On October 16, 2014, attorney James R. Snell, Jr., presented during a continuing legal education program to the members of the Lexington County Bar Association. Mr. Snell's presentation was approved by the South Carolina Supreme Court for credit towards the mandatory educational hours licensed attorneys are required to complete on an annual basis.
This program was designed to cover two topics: 1) Improving the client experience; and 2) A DUI update focused on Emma's Law.
The first part of the program was on the topic of improving the client experience. Mr. Snell spent an hour presenting the lawyers in attendance on ideas that they could implement in their own practice. The focus was on low cost or free methods to increase client service using methods implemented by the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. There were specific pieces of advice given that were designed to alleviate many of the common complaints that clients (and not necessarily limited to criminal defense clients) have about interactions with their lawyer's office.
This include recommendations to assist with:
Ensuring that all clients were notified of all court appearances, including the multiple routine pre-trial conferences and hearings that criminal defense lawyers are scheduled for weekly;
Preventing endless game of "phone tag" with clients, and ensuring regular, systematic communication with clients
Educating clients on the steps involved in their case to alleviate their fear of the unknown and ensure that they can remain fully engaged with their defense
The second portion of the CLE presentation was on the area of DUI law with an emphasis on Emma's Law. Emma's Law went into effect state-wide in October, 2014. Mr. Snell invited Mathew Buchanan, General Counsel for the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, to speak regarding his agency's implementation of the new law. Emma's Law doesn't make any substantive changes to DUI law for most clients, but does provide for Interlock device use for all DUI 1st cases where a client cooperates with the breath test procedure and submits a high sample. Emma's Law also provides for extremely high sanctions to those who violate the law (including a potential sanction of up to ten years in prison for using a non-interlock equipped vehicle).