Food Halls and mixed-use projects

By Michael K. Hatch Attorney at Law Over the past several years, the nation has experienced a “food hall” boom, as commercial real estate developers have incorporated the open eatery concepts into mixed-use projects. What’s a “food hall?” Think of it as a mall food court, only with higher-quality outlets as opposed to the traditional […]

Posted on April 23rd, 2018

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Cassell serving as president of York County Bar Association

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys attorney Melissa Cassell is the York County Bar Association’s new president. She was elected this month to a one-year term. Cassell has served on the Bar’s Executive Committee for the past three years, including as vice president for the past year. Cassell, who joined Morton & Gettys […]

Posted on March 20th, 2018

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Morgan joins family law team at Morton & Gettys

Rock Hill, SC – A passionate and committed advocate for children, Lynelle Morgan is the newest member of the family law team at Morton & Gettys. She has joined the firm as an associate. Morgan’s practice will include a wide range of family law matters, including separation, divorce, child custody, alimony, child support, equitable distribution […]

Posted on February 6th, 2018

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Elizabeth Smith Owen named to next Liberty Fellows class

Elizabeth Smith Owen, a partner with Morton & Gettys law firm in Rock Hill, S.C., is one of 21 leaders from across the state who have been chosen for Liberty Fellowship’s 14th class. They will be joining the broader network of 290 Liberty Fellows working collaboratively as an engine of change for South Carolina. “Adding […]

Posted on January 9th, 2018

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Self-representation in Magistrate’s Court

By Nate Pierce, Attorney At Law Have you been served with a lawsuit that’s in a South Carolina Magistrate’s Court? Don’t worry, it’s not just you. We field calls every day from people who have just had someone knock on their door and hand them papers. It’s a scary situation. Very few people are prepared […]

Posted on November 17th, 2017

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The basics of prenuptial agreements

By Elizabeth Smith Owen, Attorney At Law Prenuptial agreements, often called antenuptial or premarital agreements, are contracts between prospective spouses made before marriage. The content of prenuptial agreements can vary, but they generally define prospective spouses’ non-marital and marital property, as well as include provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event […]

Posted on November 17th, 2017

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Will the Palmetto State Way spread to D.C.?

By Melissa Cassell, Attorney At Law The head of South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce may soon run the Wage and Hour Division at the Federal Labor Department in D.C. The terms “workforce” and “labor” may seem synonymous, but a quick reflection on policies, statutes and history tells us South Carolina deliberately left “labor” […]

Posted on November 17th, 2017

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Making your final wishes known

By Joe Raad, Attorney At Law The Health Care Power of Attorney and the Living Will (technically called the “Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death”) have been a part of South Carolina law for more than 25 years. Both are generally termed “Advanced Directives.” The term “Living Will” can be misleading. The document has […]

Posted on November 17th, 2017

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Morton & Gettys welcomes Close as an associate

ROCK HILL, SC – Morton & Gettys is welcoming Claude Close as our newest associate. A familiar face to our clients who officially joined as an attorney today, he plans to concentrate his legal practice on real estate and commercial law. A 2017 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, Claude served […]

Posted on November 14th, 2017

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Morton & Gettys honored in 2018 Best Law Firms in America

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys is being included in the just-released 2018 Best Law Firms in America in the practice area of Trusts & Estates Law. Morton & Gettys is listed among Tier 2 law firms in the Rock Hill area. It’s the second year in a row the firm has been […]

Posted on November 3rd, 2017

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John Gettys: Mayor-elect of Rock Hill!

Our own John Gettys is now the mayor-elect of Rock Hill, SC! In an election held on Halloween, John – a partner in this law firm — was elected to become the city’s first new mayor in two decades. And we couldn’t be prouder. With 36 of 39 precincts reported, Gettys had won with 53 percent […]

Posted on November 1st, 2017


Morton & Gettys welcomes Rock Hill native Pierce as an associate

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys’ newest associate is Nate Pierce, a Rock Hill native who’s returning to his hometown to practice law after a year-long judicial clerkship. He plans to focus his practice on civil litigation. Pierce graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2016. During his three […]

Posted on August 28th, 2017

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Gettys, Vann, Raad included in 2018 Best Lawyers in America

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The just-released edition of Best Lawyers in America honors three Morton & Gettys attorneys: John Gettys and Joshua Vann in real estate law and Joe Raad in trusts and estates. Raad is appearing in Best Lawyers in America for the fifth time. Gettys and Vann are making their debuts in […]

Posted on August 15th, 2017

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Mechanic’s lien law in South Carolina

A mechanic’s lien is a legal way for contractors, subcontractors or suppliers to collect money owed to them for projects of all sizes – anything from a simple home renovation to a multi-million-dollar development. Repairs to a building and well-digging also are covered. In South Carolina, they’re created by S.C. Code Ann. § 29-5-10, and […]

Posted on June 15th, 2017

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Tax classes for companies: How should I structure my business?

By Melissa G. Cassell The first question any entrepreneur faces is what type of business to create and what legal entity to use. The answer typically determines which forms to file and what taxation the company will have (at least initially). Here is a summary of the options: Sole Proprietorship – default taxation for single-owner […]

Posted on May 19th, 2017

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A sobering decision: South Carolina Supreme Court ruling changes liquor license limits

By Dan Ballou South Carolina historically has limited the number of liquor licenses a retailer could own to three.  A recent court ruling, though, will dramatically change the regulatory landscape in which liquor retailers operate, if the ruling stands. The three-store rule had been justified by the broadly defined “police” power of the General Assembly […]

Posted on May 4th, 2017

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Affinity Health Center breaks ground on new facility in Tech Park

ROCK HILL, SC – Affinity Health Center has broken ground for a 30,000-square-foot facility in Tech Park that will become its new main site when it opens next year. Affinity’s four satellite sites are expected to remain open to continue serving the entire York County. Affinity, formerly known as Catawba Care, is a community health […]

Posted on May 3rd, 2017

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Smith discusses collaborative law on WRHI talk show

Morton & Gettys partner Michael Smith was a guest on WRHI’s “Close Up” recently to talk about collaborative divorce, an innovative approach to family law he’s working to bring to the Rock Hill community. Collaborative divorce involves a team of professionals working to help guide parties toward solutions, rather than engaging in costly litigation. The […]

Posted on April 28th, 2017

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John Gettys announces run for mayor of Rock Hill

John Gettys, a co-founder of Morton & Gettys, has announced his intention to run for mayor of Rock Hill, S.C. Gettys announced on Wednesday, March 29, that he would file in August for the nonpartisan October election for the office. The previous day, it had been announced that longtime Mayor Doug Echols would not run […]

Posted on March 29th, 2017

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John Gettys selected for Furman’s Riley Institute program

John Gettys, a partner with Morton & Gettys, Attorneys at Law, is one of 44 leaders selected to participate in the 10th Midlands class of the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative this spring. The DLI program trains participants to understand their diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. They come […]

Posted on February 14th, 2017

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Smith discusses collaborative divorce on WRHI talk show

Morton & Gettys partner Michael Smith was on WRHI’s “Straight Talk” recently to discuss collaborative divorce, a new approach to family law that he’s helping bring to the Rock Hill community. This exciting new concept involves a team of professionals working to help guide parties toward mutually agreeable solutions, rather than engaging in conflict and […]

Posted on December 5th, 2016


Morton & Gettys honored in Best Law Firms in America

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys is being included in the just-released 2017 Best Law Firms in America for its work in Trusts & Estate Law. Morton & Gettys is listed among Tier 2 law firms in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area, an area that includes Rock Hill. In 2016, a mere 16 total […]

Posted on November 17th, 2016


Collaborative divorce could be a better way

The term “collaborative divorce” at first seems like an oxymoron. How can people who are ending a relationship work together? How can the concept of collaboration, which typically involves creation, come into play when a marriage is breaking up? At Morton & Gettys, we are excited about this concept. Family law attorney Michael Smith has […]

Posted on November 11th, 2016

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Writing your own will is not such a good idea

Joseph L. Raad, Attorney At Law A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client – unknown This often-heard saying is never more true than when it comes to writing a Will.  A lawyer, specifically one who specializes in estate planning, is necessary to make sure this important document is properly […]

Posted on November 11th, 2016

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Join us in YorkCountySCGives on GivingTuesday 2016

Morton & Gettys is proud to again be a sponsor of #YorkCountySCGives, the local initiative that’s part of the international #GivingTuesday movement. The annual initiative takes place this year on Nov. 29  – that’s the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when many people traditionally begin holiday shopping. The GivingTuesday movement asks people to […]

Posted on November 11th, 2016


Commercial lease transaction? Tenant, beware!

By Joshua B. Vann Commercial leases present particular headaches to potential tenants in South Carolina.  There is often a great disparity between potential landlord and potential tenant in bargaining power and in knowledge regarding what is and what is not customary. To further complicate matters, inexperienced tenants in commercial leases often are unaware that they […]

Posted on November 11th, 2016

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Palmetto Focus: A conversation about the consequences of Act 388

On Nov. 15 at Winthrop University, our own Elizabeth Smith Owen will moderate a discussion of the consequences of a major change in South Carolina’s tax law. Ten years ago, the South Carolina General Assembly passed Act 388, which shifted the burden of paying for public school operations from homeowners to businesses and onto an […]

Posted on November 4th, 2016

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Raad included in 2017 Best Lawyers in America

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Joseph L. Raad, a senior counsel with Morton & Gettys, is profiled in the just-released 2017 Best Lawyers in America for his work in Trusts & Estates Law. A state-certified specialist in South Carolina Estate Planning and Probate Law, Raad has been included in six consecutive editions of Best Lawyers. […]

Posted on August 18th, 2016

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Lancaster County considering wholesale changes to development ordinance

By Dan Ballou Property owners in Lancaster County should be aware that the County is in the final stages of a wholesale rewrite of the Uniform Development Ordinance, or UDO, that establishes zoning and development regulations for all real property  in the unincorporated areas of Lancaster County.  In June 2015, the County approved a moratorium […]

Posted on July 11th, 2016

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South Carolina separation or divorce: What NOT to do

By Elizabeth Smith Owen When family law litigation is ongoing or being anticipated, tension runs high and too often emotions, rather than intellect, control the actions of litigants.  An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can bring a sense of professional clarity to an emotionally difficult time.  Therefore, it is incredibly important to seek the […]

Posted on June 3rd, 2016

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New hires: What to know before you pay

By Melissa G. Cassell Growing up, summertime was primetime for making money – whether in between school years or looking for your first real job. Now, all grown up, you find yourself on the hiring side of the table and you wonder how to negotiate employee compensation. If hiring for a temporary position, you may […]

Posted on June 1st, 2016

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Safeguard your estate planning documents

By Joseph L. Raad All too frequently, clients call this law firm asking for a copy of their Will or other estate planning document because they cannot locate the original. My first response is to tell them that if they cannot find the original document, they really don’t have a Will. This is because in […]

Posted on June 1st, 2016

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Beating the competition: The art of crafting non-compete agreements

By Dan Ballou ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – In today’s business world, the value of a company is often defined as much by information and relationships as by the actual products or services provided.  At the same time, employees are more transient than ever before, and employers need to know that when (not if) change […]

Posted on May 18th, 2016

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South Carolina Responsible Father Registry helps dads protect rights

By Michael B. Smith Men who want to make sure their parental rights are protected have an easy way to do that in the Palmetto State. It is called the South Carolina Responsible Father Registry, and it is free and convenient to use. The registry is open to any man who has fathered a child […]

Posted on May 3rd, 2016

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Morton serving on York County Free Clinic Advisory Council

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – James Morton, one of the founding partners of Morton & Gettys, has been appointed to the serve on the York County Free Clinic Advisory Council. The facility, located in Rock Hill, is the only non-profit medical clinic in York County. It operates without government subsidies, serving uninsured low-income adults ages […]

Posted on April 28th, 2016

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DIY Corporate Law: Great expectations turn into unexpected consequences

By Melissa G. Cassell Many of us are reared to save money by rolling up our sleeves and putting in sweat equity, but sometimes we really should call a professional. Just as we would not tackle a bathroom addition in our home without professional help, a business owner or entrepreneur should not tackle the formation […]

Posted on March 31st, 2016

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South Carolina DUI videotaping law protects the rights of those accused

By James Morton Law enforcement officers are bound by the laws that spell out how they must conduct DUI investigations. Those laws are designed to protect the rights of the accused and to provide the best information should the case go to trial. In South Carolina, the requirements include videotaping DUI investigations and arrests. It’s […]

Posted on March 21st, 2016

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Even prescription medication can trigger a DUI charge

By James Morton At Morton & Gettys, we frequently represent clients who are facing DUI charges where the officer alleges their driving was impaired by drugs instead of alcohol. Quite often in these cases the driver’s breath sample registers less than a 0.08 alcohol level. Despite being below the legal blood alcohol content limit in […]

Posted on March 14th, 2016

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Drunk driving field sobriety tests explained

By James Morton You have seen it in the movies and on television shows: Someone is pulled over, and the police officer asks him to stand on one leg and recite the alphabet. What is the purpose of this strange-looking exercise? It is part of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) series administered roadside to […]

Posted on March 7th, 2016

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Owen joins York County Community Foundation Board of Trustees

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Elizabeth Smith Owen, a partner at Morton & Gettys, is the newest member of the York County Community Foundation Board of Trustees. The foundation was established in 1988 with a goal of increasing the charitable resources available in the community. What began 28 years ago with one, $10,000 grant has […]

Posted on February 16th, 2016

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Kimbrell, Savage promoted to Senior Paralegal

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys has promoted Jill Kimbrell and Courtney Savage to the position of senior paralegal. Both earned the title by virtue of their number of years’ experience, their levels of skill and professionalism and their educational backgrounds. Kimbrell, a graduate of Winthrop University, started at Morton & Gettys in […]

Posted on February 9th, 2016


Owen updates principals on legal issues

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys partner Elizabeth Smith Owen provided a group of school principals with a legal update as part of an on-going professional development and networking program for education leaders associated with the Olde English Consortium. Owen’s presentation was part of a series of monthly meetings sponsored by the Olde […]

Posted on February 2nd, 2016

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Vann honored with Acquisitions International 2015 Legal Award

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Acquisitions International, a global magazine that prides itself as being “The Voice of Corporate Finance,” has honored Morton & Gettys partner Joshua B. Vann with a 2015 Legal Award. In order to earn inclusion in the annual publication, attorneys must be nominated by a client or peer. The magazine’s more […]

Posted on January 5th, 2016

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A living trust can ease financial planning and estate concerns

By Joseph L. Raad Family problems!  Tax problems!  The living trust may be helpful in solv­ing them all.  And you don’t have to be a multi‑millionaire to take advantage of the living trust’s problem solving capacity. The reason for the living trust’s effectiveness in solving problems is twofold.  The living trust is a distinct legal […]

Posted on November 9th, 2015

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Increasing South Carolina auto insurance coverage can increase protection

By J. Richards McCrae In another article, I explained South Carolina auto insurance coverage requirements and why those minimums are not enough when a person has been involved in a major accident. I advise my clients to, whenever possible, increase bodily injury and property damage coverage beyond the minimums of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per occurrence/$25,000 […]

Posted on November 9th, 2015

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Full coverage auto insurance might not be enough

By J. Richards McRae III When people come to see me after a car wreck, one of the first things I ask is to see their auto insurance declarations page. Your declarations page is the document that summarizes the types and amounts of coverage provided under your auto insurance policy. It is a document that […]

Posted on November 9th, 2015

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Morton & Gettys backs new RockHillGives initiative

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys has joined a dozen local agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals to bring #GivingTuesday, a national movement that celebrates generosity, to Rock Hill. The initiative, #RockHillGives, encourages people to contribute time, needed supplies or money to their favorite local causes on Dec. 1. That date is the Tuesday […]

Posted on October 21st, 2015


Duncan appointed to Cultural and Heritage Commission

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – James David Duncan, an associate with Morton & Gettys, has been appointed to the York County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Duncan was sworn in as a member of the seven-member commission on Sept. 28. His term runs through July 2017. The panel provides oversight and guidance to York County Cultural […]

Posted on October 16th, 2015

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Morton & Gettys welcomes Dan Ballou as Senior Counsel

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Daniel J. Ballou, a veteran attorney who has more than 20 years’ experience trying cases in South Carolina courts, has joined Morton & Gettys as senior counsel. Ballou began practicing in Rock Hill in 1993. At Morton & Gettys, he’ll focus on trial and appellate work, including commercial and construction […]

Posted on August 21st, 2015

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Raad listed in 2016 Best Lawyers in America

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Morton & Gettys senior counsel Joseph L. Raad is included in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America, a publication widely regarded as one of the country’s leading directories of legal professionals. Raad is listed in the just-released edition in the practice area of Trust and Estates, the fifth consecutive year […]

Posted on August 18th, 2015

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