Author Archives: Haley Sprankle

South Carolina consulting firm’s ‘tentacles’ have created an ‘unprecedented’ political power structure


In South Carolina one political consulting firm represents more than 25 lawmakers, a couple of large state agencies and a quartet of the state’s biggest corporations.

The firm has amassed the kind of power that can steer legislation, push wish lists in the state budget, mold regulations or kill proposals even before they have a hearing. It’s the kind of power that has built the perception that hiring this firm is necessary to getting business done in the state.

Questions over the propriety of that kind of influence are facing Richard Quinn & Associates as the powerful Columbia-area consulting firm remains the focus of a Statehouse corruption investigation that is once again showing signs of life after a two-month public hiatus.

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‘Moonlight’ schooled Hollywood on race. Can it take on school discipline, too?


This year’s Academy Award winner for best picture tackles a difficult topic in the education world today: school discipline. In “Moonlight,” high school boys taunt the main character, Chiron, with homophobic slurs before beating him. The next day, Chiron shatters a chair across the back of the ringleader. Chiron is handcuffed and sent to an alternative school, setting him on the path toward dealing drugs.

While Chiron does become the aggressor, he is ultimately the victim and suffers an utterly cruel punishment for his revenge.

This dichotomy captures the major insight of my recent research on school discipline: that suspensions and expulsions frequently ignore the causes of student misbehavior.

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Elliot Condon receives prestigious scholarship

Emily “Elliot” Condon, a second-year law student, was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Benjamin M. Mabry Scholarship in May 2017.

The Benjamin M. Mabry Scholarship is given annually to a law student from the USC School of Law who is interested in the practice of employment and labor law and demonstrates leadership and academic potential.

Thomas R. Haggard wins prestigious award

Thomas R. Haggard, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law, was named recipient of the section’s 2017 Distinguished Lawyer Award in May 2017.

The Employment and Labor Law Distinguished Lawyer Award is presented annually to an individual nominated and selected by his or her professional peers for meritorious service to employment and labor law practice in the state of South Carolina.