Journal of the House of Representatives
of the Second Session of the 110th General Assembly
of the State of South Carolina
being the Regular Session Beginning Tuesday, January 11, 1994

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| Printed Page 6660, May 17 | Printed Page 6680, May 17 |

Printed Page 6670 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

Q. I have known some legislator's who apparently served with you when you were in the House.
A. A very shy, reticent person.
Q. That's exactly what they said. They tend to talk about sort of as a -- affectionately as a renegade. You tended to sometime be on the minority side of a particular
issue, but you were particularly skillful at using rules to advance your position or to halt the majority in trying to pass its position.
A. I'm guilty.
Q. Guilty. That's a fair characterization?
A. I did do that during seven years occasionally. I used the rules every time I could. If I had a strong position, I used the rules. Occasionally, I would try to delay matters if I thought they were major concerns to the litigants. I remember one time engaging in what I then called educational debate concerning the interest rates. And it was being substantial increased.
Q. Well, as a member of an appellant court of five members, teamwork and consensus building will be important. Should the Committee expect Ralph King Anderson from the House days or some other Ralph King Anderson, you know, and I guess I'm asking you, too, how strongly do you have to feel to dissent from an opinion and to -- what would you do to advance your view of a case?
A. I would try to do it internally. I do not plan to dissent with any degree of regularity. That's not the role of the individual justice, unless it is a matter of conscious, counsel. If it's a matter of conscious, I shall dissent. I promise you, I will do that if it's a matter of major precedent and I have very strong feelings. I will consider a dissent if it is something that needs to be written about contra to the majority opinion, but I'm not interested in writing a lot of dissents. That's not the notoriety that I would want to achieve. I would hope that any opinion that I wrote would be concurred in by the others and that I would be able to concur with some degree of regularity.
Q. In the area of gifts and social hospitality, what are your rules about that and how do you define gift and social hospitality?
A. I do not have much interplay with lawyers. Socially, it is none unless it is a person of some long-standing that I would occasionally see. My rule is not to have any kind of contact on a regular basis. I just do not do it. I have refrained from doing that.
Q. What are your rules on ex parte communication?
A. I think I have the most strict rule in the state. I don't allow it period. My secretary knows that. My law clerk knows that. We don't allow that.

Printed Page 6671 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

Q. If you had a matter before you in which you had a de minimis financial interest, what would your position be on hearing that case?
A. I will not rule on any case where I have any kind of financial interest including stock or whatever. That's just been my basic rule. It's a bright line test that I enforce and it keeps me from having any difficulty in regard to any perceived prejudice.
THE CHAIRMAN: Questions from the Members?
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Alexander.
Q. I notice you were at Clemson from '52 to '56.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What was your major there?
A. It was a general major because I was trying to get enough credits to go to the law school. I was trying to finish three years in two years and a summer school and I did it with no extra credit to spare, so it's mostly history and government.
Q. Is this the place you learned your mastery of grammar?
A. I had a great teacher in --
Q. Who was it?
A. -- regard to a speech course.
Q. John Lane?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay.
A. And he made us start the -- I was from the Pee Dee obviously, and I said oil, and he said, no, the word is oil. And he began to make me flex and to give the word a syllable response and he put me on a tape and I sounded horrible to myself and he kind of took me under the wing I suppose because I was so bad at that time in regard to pronunciation and articulation.
Q. He was quite an outstanding person.
A. Yes. Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: At this time, the Record will reflect that Mr. Alexander spent eight years at Clemson and didn't -- that's why he asked that question. Any other questions? Mr. Russell.
Q. Judge, you're familiar with the fact we had another Anderson previously here for screening not too long ago and I just wanted to point out there was -- I don't see it on these questionnaires, but on those questionnaires, there was a question as to whether or not you had ever been scolded by a judicial entity, reprimand, and it caused him great
Printed Page 6672 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

problems. He didn't know whether to list them or leave them out, but he did mention that he had been scolded by the Court before?
A. He has.
Q. Before he had been an attorney, though?
THE CHAIRMAN: Other questions from the Members? If not, thank you, Judge Anderson.
A. Thank you.


THE CHAIRMAN: The next candidate is Julius H. Baggett. Judge Baggett, come forward, please.
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 --
THE CHAIRMAN: -- you'll be given a chance to respond to the witness who is here to testify today.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let me run through the series of questions with you. Have you had a chance to review your Personal Data Questionnaire?
THE CHAIRMAN: Is it correct?
THE CHAIRMAN: Any changes, clarifications?
THE CHAIRMAN: Any objection to our making the Summary a part of the record at this time?
THE CHAIRMAN: That will be done at this point.

Printed Page 6673 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994


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.

Printed Page 6674 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

10. Published Books and Articles:
Article entitled, "May It Please the Court," published in "The Bar Tab" (A Periodic Report to Members of the Young Lawyers Division), Vol. 11, No. 1, Fall, 1993.

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

Printed Page 6675 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

24. Unsuccessful Candidate:
Candidate for House of Representatives, Democratic Primary, 1968
Candidate for House of Representatives, Democratic Primary, 1974

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

Printed Page 6676 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

(b) Larry W. Propes, Deputy Director
South Carolina Court Administration
P. O. Box 50447, Columbia, SC 29250
(c) Honorable Jeff D. Griffith, Jr.
P. O. Box 387, Saluda, SC 29138
(d) Honorable Hubert E. Long
431 N. Lee Street, Batesburg, SC 29006
(e) Patrick J. Frawley, Esquire
President, Lexington County Bar Association
P. O. Box 489, Lexington, SC 29071


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.
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.

Printed Page 6677 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

Q. Do we need to close it a little bit or anything like that?
A. Not a bit. Could I make my little five-minute presentation?
Q. Yes, sir.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, you and all the other candidates as we said the last time have the opportunity if you'd like to do a short opening statement --
A. It would be very short.
THE CHAIRMAN: -- to be incorporated into the record?
A. I just would appreciate the opportunity. It's mainly for the record. Thank you so much.
THE CHAIRMAN: Please do so.
A. Mr. Chairman and Mr. Alexander, my Brothers of the Bench, I appreciate again the opportunity of appearing before this committee and willingly submit myself to examination on my qualifications to serve as an associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

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 candidate.

Printed Page 6678 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

Very quickly, I want to say this, that my brother who just was reviewed without denigrating him at all because he's a wonderful, outstanding judge, when he spoke of maintaining 50 notebooks, at first, I felt a little inadequate myself because I don't maintain 50 notebooks. I just can't imagine doing that.

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

Printed Page 6679 . . . . . Tuesday, May 17, 1994

completion of the screening process even if that pledge sought is conditional upon being found qualified by this screening committee?
A. No.
Q. Have you asked or otherwise authorized any other person to solicit or seek pledges of a legislator's vote on your behalf prior to the completion of this screening process?
A. I have not.
Q. And do you know of any solicitation or pledges being done on your behalf?
A. I do not.
Q. I believe our expenditure records show that you have filed with us and with the Ethics Committees of the Legislature. Is the report that we have of your campaign expenditures accurate?
A. Yes.
Q. And up to date?
A. Yes.
Q. Thank you, sir.
MS. MCNAMEE: I'll say at this time that we have a complaining witness against Judge Baggett and this lady is also complaining against Judge Kinard. Perhaps we could hear her testimony right now.
THE CHAIRMAN: All right. We'll -- why don't we -- Judge Baggett, if would you have a seat and we will call the witness forward. And what I would propose we do would be to have the witness since her testimony involves two of our candidates testify.

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.
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?
A. Yes.

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