Monthly Archives: February 2012

When Law Becomes Craps: Betting on Whether the Judge Read The Brief

The law in South Carolina regarding non-compete agreements is sparse.  So, trial courts are left to hash out disputes with modest guidance.  Unfortunately, too often legal memorandums are not read prior to the hearing.  In my last 3 non-compete hearings all in different counties, the opposing parties and I have submitted briefs, affidavits and exhibits before the hearings (two injunctions and one summary judgment motion) and not once had the judge read any of it by the time the arguments began. This would not have been so disturbing but for the fact that two of the three judges who had done no preparatory work felt able to rule from the bench after 15 or 20 minutes of opposing arguments, when some minimal review of the written materials submitted by both parties–even just the written contract itself–was necessary for a minimal understanding of the facts and the arguments.  Continue reading