Pattinson Moves Out and Cancels Appearances

Robert Pattinson has canceled public appearances to promote his film “Cosmopolis.”  News broke earlier that his longtime girlfriend, Kristen Stewart, cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders.  Stewart issued an apology to Pattinson, but it appears that he has not forgiven her for her indiscretion.

If Pattinson and Stewart had been married in South Carolina, he would be able to file a divorce based on adultery.  Proof of adultery in South Carolina as a ground for divorce must be “clear and positive.”  However, every divorce attorney in Myrtle Beach, and all over the State know that adultery can be proved using circumstantial evidence that establishes the inclination to commit adulterous conduct as well as the opportunity to do so.  Direct evidence is not required.  However, evidence that a spouse was with a member of the opposite sex on several occasions is not enough, more evidence of affection is needed.

In this case, if he had been married to Stewart in this State, Pattinson’s Myrtle Beach divorce lawyers could use the pictures published by Us Magazine to prove adultery.  The pictures show Stewart and Sanders embracing.  Additionally, Stewart’s public apology could also be used against her by a family law attorney in Myrtle Beach in court as an admission.  Additionally, a Horry County divorce lawyer could take Stewart’s deposition and ask her questions about her relationship with Sanders.

Once adultery is proved at a final hearing for divorce, it is a bar to alimony.  It is the law in the State of South Carolina that “no alimony may be reward to a spouse who commits adultery.”  Therefore, if Pattinson is successful on his claim of adultery, Stewart would not receive any alimony from him.

Evidence of fault may also affect equitable distribution.  When determining how to divide the assets acquired by the parties during a marriage in South Carolina, the Horry County Court considers a number of factors, including but not limited to the length of the marriage, marital misconduct, contribution to the marriage by each spouse, the income of each spouse, heath and retirement benefits, any award of alimony and child custody.  All property acquired during the marriage is part of this process unless the court determines that some of the property is non-marital.

Here, Pattinson may receive more than half of the assets if he is successful on his claim of adultery.  Call an experienced Horry County divorce lawyer to discuss your case today.


Horry County Man Charged with Ponzi Scheme

It has been reported that Archie Larue Evans has been indicted in the Florence Division of the District of South Carolina.  Federal prosecutors have alleged that he stole approximately $2.5 million dollars from members of a Baptist Church.  His arraignment is scheduled for August 15, 2012.

Prosecutors claim that he convinced members of the church to invest in his company and promised investment payments between 10% and 12%, however, the money was allegedly spent by Evans.  He faces charges of mail fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.

If he decides to plead guilty or is found guilty by a jury, the amount of loss attributed to him will be crucial for his sentencing hearing.  The United States Sentencing Guidelines state that a defendant is subjected to a higher sentence the higher the amount of loss. These guideline calculations are critical to every person indicted in federal court.  They provide a basis to understand what possible penalties are involved with a particular crime.  Knowing what a person is facing is critical to proper representation in federal court. When a person is convicted of a ponzi scheme, the amount of victims is also important, and could lead to increased penalties.  Additionally, if the court finds that the defendant abused how position of trust or that the scheme involved vulnerable victims, his sentence could be increased by the district court.  Lastly, if other individuals were involved in the scheme, he may receive an enhancement for his role in the offense if the district courts finds that he managed or directed others in the scheme.

Evans will need to hire an experienced Federal Criminal lawyer to handle his case, one that is familiar with the sentencing guidelines and the possible enhancements he could face at his sentencing if he decides to plead guilty to the charges.

If he goes to trial and looses or decides to appeal his sentence, he will need to hire a federal appellate lawyer in South Carolina.  His possible appellate issues would include any enhancements he received at his sentencing proceeding.  It will be important for his federal criminal defense attorney to preserve all issues at the trial level for any potential appeal.  If the issues are not preserved, they are waived and can not be appealed by an appellate lawyer in South Carolina.

Twilight Star Caught Cheating

Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been caught cheating on her on and off screen boyfriend Robert Pattinson.  Stewart admitted today to having a romantic fling with the director of her recent movie, “Snow White and the Hunstman.”  Stewart and Pattinson are not married and do not have any children, however, the man Stewart had an affair with, Rupert Sanders, is married and has two children.

If Sanders was married in South Carolina, his wife could file an action seeking full custody of their two children and could seek a divorce based on the grounds of adultery.  She would also ask for child support.  In order to prove adultery in South Carolina, a Myrtle Beach divorce attorney must prove inclination and opportunity by clear and convincing evidence.  In this case, Stewart’s admission could be used against Saunders in a divorce case.  She could even be subpoenaed to testify about the affair.

Adultery can be very difficult to prove in South Carolina, and a private investigator is often needed to offer proof of a spouse’s adultery.  This evidence may include pictures of a couple embracing, leaving a house or hotel, or as in this case, pictures of the couple embracing in a vehicle.

Adultery is not the only fault ground for divorce in South Carolina, habitual drunkeness, desertion, and physical cruelty are also fault grounds for divorce.  South Carolina’s no fault ground is when the parties have been separated for one year or more.  In some cases, evidence of adultery may affect who retains custody of the minor children.  For example, if one spouse can prove that the other spouse committing adultery exposes the minor children to a paramour, this will effect the case.  As a result, every Myrtle Beach divorce and custody attorney advises a client to refrain from entering into a romantic relationship when going through a divorce.

If Saunders’ wife decides to forgive her husband and the parties reconcile, she can not use his relationship with Stewart against him in a later proceeding.  He will have an affirmative defense to her claim of adultery, reconciliation.

If you have questions about adultery in South Carolina, contact our divorce attorneys in Myrtle Beach, SC today.

Colorado Murders may now have Civil Lawsuits Filed

There could be several lawsuits filed against the movie theater for the death and injury of friends and family for the shooting.  While any lawsuit at this point would not have a good legal basis while the facts are still being developed, that is not to say that the victims will not go forward with the litigation.  The main issue would be negligent security at the movie theater.  These type of cases usually involve a known danger and a preventable danger.  In this case it will be difficult to show that the theater could have prevent this horrible event, because there was not basis for them to suspect that such a catastrophic tragedy would occur.  Many negligent security cases involve fights, assaults and even murders.  However, the business owner has some notice that this could occur at their location and did nothing to ensure the safety of the business invitees.

A good personal injury lawyer will have the ability to determine whether a negligent security case can be brought based on the facts as they are now presented.  It is my opinion that any case will most likely be dismissed based on the facts that have been released by the police in Colorado.  There would have to be some basis for the case to withstand a challenge from any good law firm and fighting insurance companies is no easy task.  Many times the insurance company will make every effort to ensure that their case has an advantage and in doing so weaken a real plaintiffs case.  Frivolous lawsuits do occur and our guess would be that any lawsuit brought against the movie theater in this case will be dismissed.  Our negligent security attorneys are familiar with what needs to be alleged to win a negligent security case and from the information provided to date, these facts are not present in this case.

Hiring a good personal injury lawyer is important at many different levels.  First the lawyer should be able to inform you as to the type of case you may have and whether it is worth while to pursue into court.  Many lawyers will tell you that for case is great, but then refuse to file a lawsuit on your behalf.  This usually means the lawyer prefers not to go to court or that the case was never really that good to begin with.  You should always speak to at least two personal injury attorneys or two personal injury law firms prior to hiring anyone to represent you or a family member.  All lawyers have different opinions as to what a case may be worth or what to expect in the litigation.  Just as some lawyers never handle real estate or wills, some lawyers never handle wrongful death or catastrophic injury cases.  Each case is different and you will not know which personal injury lawyer is right for you until the case starts to progress.  Many times injury cases take years to either resolve or go to trial.  In the past decade mediation has become a requirement in most jurisdictions and ends up settling many cases.  Our personal injury lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC are experienced in negligent security cases and wrongful death cases.  You may contact one of our Myrtle Beach lawyers at

Suspect in Shooting Held in Solitary Confinement

The twenty-four year old graduate student, James Holmes, who is the only suspect in the Batman shootings in Aurora, Colorado is currently being held in solitary confinement.  According to the head of the Public Defenders Officer, this is standard in high profile cases.  The police are likely attempting to question Holmes about the shooting.  This stage is crucial in Holmes prosecution.  The police must be careful to avoid violating Holmes’ constitutional rights.  Since he is in custody, the police must read him his Miranda Rights before questioning Holmes.  If he asks for an attorney, the police must cease with their questioning.

A public defender has already been appointed to Holmes case, but he may decide to hire a criminal defense lawyer.   He is going to be arraigned in court tomorrow morning.  An arraignment is the first step in a criminal proceeding during which a defendant is informed of the charges against him or her.  A defendant can also enter a plea at this stage and usually has three options, not guilty, guilty or no contest.

If Holmes decides to enter a plea of not guilty, he will have the right to a trial by a jury of twelve people.  He will likely be charged with First Degree Murder.  First degree murder is generally defined as the unlawful killing of another person that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was planned.  If Holmes is convicted, he will likely receive a life sentence or the prosecution may decide to seek the death penalty.  Murder is a state crime, not a federal crime.  There is no Federal Murder statute, and as a result, Holmes will not be tried in Federal Court.  Colorado recognizes the Death Penalty.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are currently only four people on death row in Colorado and only one person has been executed since 1976.  Death penalty cases are very different from other cases.  Only a few lawyers handle death penalty cases, and the appellate process is also different in death penalty cases.

If Holmes is convicted after a jury trial, he will need to hire an experienced appellate attorney to handle his case. A direct appeal is automatic to every person sentenced to death.  The appeal is made to the state’s highest court, usually the state supreme court.  The direct appeal is limited to issues from the trial.

In South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear death penalty appeals.  The South Carolina Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to hear murder cases that do not include the death penalty, and those cases can be heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court as well once the court of appeals has issued an opinion.  In many murder cases, South Carolina appellate attorneys are granted Oral Arguments.  South Carolina appellate attorneys typically spend a great deal of time preparing an initial brief as well as preparing for oral arguments.

If you have questions about filing an appeal or the appellate process in South Carolina, contact the appellate attorneys at the Mace Firm.


Foul Ball at Braves Game Sparks Lawsuit

On August 30, 2010 at a Braves-Mets game at Turner Field, a foul ball struck the head of a 6 year old girl. As a result of the hit, her skull was fractured, damaging her brain. This week, her father and the family’s personal injury lawyer filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Braves, Liberty Media Corp and Major League Baseball Enterprises. The suit alleges that they were “negligent for failing to provide proper protection for his daughter.” Despite tons of suits that are filed each year by spectators who were struck by balls, the Braves and the MLB declined comment on this particular suit.

The suit was filed Monday in Fulton County State Court and does not reveal the identities of the girl and her father to protect the girl’s privacy. The personal injury lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the girl’s pain and suffering, punitive damages and compensation for the family’s medical expenses, which are expected to be in excess of $100,000.

Approximately 200 lawsuits are filed every year by spectators hit by bats and balls at all levels of competition down to Little League, said Gil Fried, representative for the University of New Haven’s management and sports department. Typically, the lawsuits rarely succeed. “It’s the baseball rule: Tough luck. When you come to the ballpark, you assume the risk,” Fried said. In fact, the reverse side of all baseball tickets offers this warning: “The holder assumes all risk and danger incidental to the game of baseball, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to, the actual playing of the game, including specifically … the danger of being injured by thrown or batted balls, thrown or broken bats.”

For the sake of this family, hopefully their personal injury lawyer will be able to get them the compensation they deserve. It is always wise to speak with an experienced injury attorney to help you or your family file an injury lawsuit.  Call one of the Myrtle Beach personal injury attorneys at The Mace Firm. Our experienced Myrtle Beach lawyers are ready to speak with you about your case.

Deadly Accident on Highway 22 near Myrtle Beach

Another person has died in an automobile related accident near Myrtle Beach.  This makes for one of the deadliest weeks in Myrtle Beach history.  In the past week more than 4 people have lost their lives due to automobile accidents.  This latest death was on Wednesday afternoon on Highway 22.  Our personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach was coming back from Columbia, SC and past the accident within an hour of it occurring.  It was a horrible accident and the pickup truck was still on scene.  Traffic was being  rerouted  by the South Carolina Highway Patrol at the exit prior to the accident.  The front end of the pickup truck was completely crushed and it appears from initial reports that the dump truck was experiencing problems.  The location of the accident was a clear stretch of road and there were no on or off ramps near the scene.  There should be a thorough investigation into the dump truck to determine what speed limit it was traveling at and whether there were emergency lights working on the truck at the time of the accident.

The dump truck involved in the accident should be considered a commercial vehicle and there should be some record of the maintenance and the driver’s record.  The MAIT team will do a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident.  Once this report is completed the family of the deceased driver should review it and make a decision about getting a lawyer in Myrtle Beach to represent the estate in this matter.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Myrtle Beach have represented families in this exact same situation and have extensive experience in wrongful death cases.  Call today to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

Deadly Week in Myrtle Beach

This is turning into a very deadly week in Myrtle Beach. There have been several automobile accidents that have resulted in serious injuries and a couple of deaths.  The motorcycle accident that occurred over the weekend that resulted in the death of a biker was the beginning of a dangerous week.  The personal injury cases that will result from these accidents will be extensive.

First Accident this week:  Two motorcycles hit a van causing 1 death and 1 rider to be severely injured.  This is in Surfside Beach.

Second Accident this week: A bus from Williamsburg and a pickup truck collied on Highway 17 and the result was several injuries and 1 death to date.  In this case the initial reports are that the driver of the truck either was unable to stop or there was a problem with the truck.

Third Accident this week: This accident occurred on 48th Avenue North and Kings Highway.  One car was flipped over in the middle of Kings Highway.  The injuries for this accident are still under investigation.

Fourth Accident this week: A motorcycle rider was killed in a crash off of Highway 548 Tuesday afternoon.  This accident is still under investigation.

This past weekend was one of the deadliest in South Carolina.  There were 11 people  killed in South Carolina over the weekend.  So far this year over 292 car drivers have died.  This is a rather large number because South Carolina has a small population.

All of these victims and their families should speak to a good personal injury lawyer in South Carolina to evaluate any possible claims they may have.  These type of cases vary from wrongful death, product defect and driver negligence.  The process is not easy, but  good injury attorneys Myrtle Beach would be able to help with representation in these cases.  The process begins with the retaining of an attorney.  The attorney sends an investigator to get as much information as possible about the accident.  The following usually occurs during the first couple of months:

  • Contact law enforcement to get any reports
  • Serious injuries or death will require a MAIT report (takes months to completer)
  • Contact all insurance companies to set up claims
  • Interview all potential witnesses
  • Photograph all vehicles involved
  • After this initial investigation- Research insurance policies for individual companies
  • Contact hospitals and doctors regarding injuries and medical records for client
  • Get copies of all records

Case will then either be transferred to litigation department of law firm.  Preparation of the case for trial is very important in these early stages.  Our Injury Attorneys in Myrtle Beach are able to help with these type of cases.  Do not hesitate to call our injury attorneys in Myrtle Beach about your case today.

Another Motorcycle Accident, Another Death in Myrtle Beach

Bike week in Myrtle Beach has been over for a couple of months and the summer tourist season is in high gear.  Yet, another biker has lost their life on the roads around Myrtle Beach.  This time near Surfside Beach a van driven by Patricia Wedge collided with two motorcycles on U.S. 17 just North of S.C. 544.  It appears from the initial report that Wedge may be responsible for the accident.  The accident occurred around 10:00 p.m. and this location is very busy at that time of night.  This is a very common type of accident in the summer months along the grand strand area.  There is a large influx of tourists from all across the country that come for weeks and even months to enjoy the beaches.  These out of state drivers are not familiar with the horribly designed roads and how to get from one side to the other when there is no traffic light.  Most accidents result in no injuries, but like this one there are times when the accidents are deadly.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol’s MAIT Team will put together an accident report that will detail the events of the accident.  It will take weeks for this report to be generated.  The troopers drafting the report usually do a very thorough job in determine the cause of the accident.  Witnesses are interview, vehicles are examined and the location to surveyed. Wedge could face some serious charges if she is found to have caused the accident.  The motorcycle riders were not wearing their helmets, but in this case it may not have mattered because initial reports show that the riders were injured from burns.  Horry County Fire Rescue reported that a fire started at the scene.  It is unclear how the fire started.  One biker was airlifted to the August Burn Center to receive treatment.  Hopefully this biker will make a full recovery from this accident.  The other motorcycle rider passed away at Grand Strand Regional Hospital.  This hospital was upgraded earlier this year to a level II Trauma facility.  The Level II designation requires all major surgeons to be on call for emergency services.

Our personal injury attorneys in Myrtle Beach, SC have experience representing motorcycle riders that have been injured in the Grand Strand area.  Our personal injury attorneys in Myrtle Beach have also sadly represented families who have had to experience the wrongful death of someone in their family.

Person Injured at Myrtle Beach Zipline

A guide for the zipline ride in Myrtle Beach was injured this week when he fell from the zipline tower.  Other employees of the zipline ride told reports that the person that feel was not a customer and had been employed with the company for over a month.  The company appears to have stopped operations for a very short time and is now back open.  Gerard O’Sullivan was the employee that fell and he is listed in critical condition.  At first glance Mr. O’Sullivan will have a very strong workers compensation claim against the company.  The next step will be for him to hire a Myrtle Beach law firm to represent him in this claim.  The company has already released a statement that the incident was related to employee error.  The main problem with this statement is the investigation appears to have been conducted by the company and not an outside agency.  It is not a good idea to open a ride immediately after someone is almost killed without a more detailed investigation by someone outside of the company.  Mr. O’Sullivan is an exchange student from Ireland and the company has stated that he is coherent and able to speak.  None the less, he is still being listed as being in critical condition.

O’Sullivan fell more than 60 feet to the ground.  The company should have an outside agency evaluate their safety procedures and detailed statements from all the employees should be gathered in order to get a comprehensive report of how this accident happened.  The ride should not be open until this investigation is completed.  Opening up so quickly after this accident is a bad idea.  Hopefully no one else will be injured on this ride.

A good Myrtle Beach injury attorney could evaluate this case and determine if there is another action that could be filed on behalf of O’Sullivan.   The young man is going to need as much help as he can get in recovering from this accident, and an experienced Myrtle Beach injury attorney could help him get the settlement he may be entitled to.