END OF PRIOR TESTIMONY OF JUDGE ANDERSON.
THE CHAIRMAN: The next candidate is Julius H. Baggett. Judge Baggett, come
JULIUS H. BAGGETT, having been duly sworn, testified as follows:
THE CHAIRMAN: Judge Baggett, your last screening as well was March 29, 1994, and I would say the same thing that we said with Judge Anderson with the exception there not being a complaining witness in your case. What we would propose to do would be to incorporate the questions and your responses into the transcript of record.
We've received no intervening complaints from witnesses.
MS. MCNAMEE: We have one.
THE CHAIRMAN: We do? I'm sorry. We do have one complaining witness in this case, but I would -- what we would still propose to do would be to incorporate into the record your testimony from the prior screening and --
JUDGE BAGGETT: Certainly.
THE CHAIRMAN: -- you'll be given a chance to respond to the witness who is here to testify today.
JUDGE BAGGETT: Certainly.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let me run through the series of questions with you. Have you had a chance to review your Personal Data Questionnaire?
JUDGE BAGGETT: Yes, I have.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is it correct?
JUDGE BAGGETT: It is.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any changes, clarifications?
JUDGE BAGGETT: None.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any objection to our making the Summary a part of the record at this time?
JUDGE BAGGETT: None.
THE CHAIRMAN: That will be done at this point.
1. Julius H. Baggett
Home Address: Business Address:
403 Main Street Lexington County Courthouse
P. O. Box 738 P. O. Box 885
Leesville, SC 29070 Lexington, SC 29071
2. He was born in Florence, South Carolina on February 14, 1925. He is presently 69 years old.
4. He was married to Evelyn Ruth Heacox on March 15, 1944. He has four children: Stephen D., age 43 (attorney with firm of McDonald, Burns, Bradford, Patrick & Dean - Greenwood, SC); David Jay, M.D., age 41 (medical doctor, family practice specialist, Dorchester Family Practice - Summerville, SC); Judy Kay Baggett Meggs, age 39 (teacher, Laurens School District - Laurens, SC); and Amy Susan Baggett Spillers, age 28 (former probation officer - Leesville, SC).
5. Military Service: U.S. Navy; June, 1943 - December, 1945; Signalman 2d Class (Petty Officer); Serial No. 829-24-23; Honorable Discharge
6. He attended Furman University; September, 1942 - June, 1943; January, 1945 - July, 1947; B. A. Degree awarded in 1948 after completion of first year of law school. He also attended the University of South Carolina School of Law; September 17, 1947; LLB (reissued as J.D., September 3, 1970).
8. Legal/Judicial education during the past five years:
He attended the course sponsored by National Judicial College in San Francisco on Judicial Efficiency Improvement. He attended all JCLE seminars when travel funds were available.
9. Taught or Lectured:
Yes - at JCLE Seminars on several occasions; at the S. C. Trial Lawyers Association on capital punishment; and at the S. C. Defense Association on opening statements. He spoke to new law clerks at the Annual Conference on two occasions.
12. Legal experience since graduation from law school:
January, 1950 - December, 1957: Trial attorney; U. S. Department of Agriculture; Office of General Counsel; Atlanta, Georgia
January, 1958 - July, 1966: Partner; Buzhardt & Baggett; Attorneys at Law; McCormick, South Carolina
July, 1966 - October, 1976: Individual practice; McCormick, South Carolina; following death of partner
October, 1976 - present; Resident Circuit Judge; Eleventh Judicial Circuit
13. Rating in Martindale-Hubbell:AV
20. Judicial Office:
South Carolina Circuit Courts, elected without opposition July 22, 1976, assumed office October 2, 1976; reelected without opposition in 1982 and 1988.
The Circuit Court of South Carolina is the highest level of trial court in South Carolina with unlimited jurisdiction in both criminal and civil cases.
21. Five (5) Significant Orders or Opinions:
(a) South Carolina Insurance Company v. Estrada, 277 S.C. 343, 287 S.E.2d 475 (1982).
(b) Multi-Cinema v. South Carolina Tax Commission, 292 S.C. 411, 357 S.E.2d 6 (1987).
(c) Sales International Limited v. Black River Farms, Inc., et al., 270 S.C. 391, 242 S.E.2d 432 (1978).
(d) Dewey Bowen, et al. v. Tony Ellis, et al., 81-CP-32-2186 (No Appeal).
(e) James C. Anders, Solicitor of the Fifth Judicial Circuit v. Albert Jones and Edward H. McElveen, et al., d/b/a DeSoto Hotel, 80-CP-40- 3039 (No Appeal).
22. Public Office:
South Carolina House of Representatives, 1967-1968, 1970-1974, elected in General Elections
25. Occupation, business or profession other than the practice of law:
None, except part-time work while attending school and college, as well as military service during World War II
39. Expenditures Relating to Candidacy:
12/1/93 Postage $116.00
12/14/93 Supplies $ 50.00
1/5/94 Telephone $ 81.65
1/18/94 Photographs $144.90
Booklets $250.00 (estimated)
44. Bar Associations and Professional Organizations:
South Carolina Bar Association; American Bar Association; South Carolina Association of Circuit Judges (Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Chairman [President]); Lexington County Bar Association; Tri-County (Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda) Bar Association
45. Civic, charitable, educational, social and fraternal organizations:
Mine Lodge No. 117, A.F.M. (Masonic Order); Masonic Chapter Council and Commandery; Hejaz Shrine Temple
46. As of June 30, 1994, he will have completed 17 years and 9 months of service as a Circuit Judge. He is the second-most senior Circuit Judge of the 40 judges (Judge Rodney Peeples being the most senior). He has worked diligently and has introduced innovations in the Circuit Court system, especially the use of computer generated research. The present members of the Supreme Court, with the exception of Justice Toal, are all former colleagues of his in the General Assembly and on the Circuit Court. Working with them and Justice Toal would be a pleasant and intellectually stimulating experience which would be of benefit to the Judiciary.
47. Five (5) letters of recommendation:
(a) Raymond S. Caughman, Chairman and CEO
The Lexington State Bank
P. O. Box 8, Lexington, SC 29071-0008
2. Positions on the Bench:
South Carolina Circuit Court; Eleventh Judicial Circuit; Resident Judge; October 2, 1976 to present; term expires June 30, 1994
The Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline reports no formal complaints or charges of any kind have ever been filed against you. The Judicial Standards Commission has no record of reprimands. The records of the appropriate law enforcement agencies: the Lexington County Sheriff's, Batesburg/Leesville City Police, SLED and FBI all are negative. The Judgement Rolls of Lexington County are negative. Federal court records show no judgements or criminal actions against you. There was one civil rights action brought against you and others in 1986 and it was dismissed.
We do have one complaint that has been received and that person is present to
testify. And one -- that one witness is present to testify against you. At
this time, I'll turn you over to Ms. McNamee for questioning.
JUDGE BAGGETT - EXAMINATION BY MS. MCNAMEE:
Q. Good morning, Judge Baggett.
A. Good morning. How are you?
Q. Again, it seems like just yesterday that we were here.
A. Yes, it does.
Q. I want to ask you, we have the window open for ventilation. Is there any problem with hearing?
A. Not a bit.
I respect the authority of the General Assembly in its inquiry and I believe that to be a needful, helpful and legitimate function of the legislature to make full investigations of those who seek judicial position into whose hands the power of the court is to be placed.
I deeply appreciate the opportunity which the General Assembly has given me to serve the public as a trial judge on the Circuit Court of this state. I have submitted to these examinations three times before now, and three times have been elected to serve as a Circuit Judge covering the time of nearly 18 years. I'm very grateful for this opportunity to serve because not only have I served the public interests to the best of my ability, but I've grown in my knowledge and love of the law and the pursuit of justice.
The mantle of justice laid on me by the General Assembly has been worn seriously. Because of the statute of limiting service to those under 72 years, I have but two and one-half years to serve. I waived the opportunity of reelection to the Circuit Court in the hope of being permitted to finish out my legal judicial career on the Supreme Court and this way the seat which I hold on the Circuit Court will not be vacant for any time because the General Assembly has already filled it with a worthy successor.
If elected to the second seat, I am prepared to fill any vacancy created by
the election of any of my other brothers on the Circuit Court to the first
vacancy on the Supreme Court. This is said, of course, without any right of my
claim to the first seat and without any -- conceding anything to any other
I have been fortunate in having computer equipment provided to me by Lexington County now for about two and a half, three years. I've had very, very bright young assistants helping me with this, particularly, the one I have now. In this way, we have made it unnecessary to maintain notebooks. For example, in this compact disk, CD-ROM, we have just a few of the things. We have South Carolina cases from 1939 to 1993 with full indexes on any direction you want to take. We have the South Carolina Circuit Court Rules of Court, Federal Rules. We have the legal address book, phone numbers and addresses of every lawyer in this state on here. We have the Bar recommended jury charges. I have my own jury charges that I have developed over the years. We have numerous textbooks that are on here.
We, I guess, can do an unlimited number of things with the computer. I -- because I've been accused of flying under false colors by one of my brethren, who says it's impossible, that Baggett can hardly even turn the thing on, I want to admit that I am no expert on computers, but I am one who tremendously appreciates it and advocates it, believes that it's a salvation to us as we work on the Circuit Court and, indeed, on the Supreme Court because it facilitates the work so much. I can't tell you how much a pleasure it is to be on top of everything using computers, retrieval methods, the printing methods.
My friend, Judge Burnett has become far more expert at this than I have.
He's developed intricate systems of that. He'll speak to that if he wishes.
But I respect and recognize him as one of those among our Circuit judges who
have done this and I say this separately to point out that even though I may be
one of the elder statesmen of the bench, I fully appreciate and recognize this,
this is the way of the future and would hope the General Assembly would
encourage us and enable us to get this. Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
Q. Thank you, Judge Baggett. Judge Baggett, since your last screening only four weeks ago, have there been any changes in your status or anything of that nature that you would like to tell the committee about?
A. No, ma'am. Not a thing.
Q. Moving onto questions about pledging, in particular to this seat, the second vacancy, have you sought the pledge of a legislator prior to the
Judge Baggett will respond and then I believe Judge Kinard is the other judge
in which she is testifying regarding to and then we'll do the -- so she doesn't
have to repeat her testimony, we will allow Judge Kinard to respond during his
questioning. We'll do that. Ms. Gail Hull, step forward.
GAIL HULL, having been duly sworn, testified as follows:
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Be seated please. Ms. Hull, Ms. McNamee will ask you some questions regarding your complaint. We do have it in our record and we -- the members of the committee have had an opportunity to review it.
MS. HULL - EXAMINATION BY MS. MCNAMEE:
Q. Ms. Hull, would you state your name and address for the record?
A. My name is Gail Hull. I live at 2235 Ashley Crossing Drive in Charleston, South Carolina.
Q. Ms. Hull, you are here to testify against Judge Baggett and Judge Kinard; is that correct?