Certified by the South Carolina Supreme Courtas a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law Listed as One of the Top Lawyers of the Lowcountry in Hilton Head Monthly Magazine's April, 2013 Edition. Rated Superb in Estate Planning and Probate Lawby Avvo, an Independent Lawyer Rating Service
Michael has been certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate law for more than 20 years. He is rated Superb in both Estate Planning and Probate Law by Avvo an independent lawyer rating agency. Michael is also listed as One of the Top Lawyers of the Lowcountry by Hilton Head Monthly Magazine in its April 2013 Edition.
He is a member of the 14th Judicial Circuit Panel of the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board. The Resolution of Fee Disputes Board was created by the South Carolina Supreme Court and is administered by the South Carolina Bar. The Board resolves fee, cost and disbursement disputes between members of the South Carolina Bar and clients.
The South Carolina Probate Code probate and trust sections were substantially updated in 2013, with the changes to become effective on January 1, 2014. Michael is a member of the 2013 South Carolina Bar's Probate Forms Revision Committee. The committee's job is to review the probate court forms and make suggestions as to needed changes.
In 2011-2012, Michael was the Program Coordiantor for the Hilton Head Island Bar Associaton. His major responsibility was to find speakers and have their material approved and coordinate contining legal education programs for Hilton Head Island Bar Members. The Hilton Head Island Bar Association provided all Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and Ethics credits to its members through local continuing legal education programs.
He has been a member of the South Carolina Bar since 1977.He became a member of the Florida Bar in 2009; although, he practices on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where his office is located.
Michael has been a resident of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina since 1978 and is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Estate Planning and Probate Law.
Michael was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1951 and is a 1974 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BS Degree in Business Administration, majoring in accounting.He is also a 1977 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Michael served on the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Bar from 2006-2009. He is currently a Mentor for new lawyers under the South Carolina Supreme Court's mentoring program. For the years 1993-1996, he was a member of the South Carolina Estate Planning and Probate Law Specialization Advisory Board and was Chairman of the Advisory Board in 1995.The Advisory Board interviews and tests attorneys wanting to become Certified Specialists in Estate Planning and Probate Law. From 1998-2004, he was a member of the South Carolina Supreme Court's Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.This Commission oversees required continuing legal education requirements for South Carolina attorneys.The Commission also oversees the specialization programs for attorneys in South Carolina in Estate Planning and Probate Law, Taxation Law, Labor Law and Bankruptcy Law.From 2002-2004, Michael was also the Secretary of the Commission.
He is a past member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the South Carolina Bar.Michael has also been a member of the Complaints Subcommittee.
In addition, Michael is a 10+ year member and past chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the South Carolina Bar.He has also chaired subcommittees on studying alternatives to multidisciplinary practices and changes to rules on what to do with a legal practice when an attorney dies, becomes incompetent, is suspended or disbarred.One of his subcommittees has also written a manual for South Carolina attorneys who are appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court to take over such practices.Michael was also on a 2002 subcommittee studying and recommending changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers. He was also a member of the Bar's committee that worked with the South Carolina Supreme Court and its own commission on the new Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers, which became effective on October 1, 2005.
For 2010 - 2013, Michael was Chairman of the Client File Subcommittee of the Professional Responsibility Committee that worked on and proposed on a new Rule of Professional Conduct defining what a client file consists of, who owns what portions of the file as between the attorney, the client and third parties and what must be turned over to the client upon the client's request, along with numerous other issues related to the ownership and control of the client file.
Michael has also been a member of the Hilton Head Island Bar Association since 1983. For the 2011 - 2012 year, Michael was on the Board of the Hilton Head Island Bar Association and served as it Program Chairman. One of his primary functions was to coordinate continuing legal education programs and credits for lawyers in the Hilton Head Island area.
Michael has also authored several articles, including Disclaimer Trusts: a wait and see approach to estate planning in light of EGTRRA, published in the November 2002 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine and What's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning published by National Business Institute, June of 2003, for it's manual Advanced Estate Planning Techniques in South Carolina, and also Ethical Considerations for Estate Planning Lawyers in South Carolina - A Study of Selected Provisions of the Rules of Professional Responsibility and a substantial update to What's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning, - A Primer on Selected Estate Planning Techniques for South Carolina Attorneys, both published by National Business Institute for its April 2004 manual onHow to Protect Assets During Life and Avoid Estate Tax at Death in South Carolina.
Michael is a Life Fellow of the South Carolina Bar Foundation.The Foundation supports programs around South Carolina designed to provide legal services to those who can not afford them and also education to the public concerning legal matters and rights. He is also a member of the Society of Justice and Justice Legacy programs of the South Carolina Bar Foundation.
Michael is also a donor to the Florida Bar Foundation and is a donor and member of the Florida Supreme Court's Historical Society. He is also a member of the Florida Bar Foundation's Legacy for Justice program.
Michael is also a supporter of the Lowcountry Legal Clinic which provides services to those who can not afford an attorney and is also a supporter of and has been recognized by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Inc., which is a our local Community Foundation. He is also a charter member of the Hilton Head Council of Estate and Financial Advisors and was its President during its 2001-2002 fiscal year.In 2006, he was made a Member Emeritus.
In 2001, 2002 and 2003, Michael was also a representative of the South Carolina Supreme Court's Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization at a National Roundtable on lawyer specialization sponsored by the American Bar Association.
Michael was a member of the Hilton Head Island Jaycees from 1978-1985. He served numerous positions, including President and Treasurer. He chaired many projects and was on the founding board of what is now known as the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament, which raises funds for local charities. He is also a Hole Sponsor of the annual event which is held over Labor Day weekend. He is also a past President of the South Carolina Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He was named Hilton Head Island's Young Man of the year for 1983.
Michael has also been a member of St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church since 1978.He has taught Sunday School for over 30 years.Past duties include being Chairman of the Pastor-Parish Committee, Chairman of the Annual Stewardship Drive, Chairman of the Fall Festival, member of the Administrative Board and member of the Long Range Planning Committee.Michael was also on the Endowment Committee and co-authorized the Endowment Fund Agreement.
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