On behalf of the Judges and Clerk of Court, thanks to the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association for a most educational and enjoyable weekend at Isle of Palms. The Annual Seminar is open to all and is a must attend event for many in our practice area. The speakers this year included a United States District Judge, The U. S. Attorney nominee for our District, and two Masters in Equity. Several sessions involved an added state law focus with panelists we don’t ordinarily see. There were excellent sessions on lawyer succession planning and wellness. The 2019 seminar has been announced for March 29-31 in Savannah, Ga.
A highlight of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Association’s awards.
The William E.S. Robinson Public Service Award is named for Billy Robinson and is presented annually by the Board of Directors to a member rendering distinguished public service to the legal profession and community. Eddie McDonnell of South Carolina Legal Services was recognized. Eddie practices in the upstate and has been with Legal Services in various capacities since 1977. He is currently Director of Litigation. Among his many contributions over the years, a highlight has been his work in establishing and nurturing the “Foreclosure Friday” partnership between Legal Services and The United States Bankruptcy Court. This program provides last minute help to those facing foreclosure and considering bankruptcy. According to Thomas L. Bruce, the General Counsel Emeritus for S. C. Legal Services, Eddie is the trusted authority on bankruptcy matters for many of the other lawyers at Legal Services, often taking over the more difficult cases around the state to ensure excellent representation for the clients served by Legal Services.
The J. Bratton Davis Professionalism Award is in honor of our first Bankruptcy Judge and is awarded from time to time by the Board of Directors to an individual exhibiting unimpeachable integrity, devotion to legal scholarship, civility to all, unfailing professionalism, and impressive contributions and improvements to the legal profession. William H. Short, Jr. was recognized. Bill is a long time bankruptcy practitioner and was involved with the formation of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association, having been President of the predecessor Richland County Bar Bankruptcy Section. He was in the first class of specialists certified by the S. C. Supreme Court in Bankruptcy and Debtor – Creditor Law and has been active with the Turnaround Management Association, South Carolina Bankers Association, South Carolina Local Government Attorneys Institute and National Business Institute. Recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, Bill also has been active with several Bible studies, Boy Scouts, the board of Jubilee Academy, Ducks Unlimited, and Congaree Land Trust. The nomination letter noted Bill’s “dedication to others, dogged pursuit of what he believes his friends and others need to hear . . . and his love and compassion for his wife, family and friends is extraordinary. In sum, he comes quite close to epitomizing the very characteristics that made Judge Davis such an amazing person.” Bill suffered a stroke in the fall of 2017 and it is inspiring to see the recovery he continues to make.