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Trial Lawyers Set To Go Nuclear Against Sanford October 15, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.

sanford drowning


FITSNews – October 15, 2007 – S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford will have an arrest warrant sworn out against him tomorrow for allegedly intimidating public officials, according to an e-mail obtained exclusively by FITSNews.

The e-mail, which was forwarded to an unspecified list of recipients by House GOP Communications Director Jason Zacher, claims that Charleston Attorney David Dusty Rhoades will hold a press conference in his office tomorrow morning at 10:00 A.M. to swear out a warrant for Sanford’s arrest due to the governor’s “recent tactics of intimidating (workers’ comp) Commissioners.”

Rhoades, whom the anonymous author of the e-mail quotes as being “tired of (Sanford’s) sh*t,” claims that the governor’s recent executive order instructing workers’ comp commissioners to use objective standards in awarding damages (along with subsequent comments by Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer) constitutes a violation of state law prohibiting the intimidation of public officials.

Sanford issued the order last month as part of an ongoing effort to control skyrocketing workers’ comp premiums in South Carolina, which have drained over a quarter of a billion dollars from South Carolina businesses over the last four years.

Needless to say the state’s trial lawyers – who were already reeling from a major workers’ comp defeat at the end of the 2007 legislative session – went positively ape sh*t when Sanford’s announcement was made last month.

Many assumed a lawsuit was imminent, but internal communications between trial lawyer advocates show that most favored responding with a more middle-of-the-road approach, specifically requesting an Attorney General’s ruling as to whether or not Sanford’s executive order was constitutional.

Cooler heads appear to have not prevailed.

“The trial lawyers are going absolutely bananas right now,” one workers’ comp reform advocate told FITSNews late Monday evening. “I mean absolutely, completely bananas. That’s probably why we’re seeing such an ill-advised, over-the-top reaction.”

Rhoades, who was unavailable for comment regarding his impending press conference, could face a countersuit for abuse of process if he follows through with his lawsuit threat.

“If he goes through with this he’ll be disbarred,” one attorney familiar with the statute in question told FITSNews.

Trial lawyer supporters say Rhoades has a legitimate case, however, adding that a request they made for clarification of the governor’s executive order was part of a plan to highlight what they call “the threatening nature of the Governor’s flagrant usurpation of legislative authority.”

“Mr. Sawyer took the bait,” one prominent trial lawyer told FITSNews. “It’s not our fault the Governor’s Press Secretary publicly divulged the true nature of this administration’s mob-style hit on the rights of working South Carolinians to receive a fair settlement of their claims.”

Stay tuned …



1. RJ - October 16, 2007

So what’s the deal? Is this press conference taking place?

2. Frank Robinson - October 16, 2007

Why don’t you see if you can be MORE biased in your reporting? I doubt you can.

3. Palmetto Patriot - October 16, 2007

Might want to check that caption. Anyway, Sanford had zero constitutional authority to issue that order. Everyone with a brain knows this to be true. Trial Lawyers are always freaking out its what they do.

4. Carolina Observer - October 16, 2007

I can’t think of a better name for a lawyer…”The American Dream” Dusty Rhoades….original 4 Horseman…I’ll put my money on Dusty, Arn, Ole, and Ric over Sanford, Sawyer, English, and Davis (the 4 clowns)…of course English could master the Wahoo Chop and Davis reminds me a little of super fly jimmy snooka…w/o the loin cloth thank god… let’s get a ring and get ready to rumble !!!

5. White Sports Coat - October 16, 2007

Well, I am glad to see that Sanford has finally learned to ‘work and play well with others’. I guess the remaining two years of this train wreck will continue like the first six…..

6. Tom - October 16, 2007

As Cindy Ross Scoppe wrote in The State today, Mark Sanford has become “our blogger-in chief.” Instead of working with members of the General Assembly, he “seems strangely driven to insult state lawmakers on a regular basis” to quote Frank Wooten, associate editor of The Post and Courier’s Sunday edition. A concensus has formed that Sanford has squandered any opportunity to reform state government. He has become a carnival side-show complete with defecating pigs and horse-drawn carriages at the Statehouse. Now he “jokes” about wanting the Statehouse be “a terrorist target.” The real question is “how much more of this before the public goes nuclear on Sanford?”

7. Tom - October 16, 2007

One other thing: when I asked the question in my earlier post, “how much more of this before the public goes nuclear on him?” let me be clear that I wish no harm to him. This isn’t personal. It’s politics. The governor is losing what remaining public support there is out there for his administration by acting irresponsibly. It’s really sad because he has the intelligence and potential to be a good leader. What we really wish for him now is an early retirement.

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