COLUMBIA — The Legislature seated Daniel Martin of Charleston on the Family Court to fill the seat formerly held by F.P. “Charlie” Segars-Andrews.
The judicial election capped off a controversial nominating process with little fanfare. Martin, 47, was elected by the lawmakers on a voice vote after his two challengers for the Ninth Circuit seat, Ben Mack and Judge James Turner, both of Charleston, withdrew.
Segars-Andrews’ term ended June 30. She tried to keep her job, but lawmakers deemed her unqualified because of her actions in a divorce case. The state Supreme Court upheld the decision, although ethics experts had found Segars-Andrews’ handling of the case to have been within the law.
Segars-Andrews is now in private practice in Mount Pleasant.
Martin served nearly four years as a part-time magistrate for Charleston County from 1989 to 1993. Since 1989, he has practiced at 61 Morris St. with his father and namesake, Daniel E. Martin Sr. His experience is in the general practice of law with a concentration in domestic relations and real estate. He served on Lincolnville’s town council from 1991-98.
Along with Martin, the Legislature elected by acclamation three new judges to the Circuit Court and re-elected two judges for another term on the Court of Appeals. The election process took about five minutes and did not include any nominating speeches.
The candidates were screened and found qualified and nominated by the S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission, of which lawmakers are members.
Judges Paul Short of Chester and Bruce Williams of Columbia were re-elected to the Court of Appeals.
DeAndrea Gist Benjamin of Columbia, Letitia Verdin of Greenville and Stephanie Pendarvis McDonald of Charleston were elected to the Circuit Court.
McDonald, 42, was licensed to practice law in 1994. Her experience includes service on the S.C. Commission on Judicial Conduct and as prosecutor for the S.C. Attorney General’s Criminal Domestic Violence Task Force.
She is currently a managing partner with Senn, McDonald & Leinbach, LLC. Her practice focuses on the defense of public officials, law enforcement agencies, state agencies, and local governments in state and federal courts.