cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies some of the most serious and violent gangs operating in the state were dismantled. In November, 2010 Walt was elected Solicitor of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and was sworn in for a four year term beginning on January 12, 2011. After his election Walt was appointed to serve on the Commission on Prosecution Coordination by Governor Nikki Haley. In March 2011 he established a Worthless Check Program for Greenville and Pickens that helps local businesses by collecting money on bad checks and transferring the funds to the victim. Walt also established a Sex Crime Prosecution Unit within his office to target and effectively prosecute sex crimes, particularly those against children. He also expanded the Juvenile Arbitration Program to include Greenville County.

Walt is married to the former Donyelle Burton and they are the parents of three children.

+ Frank Eppes

Frank Eppes was born in Greenville and attended Travelers Rest High School, Washington & Lee, and the University of South Carolina Law School. He has practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Eppes & Plumblee, PA. For the last 20 years his practice has concentrated mainly in the areas of criminal defense and business litigation.

+ Lance Crick

Lance Crick is the Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney for the Greenville USAO. Since joining the United States Attorney’s Office in August 2001, Lance has advanced the prosecution of Project CeaseFire cases, the South Carolina component of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). As the state-wide coordinator for PSN/Ceasefire, Lance’s responsibilities include working with local, state, and federal authorities in order to target violent felons who continue to possess and use firearms as well as coordinating education and outreach efforts with community partners and schools on gun safety. Lance also handles OCDETF (Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force) drug prosecutions, cases which focus on the activities of drug trafficking operations which span multiple jurisdictions.

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Lance worked for three years as a state prosecutor in the 13th Judicial Circuit, handling a variety of violent crime and narcotics cases, in Pickens County, South Carolina. Lance received his undergraduate degree from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1995 and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1998.

Lance and his wife, Cindy, a former state prosecutor in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, who currently serves as Chief of Staff for Congressman Trey Gowdy, live in Greenville with their seven-year-old son, Smith.

+ Ben Stepp

BENJAMIN T. STEPP is an assistant federal public defender for the District of South Carolina. He is the office manager for the Greenville branch office. He received his B.A. degree in Economics from Clemson University in 1974. He received his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of South Carolina in 1977. He was admitted to practice in South Carolina in 1978. He was admitted to the bars of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in 1979 and of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1984. He was an assistant solicitor in the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Pickens from 1979 to 1983 and deputy solicitor from 1983 to 1989. From 1989 to 1990 he was in private practice in Pickens with Acker, Acker, Floyd, and Welmaker, P.A. He returned to the Solicitor’s Office as deputy solicitor from 1990 to 1991. At the end of 1991 he left prosecution and began in 1992 as an assistant federal public defender in Greenville.

Fourth Amendment:  Search and Seizure Case Law Overview

1:45 - 2:15


+ Jessica Salvini

Ms. Salvini is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California and South Carolina. She was admitted to the California Bar in 2000 and the South Carolina Bar in 2001. In 2000, she practiced Federal Criminal law in San Francisco, California. In 2002, she opened her own law firm in South Carolina, along with her law partner. Ms. Salvini engages in the practice of both State and Federal Criminal law matters, Civil and Family law matters. In 2007, she was appointed to serve as the Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Mauldin. In 2010, she became the Chief Municipal Judge for the City of Mauldin and she currently serves in this capacity. Ms. Salvini also assists your Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel Representative, David McCann, serving as your CJA contact in the Upstate.

Fourth Amendment Materials

2:15 - 2:45


Municipal Court:  Practice Tips and Update

+ The Honorable Matthew R. Hawley, Jr.

Matt Hawley is currently Judge of the Municipal Court for the City of Greenville. He is a Greenville native and graduate of Greenville County Schools and the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation from the University of South Carolina, School of Law in 1977, Matt returned to Greenville to begin his legal career as an Assistant Solicitor in the Thirteenth Circuit under the leadership of Billy Wilkins. In 1980, Matt left the Solicitor’s Office to enter private practice with retired Judge John T. Gentry of Pickens, South Carolina; but, in November 1983, he was persuaded to return to public service by then Solicitor Bill Traxler, where he served as Deputy Solicitor under Solicitor Joe Watson until June, 1990.

At that time Matt was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina upon the recommendation of Senator Strom Thurmond. He initially served in the Criminal Division and later was named coordinator of the Greenville office of the Presidential Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. Solicitor Watson called upon Matt to return to the Solicitor’s Office in June, 1993, where he remained until he was elected Municipal Judge by the Greenville City Council in September, 1996. Matt lives in Greenville’s Augusta Road area with his wife, Susan.

Their daughter, Beth, and son-in-law Major Charles Dixon, USAR, are Wofford College graduates stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas with granddaughter Emmy. Daughter, Meredith, is a graduate of Furman University and son-in-law Dr. Steve Pysnik live and work in Durham, North Carolina. The Hawleys attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Greenville where Matt is active as a Sunday school teacher and member of various Boards and Commissions. His community activities have included the Greenville Family Partnership Board, the Downtown Rotary Club, and former membership on the Greenville County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, where he served as its Treasurer and Chairman.

Matt’s now four decades of experience as a criminal law practitioner in multiple settings as prosecutor, defense attorney and judge have given him a treasured opportunity to serve the Greenville Community.

Greenville Municipal Court Orientation

3:00 - 3:30

Practice Tips from the Bench


+ The Honorable Letitia Verdin

Judge Verdin graduated from Furman University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina in 1997. While in law school, she was a member of the National Moot Court team and was named the outstanding student volunteer at the University of South Carolina.

After graduation from law school, she became an Assistant Solicitor with the Office of the 13th Circuit Solicitor, and later, the Office of the 8th Circuit Solicitor. It was during this time that she headed the Family Court unit for juvenile prosecution in both circuits. In 2000, she accepted a position as an Associate Attorney with the firm of Clarkson, Walsh, Rheney, & Turner, P.A. in Greenville, SC, practicing in the areas of governmental and general civil liability defense, criminal defense, and family law. In 2005, she returned to the Office of the 13th Circuit Solicitor where she prosecuted cases in the areas of child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.

Judge Verdin was elected to the Family Court as a resident judge in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in 2008. In 2011, the South Carolina Legislature elected her to the Circuit Court, Seat 2, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.

3:30 - 4:00

Impeachment and Authentication:  Evidentiary Issues


+ Andrew B. Moorman, Sr.

Andy graduated cum laude from Furman University in 1998 and from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2001. While in law school, Andy served as a member of the South Carolina Law Review and was the recipient of the CALI award for Legal and Equitable Remedies.

Upon graduating from law school, Andy served as law clerk for the Honorable John C. Few, Resident Circuit Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit (currently Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals), where he worked from 2001- 2002. In 2002, he joined the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office as an assistant solicitor. While at the Solicitor’s Office, Andy was assigned to the general unit where he prosecuted violent felonies, drug crimes, and property crimes. He also headed the office’s appellate division and represented the State of South Carolina in the case of Ex Parte Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., 369 S.C. 69, 631 S.E.2d 86 (2006).

In 2007, Bannister & Wyatt, LLC, hired Andy as an associate. His practice focused on criminal defense, domestic relations, and civil litigation. In August 2009, Andy was hired as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina. He works in the Greenville office and is assigned to the drug unit. During his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Andy has prosecuted and tried multi-defendant drug cases, has represented the United States in numerous appeals before the Fourth Circuit, and has managed numerous court- authorized wiretaps. Andy has participated in numerous Continuing Legal Education presentations for fellow prosecutors and lawyers in numerous practice areas.