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Andy Santaniello speaks at 2014 NCRWA Annual Conference

May 16th, 2014

This past week Andy Santaniello, of our Charlotte office, spoke at the Sheraton Four Season Koury Convention Center for the 2014 North Carolina Rural Water Association’s 37th annual conference and exhibition. He spoke with Neil Carpenter, of Maggie Valley Sanitary District and current president of the NC RWA. They talked about lawsuit we handled about 10 years ago that was a nightmare scenario for a water system. See below for the description of their presentation.

Nightmare on Dogwood Drive is a cautionary tale about a nightmare scenario for everyone involved when a water line leaks. The session will discuss a real, tragic event in the recent history of the Maggie Valley Sanitary District. Through a brief retelling of the event, we will discuss the intersection of many important issues facing utilities. Our topics will include: land use, aggressive development, adoption of privately constructed water systems, maintenance programs, leak detection, and lawsuits. Our goal will be to increase awareness of potential problems facing modern utilities and hopefully prevent future nightmares.

2014 NCRWA 37th Annual Conference Brochure

Filed Under: News

Chris Completes Prestigious Leadership Program

May 12th, 2014

Chris Nickels

Chris Nickels recently completed the rigorous and prestigious 10-month program, Leadership South Carolina. The premier leadership program, the state’s oldest, fosters an understanding of the state’s most pressing issues. Each year, just 50 participants are selected to take part in the highly competitive program.

Nickels says he was inspired to attend Leadership South Carolina after serving on a local leadership committee and seeing what a difference a group of focused individuals can make.

“Motivating others to understand and embrace a vision that has a positive impact on others – that’s what inspires me to be a leader,” says Nickels. “A vision is not always an individual goal. Sometimes it’s a collaboration or evolution of foresight. Being able to establish, share and communicate that vision is how I define leadership.”

During 120 hours of instruction, Leadership South Carolina teaches students to identify assets and areas in South Carolina that need to improve. Each class focuses on a specific project related to the state’s challenges. Nickels and his classmates focused on literacy.

“Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for change by uniting public and private resources to tackle this challenging issue facing many of South Carolina’s children,” says Nickels.

To help increase graduation rates, the class worked to identify low performing schools and then fund them with a Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program. “Our mission was to empower and positively impact these children,” says Nickels. LLI provides teacher training and professional development; students in the program receive 30-minute, intensive lessons that combine reading, writing and phonics/word study.

“I will continue to advocate and work to implement education reforms that benefit our state’s students,” says Nickels. “We need to establish an education system that effectively measures student growth and achievement, honors the rich history and diversity of South Carolina and implements targeted interventions that yield returns on the state’s education investments.”

After Nickels graduated from an affiliated program in 2006, Leadership Charleston, he was “ready to take it to the next level.” Since then, he’s served as town councilman for Mt. Pleasant and on blue ribbon committees formed by local government leaders to assess public education East of the Cooper. Participating in Leadership South Carolina taught him that a combination of strategies is needed to shrink the achievement gap, as is making sure South Carolinians embrace the benefits of educating youth and actively support improvements financially and programmatically. “For me, this means the creation of partnerships between public schools, our communities and businesses. I want to be a participant in the process and not a mere spectator,” says Nickels.

Leadership South Carolina also provides increased access to an informed network of diverse colleagues, peers and mentors from across the state. “I now have many new opportunities to become involved with and bring about positive change in our state,” says Nickels. “As a trained leader, I look forward to opportunities to identify South Carolina’s strengths and areas to improve.”

Filed Under: News

Two Super Lawyers and five Rising Stars

April 25th, 2014

Attorneys Sam Clawson and Ron Jones were recently named as 2014 Super Lawyers. Elizabeth Blackwell, Brittany Boykin, Barrett Brewer, Robb Brown and Christy Fargnoli were named Rising Stars, a list of the top up-and-coming lawyers in South Carolina.

Clawson and Staubes is a full-service law firm committed to excellence, providing clients with quality legal services and innovative solutions for more than 38 years. Our wide variety of areas includes civil litigation, workers’ compensation, commercial law, bankruptcy, corporate law, tax, estate planning, real estate, criminal defense and alternative dispute resolution.

Super Lawyers is a Thomson Reuters rating service that ranks outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The annual service selections are made using a rigorous, multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country.

Sam Clawson
Sam Clawson has served as the managing member of Clawson and Staubes for the past 28 years and has been a Super Lawyer for six consecutive years. He also has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Ron Jones
Ron Jones, a certified specialist in bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law, established the commercial law and bankruptcy section at Clawson and Staubes in 1992. He has been named a Super Lawyer seven years in a row and has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell focuses her practice in bankruptcy, foreclosure and commercial law. This is her first time as a Rising Star.

Brittany Boykin
Brittany Boykin specializes in civil litigation, defending the interests of insurance carriers and the individuals they insure. Her practice focuses on personal injury litigation, transportation and trucking matters. This is her second time as a Rising Star.

Barrett R. Brewer
Barrett Brewer, who holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, has been named a Rising Star for three consecutive years. Brewer’s litigation practice focuses on business and contract disputes, business property and trade secret disputes, banking and lender liability, real estate and property disputes, product and commercial liability claims and negligence claims.

Robb Brown
Robb Brown, Of Counsel, joined the Columbia office in 2013 and focuses on civil litigation and insurance defense. A Rising Star two years in a row, he also has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Christy Fargnoli
Associate Christy Fargnoli practices in the area of general civil litigation, with concentrations in insurance defense, business litigation and municipal law. She’s a Rising Star for the second consecutive year.

Filed Under: News, Press
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Clawson & Staubes Attorneys
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