Justice For All

Posted on August 11, 2017


Justice John Cannon Few

Justice John Cannon Few

Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court John Cannon Few addressed the South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting on June 9, 2017 in Columbia. As Chairman of the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission (Commission), Justice Few assured the Board that he, on behalf of the Court and Commission, fully supports and sincerely appreciates the work that SCLS does for the low income citizens of South Carolina.

Justice Few discussed the work that Commission is doing to promote pro bono attorney-volunteers in the state. He discussed the fact that even though SCLS closed over 8,200 cases last year, there are many deserving applicants who are unable to obtain an attorney due to SCLS’s limited resources. One of the strategies that Commission has used to address this pressing issue is to help recruit and encourage pro bono participation among the lawyers in South Carolina.

A native of Greenwood, Justice Few understands the challenges facing South Carolinians who live in the rural areas. While SCLS has nine offices throughout the state, low income South Carolinians sometimes have difficulty getting to those offices due to problems with transportation. As a result, these people have an even greater obstacle to access to justice.  He discussed a project that Susan Ingles, SCLS Consumer Law Unit Head, has started in Pickens County – Debt Collection Defense Clinic.  It’s one of the ways in which SCLS tries to meet the legal needs of those in the rural areas.

A native of Greenwood, Justice Few understands the challenges facing South Carolinians who live in the rural areas.

A long time dedicated fighter for social justice, Justice Few talked about the ways in which the legal profession has changed, making it harder to meet the legal needs of the community.  Years ago, lawyers lived and were involved in the communities they served.  They were able to help even those who could not afford to pay for legal services.  Today’s economic pressure on lawyers leaves more and more individuals with unmet legal needs.  SCLS is one of the very few organizations in the state working to fill that justice gap.

Very complimentary of the work that the SCLS staff is doing, Justice Few applauded the Board of Directors for the hard work they do in overseeing and directing the law firm. He stated that he was proud of the work that SCLS is doing and suggested to the Board that they too should be proud of the work being done there.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Justice Few presented Adam Protheroe the 2017 Ellen Hines Smith Legal Services of the Year Award. Presented annually to an attorney at SCLS, the award is named for Ellen Hines Smith, a former director of SCLS Spartanburg office and champion for access to justice in South Carolina. In presenting the award, Justice Few discussed Adam’s many accomplishments, including his work with the Commission and the Young Lawyers Division on an incubator program for pro bono services by new attorneys in landlord-tenant disputes.

Justice Few’s initiatives with the Access to Justice Commission is of significant assistance to SCLS’s mission.  SCLS Board of Directors Chair Jim Stuckey and SCLS Executive Director Andrea Loney also are members of the Commission.

Rusty Infinger
Deputy Director of Operations/General Counsel

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