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summer 2011

TRIBUTE GIFTS The Bar Foundation gratefully acknowledges those who have made gifts in memory of a colleague or friend of the Bar April 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011. Names in bold denote the honoree.

In memory of… Wilburn Brewer Jr. G. Dewey Oxner Jr. Reginald C. Brown Jr. Joseph T. McElveen Jr. Julian H. Gignilliat R. Read Gignilliat James W. Seigler Thomas G. Earle N. Steven Steinert John M. Bleecker Jr. Hon. T. L. Hughston Jr. Garfield D. Stuart Rosalyn Woodson Frierson M. Noel Turner Hon. T. L. Hughston Jr.

In honor of… Elaine H. Fowler Alice F. Paylor Elizabeth Van Doren Gray Alice F. Paylor Harold W. Jacobs (honoring 50 years of practicing law) T. Eugene Allen III Elaine H. Fowler SC Bar LRE staff and programs David C. Shea Claude M. Scarborough Jr. Stephen G. Morrison Carl L. Solomon Anne S. Ellefson Flo Lester Vinson Alice F. Paylor

A newsletter from the South Carolina Bar Foundation Our mission is to fund the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability.

A Gift to Last a Lifetime – Announcing the Ronnie M. Cole CLE Scholarship Fund Many lawyers may know Ronnie Cole. His practice covers upstate South Carolina and focuses on criminal defense. Ronnie spends time as an instructor for SC Court Administration where he trains Magistrates and Municipal Court Judges in the areas of traffic and criminal law. He is a published author – many times over – writing for national publications as well as for the SC Bar Continuing Legal Education Division. He is an avid collector of Civil War memorabilia and hosts an annual birthday party for his dog, Fred II. (The Fred Foundation, named for Ronnie’s cocker spaniels, Fred I and Fred II, hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to the benefit and protection of local Ronnie Cole and Fred II children and animals.) Ronnie is now adding another facet to his life – providing support for a scholarship fund that will benefit lawyers who need help with the cost of the continuing legal education seminars required to maintain their law license.

“I am very appreciative of what I have and credit a great deal of my success to the education that I received through various CLE courses. I want to be able to help attorneys who could use some assistance in getting the continued education they need. This economy has presented the profession with issues we have not seen before. Many of our colleagues are struggling. This is just one way that I can help.” — Ronnie Cole When looking for a way to turn his idea into a reality, Ronnie came to the SC Bar Foundation. Wallace Lightsey, Foundation president, said, “We are extremely grateful that Ronnie has chosen the Foundation to administer this scholarship fund. We believe that helping those in our profession to benefit from CLE coursework, particularly public service attorneys, is something that certainly improves the administration of justice.” continued on page 3


Foundation Continues to Face Funding Challenges Annual revenue from the Bar Foundation’s Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program decreased 84 percent between fiscal year 2007 (which had the highest revenue received in the history of the program) and fiscal year 2010 (which resulted in the lowest revenue seen in the last decade). During this spiraling decline, the Foundation desired to protect grantees as much as possible. To that end, the Board utilized $3.0 million from reserves during the past three years. It was a delicate balance to gradually reduce grant awards – while the decline continued – and determine the amount that the Foundation could use to responsibly supplement the difference in revenues. Utilization of reserves was just one way the Foundation attempted to secure resources to support IOLTA grantees. A cy pres committee was created and a tool kit was developed to help draw such awards to the Foundation. The committee studied court award models in other states, examined legal precedence for court awards for legal aid and worked to educate lawyers about the positive impact court awards can have for civil legal services. With a solid history as a grant making organization, the Foundation is structured to ensure accountability for the expenditure of funds. Even with changes in the law, Bar Foundations and IOLTA programs have had some success in receiving these settlements. The Foundation continued with its planned giving program – encouraging attorneys to support the mission of the Bar Foundation while, at the same time, accommodating personal, financial, estateplanning and charitable goals. Though still in its infancy, the effort has already increased the future capacity of the Foundation. Finally, the Foundation did not pause in its quest to generate annual support from lawyers and law firms. In the midst of the recession,

the Foundation increased unrestricted gifts by ten percent. The Foundation believes that each and every member of the Bar should support its charitable arm and should do so at a level that suits the individual’s ability to give. A three-year “100 at $100” campaign generated more than 300 new donors and the current “Each One Reach One” campaign with the Young Lawyers Division has enticed 40 new donors and resulted in almost $10,000 in gifts/pledges to date. The Foundation’s annual gala became an income-generating event which has provided $63,000 in additional funds for grants. Despite these efforts to secure additional resources, funding challenges continue. IOLTA revenue has started to tick upward, but is still dramatically low. Funding available for grant awards for fiscal year 2012 is set at $1.4 million – an almost 70 percent decrease from the “all time high” awards of $4.6 million in fiscal year 2008. “While we are aware that these funding levels are extremely low, it is our belief that they are temporary and that, in the future, IOLTA revenues will return to a level that is more in line with past funding amounts,” said Shannon Willis Scruggs, executive director. The Foundation recently met with grant applicants to express sympathy about the reduced funding. The meetings also served as listening sessions to determine if there were other non-monetary ways in which the Foundation could provide assistance to grantees and Foundation friends. Many excellent ideas were presented and, where possible, the Foundation will move forward to provide support. Will you help? Your support can help the Foundation address these challenges that directly affect the provision of legal services to the poor and the ability to provide law related education. The story that follows provides just one example of how attorneys can advance justice by improving access, education and accountability.

What IOLTA and your support can do…

Executive attorney, Tiffany Mikkelson, supervises the work of the retired attorneys who practice under Rule 415.

A young mother, Alethea, was served with custody papers citing that she was using drugs and not fit to care for her two children. She knew that the accusations were not true, but had no idea how to respond. Scared and feeling somewhat helpless, she learned that Lowcountry Legal Volunteers might be able to assist. After going through the screening process, the volunteer attorney worked to find a way to prove

that the drug claim was false. Armed with a negative drug test as well as affidavits refuting the drug-use claims, the attorney was able to settle with the other side. Not only did the settlement provide Alethea with the sense that she would not lose her children, the father also agreed to pay child support. Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, one of the Foundation’s grantees, engages community volunteers and retired attorneys in providing free advice, education and legal representation to low-income families in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties. For more information, contact LLV via email at lcla@hargray.com or at 843-815-1570.


Leverage Your Dollars by Abacus Planning Group Are you passionate about the SC Bar Foundation’s mission to fund the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability? Are you curious about ways to leverage the dollars that you can give to the Foundation? A multitude of funding options exist that will help you meet your goals for supporting the Foundation, ranging from the simple writing of a check to the complex charitable lead trust. As with every sound financial decision thoughtful planning for charitable giving can maximize the benefits for you, the donor, and your favorite charities. Before making a charitable gift, it is important to ask these questions about giving: • What do you want to accomplish with your gift? • What level of involvement do you wish to have with the charity and the giving process? • What role do you want giving to play in your life and legacy? • What types of gifts have brought you the greatest joy in the past? All donors need to ask these questions so that their giving can be purposeful, no matter how large or small the contribution. Once you have outlined the goals for your gifting program, you can begin to research the various gifting strategies available. One widely overlooked giving strategy is naming a charity as the beneficiary of your retirement account. Because 401(k) accounts

and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have become the saving vehicle of choice for many Americans, tax-deferred accounts have become one of the largest assets many donors have to give to a favored charity. Naming a charity the beneficiary of your retirement account is smart for several reasons. Unlike an individual beneficiary, a charity will not owe income taxes upon withdrawing the assets in the account. In 2011, an individual over 70.5 can direct an IRA distribution directly to a qualifying charity for up to $100,000. This distribution can be in lieu of the individual’s required distribution. This strategy might be beneficial for minimizing the income tax impact on Social Security benefits or improving the deductions for such items as medical expenses and financial advice. Your CPA can give you guidance on this issue. It’s simple to change the beneficiary designation on your retirement account to include a charity for all or a portion of your account. Using a retirement account for gifting may be a smart way to save taxes and to fund causes about which you feel passionate. Charitable gifting has a large and lasting impact on society. It is essential that you spend time to make sure that your giving is purposeful and implemented in a way that meets your goals and maximizes the impact for both you and your chosen charity. In the next issue of Foundation Brief, we will discuss the benefits of gifting an appreciated investment to the Foundation.

“A Gift …“ continued from cover

More than $1.4 Million Awarded in Grants Twelve organizations have received grants for the period July 2011 to June 2012. Civil Legal Aid Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation...................$ 40,000 Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA)..........$ 25,000 Lowcountry Legal Volunteers......................................$ 40,000 SC Legal Services.............................................................$ 1,000,000 Sistercare...........................................................................$ 15,000 Law Related Education SC Bar LRE Division.........................................................$ 160,000 Administration of Justice The National Judicial College......................................$ 15,880 Richland County CASA....................................................$ 7,490 SC Access to Justice Commission..............................$ 80,000 SC Bar Ask-A-Lawyer Program.....................................$ 40,000 SC Center for Fathers & Families ...............................$ 44,020 Upstate Mediation Center.............................................$ 15,000

The Foundation has just announced its FY 2012 grant awards which are at the lowest levels of the past 12 years. “While we are not able to give grantees everything that they need in terms of IOLTA funding, we are committed to finding creative ways that we can be of assistance. Ronnie’s generous gift comes at the perfect time,” said Lightsey. The process by which attorneys can apply for the scholarship funds will be announced shortly. Priority will be given to attorneys who practice with Foundation grantees, past and present. The Foundation is eternally grateful to Ronnie and his generous gift – one that will reach so many people – the lawyers who receive the assistance as well as the clients whom they serve.


FY 12 Foundation Officers and New Directors The Bar Foundation announces its officers as follows: Wyche’s Wallace K. Lightsey, President; Collins & Lacy’s Jack D. Griffeth, President-Elect; and K&L Gates’ Beverly A. Carroll, Secretary/Treasurer. The Foundation also welcomes three new Directors – Candace C. Jackson, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Angus H. Macaulay, Nexsen Pruet, and Thomas R. Young Jr., The Law Office of Tom Young. Wallace K. Lightsey

Name: ________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: ______________________________ Email: ______________________________________________

Gift Amount $ ______________________

Please make checks payable to SC Bar Foundation.

Gift Level

Designation (choose one)

Other Information

q $1,000 Society of Justice q $500-$999 Rutledge Patron q $250-$499 Wright Patron q $100-$249 JM Perry Patron

q Apply my gift where

q My gift is a tribute gift

it is needed most. q Children’s Fund q Disabled Lawyers Fund q Brewer Professionalism Fund

(provide details on check). q I have included the Bar Foundation in my will. q I am a member of the YLD; my gift is $300 which qualifies me to be listed in the Young Lawyer Legacy.

SC Bar Foundation • PO Box 608 • Columbia, SC 29202

The SC Bar Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization and all contributions are tax deductible within the limits of the law.

Jack D. Griffeth

Beverly A. Carroll

Save the Date ∂ Saturday, January 21, 2012 Bar Foundation Gala ∂

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Honoring the Nifty Fifty of the SC Bar (Classes of 1961 and 1962), the Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services Lawyer of the Year and the SC Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

sUMMER 2011

Give online via scbarfoundation.org

PO Box 608, Columbia, SC 29202

Columbia, SC Permit No. 104

PAID

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

Foundation Brief Summer 2011  

Foundation Brief Summer 2011

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