Interesting article on Slate's thebigmoney.com re: the ubiquitiousness of McDonald's in the United States.in reference to: Furthest Distance From a McDonald's: 107 Miles The Big Money (view on Google Sidewiki)
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
An award for pain and suffering compensates the injured person for the physical discomfort and the emotional response to the sensation of pain caused by the injury itself. In making an estimate of damages to be awarded for pain and suffering, the jury may consider:
(2) the age, health, habits, and condition of the injured party before the injury as compared with his condition afterwards;
(3) the plaintiff’s use of sedatives and other drugs to relieve pain and their effect; and
(4) any aggravation of pre-existing disorders by the incident in question.
Pain and suffering have no market price. They are not capable of exact measurement; accordingly, a South Carolina jury has no fixed rule or standard whereby damages for them can be measured.
The amount of damages to be awarded for pain and suffering is left to the judgment of the jury. Additionally, the jury include such damage for pain and suffering as it is reasonably certain will of necessity result in the future from the injury. Future pain and suffering on the part of the plaintiff in consequence of the injury constitute a proper element of the damages which may be allowed, provided there is the requisite certainty that such pain and suffering will result.
When connected with a physical injury, the term “mental anguish” includes both the resultant mental sensation of pain and also the accompanying feelings of distress, fright, and anxiety. In other words, mental anguish covers not only the pain associated with the injury but also the mental reaction to that pain and to the possible consequences of the injury.
“Mental anguish” is more than mere disappointment, anger, worry, resentment, or embarrassment, although it may include all of these, and it includes mental sensation of pain resulting from such painful emotions as grief, severe disappointment, indignation, wounded pride, shame, despair, and humiliation.
“Mental anguish” can be composed of fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, mortification, humiliation, embarrassment, terror, or ordeal.
If a jury finds the injured party is entitled to recover damages, it may consider as an element of those damages such mental anguish as it finds, to a reasonable certainty, will occur in the future as a result of the injuries. In assessing mental anguish, the jury may take into account anxiety or worry about the possible future occurrence or condition resulting from the injuries that the plaintiff received, if it is satisfied to a reasonable certainty that the plaintiff will suffer such anxiety and worry.
The jury may award damages for mental anguish where the evidence shows, for example, that the plaintiff suffered shock, fright, emotional upset, and/or humiliation as the result of the defendant’s negligence.
A person who suffers personal injuries because of the negligence of another is entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical care and expenses incurred for the treatment of the injuries to the time of trial, as well as the cost of those reasonably certain to be incurred in the future.
Accordingly, a plaintiff may recover amounts incurred for past and future medical care, including hospital, physician, and nursing care costs; medicine; and other out-of-pocket and anticipated expenses, such as vocational, physical and other rehabilitation efforts.
Under South Carolina law, a plaintiff can only recover such sums as the jury determines from the evidence to be both reasonable and necessary. While the amount actually charged and incurred may be considered by a jury, a jury is not bound by that amount. It must find only such sum as is reasonable and necessary.
To recover for future medical expenses, the plaintiff must prove such expenses are reasonably certain to result in the future from the injury giving rise to the lawsuit.
In determining the amount of compensation for injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the the defendant’s negligence, it is proper for a jury to consider an award past, present, and future damages for:
(1) loss of income;
(2) loss or impairment of earning capacity;
(3) out-of-pocket expenses;
(4) medical expenses, including physicians, hospitals, medicines, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and transportation connected with medical treatment;
(5) any future damages resulting from permanent injuries;
(7) loss of family services;
(8) deprivation of a normal life expectancy;
(9) alteration of lifestyle;
(10) psychological trauma;
(11) mental anguish;
(12) mental distress;
(15) emotional injury;
(16) psychological injuries;
(18) sexual dysfunction;
(19) pain and suffering; and
(20) loss of enjoyment of life.
Plaintiff bears the burden of proving these elements by the preponderance of the evidence.
From today's (10/29/09) online version of the NY Times:
Bruce Buschel outlines "[a] modest list of dos and don’ts for servers at the seafood restaurant [he is] building." According to Buschel "veteran waiters, moonlighting actresses, libertarians and baristas will no doubt protest some or most of what follows. They will claim it homogenizes them or stifles their true nature. And yet, if 100 different actors play Hamlet, hitting all the same marks, reciting all the same lines, cannot each one bring something unique to that role?"
1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.
2. Do not make a singleton feel bad. Do not say, “Are you waiting for someone?” Ask for a reservation. Ask if he or she would like to sit at the bar.
3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.
5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.
6. Do not lead the witness with, “Bottled water or just tap?” Both are fine. Remain neutral.
7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.
9. Do not recite the specials too fast or robotically or dramatically. It is not a soliloquy. This is not an audition.
10. Do not inject your personal favorites when explaining the specials.
11. Do not hustle the lobsters. That is, Do not say, “We only have two lobsters left.” Even if there are only two lobsters left.
12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.
13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles.
14. When you ask, “How’s everything?” or “How was the meal?” listen to the answer and fix whatever is not right.
15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”
16. If someone requests more sauce or gravy or cheese, bring a side dish of same. No pouring. Let them help themselves.
17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.
18. Know before approaching a table who has ordered what. Do not ask, “Who’s having the shrimp?”
19. Offer guests butter and/or olive oil with their bread.
20. Never refuse to substitute one vegetable for another.
21. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.
22. If someone is unsure about a wine choice, help him. That might mean sending someone else to the table or offering a taste or two.
23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc.
24. Never use the same glass for a second drink.
25. Make sure the glasses are clean. Inspect them before placing them on the table.
26. Never assume people want their white wine in an ice bucket. Inquire.
27. For red wine, ask if the guests want to pour their own or prefer the waiter to pour.
28. Do not put your hands all over the spout of a wine bottle while removing the cork.
29. Do not pop a champagne cork. Remove it quietly, gracefully. The less noise the better.
30. Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle.
31. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.
32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them, or dust them.
33. Do not bang into chairs or tables when passing by.
34. Do not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of customers.
35. Do not eat or drink in plain view of guests.
36. Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.
37. Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice.
38.Do not call a guy a “dude."
39. Do not call a woman “lady.”
40. Never say, “Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.
41. Saying, “No problem” is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do.
42. Do not compliment a guest’s attire or hairdo or makeup. You are insulting someone else.
43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant.
44. Do not discuss your own eating habits, be you vegan or lactose intolerant or diabetic.
45. Do not curse, no matter how young or hip the guests.
46. Never acknowledge any one guest over and above any other. All guests are equal.
47. Do not gossip about co-workers or guests within earshot of guests.
48. Do not ask what someone is eating or drinking when they ask for more; remember or consult the order.
49. Never mention the tip, unless asked.
50. Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout.
Friday, October 23, 2009
From South Carolina Judicial Department: Results of the July 2009 South Carolina Bar Examination Posted
The results of the July 2009 South Carolina Bar Examination have been posted. A letter notifying each bar applicant of the results was mailed on Friday, October 23, 2009. Telephonic requests for information about these results will not be accepted until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 26, 2009.
The swearing-in ceremony for applicants who have passed the examination and have completed all other requirements for admission will be held at the Koger Center in Columbia, South Carolina, on Monday, November 16, 2009, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Applicants who are eligible to be sworn-in during this ceremony will receive detailed instructions regarding this ceremony in the letter notifying them of the results of the bar examination.
Congratulations to new C&L associate and member of the Retail/Hospitality practice team, Logan Wells, for passing the bar exam.
According to Article V, Section 3 of the S.C. Constitution, the members of the Supreme Court shall be elected by a joint public vote of the General Assembly. In any contested election, the vote of each member of the General Assembly present and voting must be recorded. According to Article V, Section 27 of the S.C. Constitution, candidates for the Supreme Court must first be screened by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to being presented for election by the General Assembly. The five justices are arranged and elected by seat. Candidates can be from any geographical region in the State.
Court of Appeals:
According to Article V, Section 8 of the S.C. Constitution, the members of the Court of Appeals shall be elected by a joint public vote of the General Assembly. In any contested election, the vote of each member of the General Assembly present and voting must be recorded. According to Article V, Section 27 of the S.C. Constitution, candidates for the Court of Appeals must first be screened and found qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to being presented for election by the General Assembly. The nine judges of the Court of Appeals are arranged and elected by seat. Candidates can be from any geographical region in the State.
According to Article V, Section 13 of the S.C. Constitution, the General Assembly has divided the State into judicial circuits. There are currently 33 resident judges and 13 at-large judges. For each circuit a judge or judges shall be elected by a joint public vote of the General Assembly. According to Article V, Section 27 of the S.C. Constitution, candidates for the Circuit Court must first be screened and found qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to being presented for election by the General Assembly.
According to 2-19-80 of the S.C. Code of Laws, family court judges are elected by a joint public vote of the General Assembly. Additionally, candidates for the Family Court must first be screened and found qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to being presented for election by the General Assembly. The required number of family judges and resident family judges in each of the sixteen circuits differs. These requirements are outlined in 20-7-1410. Currently there are 52 family judges.
Administrative Law Division Judge:
According to 1-23-500(A), the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division is an agency of the executive branch of the South Carolina government. The Division consists of six administrative law judges. According to 1-23-510(A) of the S.C. Code of Laws, the judges of the division must be elected by the General Assembly in joint session. According to 1-23-510(C), candidates for the Administrative Law Division must be screened and found qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to being presented for election by the General Assembly. Administrative Law Judges are arranged and elected according to seat. Candidates can be from any geographical region in the State.
According to 14-11-20, masters-in-equity must be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the General Assembly. According to 2-19-110, upon a vacancy in the office of master‑in‑equity, candidates therefor shall submit an application to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission. Upon completion of reports and recommendations, the commission shall submit such reports and recommendations on master‑in‑equity candidates to the appropriate county legislative delegations. The county legislative delegations shall then submit the name of a candidate to the Governor for consideration for appointment. Nothing shall prevent the Governor from rejecting the person nominated by the delegation. In this event, the delegation shall submit another name for consideration. No person found not qualified by the commission may be appointed to the office of master‑in‑equity.
According to Article V, Section 26 of the S.C. Constitution, magistrates are appointed for each county by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Recommendations for magistrates are given to the Governor by the county senatorial delegation. On and after July 1, 2001, persons seeking a magistrate position must pass an eligibility test, unless exempted, and must have at least two years education beyond a high school degree. On and after July 1, 2005, persons applying to be a magistrate must have a baccalaureate degree.
According to 14-25-15 of the S.C. Code of Laws, the municipal council appoints each municipal judge.
According to 14-23-30 of the S.C. Code of Laws, the judges of the probate court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective counties for the term of four years. The election for such offices shall be held at each alternative general election, reckoning from the year 1890.
This information has been provided by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission.in reference to: How Judge Elected in SC (view on Google Sidewiki)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Click here for the full article: - Greer woman settles suit against Target | GreenvilleOnline.com | The Greenville News (view on Google Sidewiki)
Article from NRF's Oct 20 blog entry re: insights of what to expect this holiday season if you're a retailer.
Click here for the complete article: Retail's BIG Blog | Top ten holiday trends for 2009 (view on Google Sidewiki)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"Disney's Retail Plan is a Theme Park in Its Stores"
Interesting article in today's NY Times (10/13/09), detailing how Disney is taking a page from Steve Jobs' and Apple's playbook to drastically overhaul its approach to its non-theme park retail operations.
Click here for the full story:Disney Plans Extensive Overhaul of Mall Stores - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
From the AP via wistv.com (10/11/09):
A North Carolina sandwich company is voluntarily recalling some of its pre-packaged sandwiches after tests by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed the presence of Listeria in product samples.
The products from Fisher-Rex Sandwich Co. subject to recall will be identified by a six-digit product code that begins with 01. Products with a five-digit code are not subject to a recall.
The recalled products were distributed to convenience stores, gas stations and other retail stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Click here for the entire article: - NC-based sandwich company issues voluntary recall - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina | (view on Google Sidewiki)
On Thursday, October 8, 2009, a 77-year-old man lost his lower arm after he was bitten by an alligator on a coastal South Carolina golf course. The Fripp Island man was playing the Ocean Creek Golf Course about 3 p.m. Thursday when he was attacked. The man was picking up his ball when a 10-foot alligator pulled him into a nearby pond. The man's golf partners were able to free him. Workers from Tracks Wildlife Control in Beaufort killed the alligator and removed the man's arm. He was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in hopes of reattaching his arm. His condition was unclear early Friday.
Although there are no South Carolina cases directly on point, general principles of common law provide a basis for the analysis of this issue. “Wild animals” are known in legal terms as “ferae naturae.” This terminology refers to animals “of a wild nature” which are undomesticated and untamed. According to the doctrine of ferae naturae, a landowner may not be held strictly liable for the acts of wild animals on his or her land.
The doctrine of ferae naturae, however, does not bar liability for claims based on a landowner’s negligence. In negligence cases, courts have applied the doctrine for the general proposition that wild animals exist throughout nature, they are generally not predictable or controllable, and therefore, without more, they are neither the property nor the responsibility of the owner or occupier of land on which they are found. Thus, where a landowner does not “keep” a wild animal, but, rather, the animal naturally exists on his property the traditional rules of standard of care in premises liability apply. As such, where a landowner is aware of the incidence of wild animals on his property that may pose danger to others on his land, it is in the best interest of the landowner to warn of the presence of those wild animals.
 Black's Law Dictionary, 635 (7th ed.1999).
 4 Am. Jur. 2d Animals § 62 (2009); see also Estate of Hilston ex. Rel. Hilston v. State, 160 P.3d 507 (Mont. 2007); Gamble v. Peyton, 182 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. App. 2005).
 See Palumbo v. State Game & Fresh Water Comm’n, 487 So.2d 352 (Fl. App. 1986) (holding that (1) State and university not taking measures to prevent alligators from moving from state park to adjoining recreational park and not providing alligator spotters were clearly discretionary decisions, not supporting liability, and (2) student's total disregard of clear warnings and regulations present at recreational park was sole proximate cause of his injury).
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Shrinking attendance at USC football games this season is changing the playing field for Columbia-area businesses.
Despite winning all three home games, official attendance at Williams-Brice Stadium is down more than 7 percent so far from last year's season average of 80,529.
Many Columbia-area hotel, restaurant and souvenir store operators say their football-weekend sales have dropped around 10 percent from last year.
Average attendance at USC home football games in the past decade generally has been lower in recent seasons. Lou Holtz coached the team from 1999-2004, and Steve Spurrier took over in 2005. Attendance peaked during the last recession in 2001, which also was the team's high-mark for wins in a season this decade.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Two weeks ago, a pair of Best Buy employees in Colorado tackled a suspected shoplifter in the parking lot after witnessing the man walk by with “a bunch of merchandise in his hand.” While struggling on the ground outside, the suspect pulled a knife and began flailing it around wildly. A store manager trying to calm the situation was cut while the suspect escaped. This weekend, the pair reported being wrongfully terminated from the company and have been pleading their case to the media and public ever since.
A statement released by Best Buy says that their employees are instructed to cease pursuit of a suspected shoplifter once they exit the store. Tackling a suspected shoplifter outside would clearly have been a violation of Best Buy policy. In addition to their failure to follow company policy, the manager injured during the incident certainly doesn’t help their case.
What all retailers have in common is the safety concern for their employees, customers and even shoplifters. While it is difficult to observe a shoplifter getting away, nobody wants to have someone injured for stealing merchandise. Store associates and LP staff should carefully follow their company policy and always exercise good common sense before approaching people who may be stealing.
Click here for the complete blog entry: - Retail's BIG Blog | Safety first: Explaining retail policies on employees apprehending shoplifters (view on Google Sidewiki)
Though some hopeful signs of a recovery have begun to emerge, like better-than-expected sales in August and momentum in the stock market, continued consumer uncertainty over job security and housing values will take a toll on spending this holiday season. And, as retailers become even more promotional, certain popular holiday categories like apparel and electronics may experience deflation due to aggressive sales.
Click here for the full story: - National Retail Federation - NRF Forecasts One Percent Decline in Holiday Sales (view on Google Sidewiki)
From the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 10 things hoteliers should do to succeed. By emulating how leading properties and companies have leveraged these strategies, your organization can increase guest satisfaction, achieve new business, and overcome obstacles in the midst of this current economic climate.
1. Stay on top of local and national legislation.
2. Know where your competition stands, and invest in resources for efficient forecasting and planning.
3. Pay attention to the latest trends and innovations.
4. Be prepared for an emergency.
5. Cut costs by knowing your ROI on every purchase.
6. Better serve guests by comprehensively training your staff.
7. Find tangible strategies for going green.
8. Take action to retain top employees.
9. Have a viable press strategy.
10. Be knowledgeable - tap into the minds of industry frontrunners.
From National Restaurant News:
California Pizza Kitchen Inc. increased its estimated third-quarter earnings projection, and Ruby Tuesday Inc. posted a better-than-expected bottom line result for its latest September-ended quarter. Last week, Darden Restaurants Inc. also reported improved profit.
All three, however, reported negative same-store sales and revenue tallies. Industry observers said a recovery in casual dining is not likely to occur through 2010. Without sales improvements, many casual-dining operations will have trouble continuing to leverage cost-cutting strategies.
Click the attached link for the entire story:
Thursday, October 8, 2009
From Nation's Restaurant News:
The United States Department of Homeland Security has recinded the Social Security "no-match" rule, whick would have forced employers to fire workers because of discrepancies in their Social Security records.
The National Restaurant Association and National Counsel of Chain Restaurants were in support of this rescission. Click on the related article to learn why:
Informative article from today's (10/8/09) NY Times regarding what the hospitality industry is doing to fight off the effects of the latest flu epidemic. According to the article, the actions of hoteliers, airlines, and food service entities can be best described as preventive.
Click on the attached link for the entire article.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
From the American Hotel & Lodging Association:
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) have announced the new Fiscal Year 2010 (FY2010) federal per diem rates, which will take effect on October 1, 2009 and run through September 30, 2010.
The complete FY2010 rates can be viewed on the Internet at the GSA's per diem website, www.gsa.gov/perdiem
Click on attached link from AHLA.com for the entire story on FY2010 per diem.
From National Restaurant News (10/4/09):
Amid an unconfirmed report that salsa may have been tainted with pesticide, Kansas state officials said that a criminal investigation has begun related to two incidences in August in which guests of the Mi Ranchito restaurant here suddenly fell ill while dining.
Read more about this report in the attached article from nrn.com
Bi-Lo customers might have to put "find a new grocery store" at the top of their shopping lists if Food Lion goes through with a plan to buy out the struggling Mauldin, South Carolina-based chain.
Some stores likely would close as a result, forcing shoppers to choose from among a dwindling list of grocery stores in the Midlands.
Read more about the possible effects of the Food Lion-Bi-Lo merger in the related article from The State.
Monday, October 5, 2009
The 2008 National Retail Security Survey was released today (10/5/09) by the National Retail Federation. This year’s shrinkage rate, 1.51%, which translates to $36.3 billion is significantly higher than last year’s shrinkage rate 1.44%.
Two potential causes for this rise in shrinkage: (1) pressures on retail managers to reduce labor costs have them cutting back on LP departments/hours; and (2) customers and employees pressured by the economy have resorted to shoplifting and other shrinkage-related fraud with greater frequency.
From the September 28, 2009, USA Today via the AH&LA SmartBrief, a report advising luxury hoteliers to take special care when hiring their workers through the use of, inter alia, frequent background checks, etc.in reference to: Luxury hotel crime a wake-up call on hotel security - Related Stories - AH&LA SmartBrief (view on Google Sidewiki)
South Carolina's Midlands' two dominant grocery chains appear headed for a merger.
Food Lion parent Delhaize Group said today it's in talks to buy shops and inventory worth $425 million from Mauldin-based Bi-Lo, which sought bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
Delhaize said it was in non-binding talks to acquire "a substantial majority" of Bi-Lo's assets that had revenue of over $2 billion last year.
Belgian-based Delhaize said it intends to integrate Bi-Lo's shops into its Food Lion chain.
Both chains have the largest number of stores in the Midlands.
See the full article in thestate.com: http://www.thestate.com/breaking/story/971791.html
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Like it or not, the holiday shopping season, in all its gift-giving cheer and consumerist frenzy, is well under way.
Though some may criticize, the retailers aver they are only responding to demand.
Interestingly, some 40 percent of consumers begin their shopping before Halloween, usually starting off with decorations before moving on to gifts.
A retail industry report released last week predicted holiday sales will gain in 2009, a year after falling some 5 percent in the first industrywide decline in 40 years.
"Retailers will experience their first non-recession holiday season in three years," said, Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping.
Let's hope for our retailers it will be a good one.
Well written story, outlining the relationship between the slaughterhouses, the grinders, distributors, and retailers.in reference to: Woman’s Shattered Life Shows Ground Beef Inspection Flaws - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)