This past week, MyrtleBeachSC News covered The Honorable Judge Timothy H. Pogue’s dismissal of an effort by Lawyer Sandye Hicks to declare an Horry County mother unstable.
We included the statements of several victims of Horry County Family Court in our article.
Several members of the Horry County community reached out to us after the article was published. One example is a text we received from Carolina Forest resident Jimmy Whelen.
He writes, “In my opinion Sandye Hicks lied and deceived a S.C. family court Judge in a motion to compel hearing where the opposing counsel, Holly Wall, now Judge Wall was trying to keep my lawyer from deposing the former husband. Holly wall made many false allegations about me during that hearing that were off topic and not relevant to why we were meeting in court that day. We were meeting for a motion to compel that Ms Wall filed in an attempt to keep us from deposing husband #2. She had her own agenda to take the focus away from why we were there. Holly Wall lied to the court telling the Judge that the FaceBook records that we subpoenaed were unreasonable and that her client couldn’t only give us the records from the date of marriage. The judge then ruled in her favor based off of that lie to the court. We later reached out to Ms Wall countering her claim as false after doing a simple 5 minute google search proving her claim as grossly misrepresenting. I’ve later reported this beahavior as well as some other concerning beahavior of Ms Wall that I found to be unprofessional to the SC disciplinary counsel for lawyers.
Ms. Wall handed out and offered prescription drugs during a deposition stating that her husband was a pharmacist and “she gets the good stuff”. The only person that accepted her offer to take prescription drugs was her client. During the motion to compel hearing Sandye Hicks was acting as a GAL in my case. She told the court that she researched the matter about the former husband and found that it was not of relevance to allow my lawyer to conduct a deposition of the Defendant’s former spouse (husband 2 of 4) at age 33, who would have been able to corroborate nearly identical complaints about the pattern of abandoning marriages abruptly likely due to mental instability. My lawyer requested the fee statement that showed where Sandye Hicks did that research. Sandye Hicks refused to respond to the request. The fee statements that we received from Sandye Hicks did not show any research of indicating that was true. Because of this ruling against us and Sandye Hicks’ influence on the court, we were unable to depose husband 2 of 4 at that time. That was a severe set back to my case. I’ve asked Sandye Hicks for an electronic copy of her fee statements and she refused to provide them stating that she already mailed them to me. As a GAL in my case I felt she was hostile and uncooperative. I felt she wrote reports leaving out vital information that would have favored me and as a male plaintiff and seemed to always favor the mother every chance she got.
Sandye Hicks told me the first time we met that it’s proven that a child is better off with it’s mother. It was at that moment that I knew my case would be in jeopardy as a father fighting for custody despite being honest and reporting the mother’s concerning mental and emotional instability. My claims of the mother’s suicidal ideation that I personally witnessed never made it into any of Sandye Hicks’ reports. I tried reporting Sandye Hicks’ nefarious behavior to a random SC family court judge but my letter did not get a response. I contacted the SC Bar Association for Lawyers and was advised that there is no mechanism in SC for disciplining lawyers who are assigned to cases as GALs. They could not help me to report this behavior.“
As the article stated, this mom in our previous article is currently representing herself.
However, on a Facebook post, the local community points out that she was previously represented by attorney Kenneth Massey of Conway, S.C. Attorney Kenneth Massey then pushed the Mom off onto another Conway attorney, James Marshall Biddle. The post also points out all of the connections below.
Attorney Biddle has been a frequent visitor of the South Carolina Supreme Court for ethics violations. He was actually suspended from practicing law for 3 years. Guess who represented Mr. Biddle in his quest to fight those allegations, none other than Attorney Kevin Barth. Wait….it gets worse! Attorney Kevin Barth, of Florence, defended him against multiple violations centered around Probate Court. Attorney Kevin Barth stands out for his highly questionable and suspicious actions related to the Jo Hanna probate case, as reported by Fitsnews.
One of Mr. Biddle’s violations involved Horry County Probate Court. On July 2012, The Probate Judge in Horry County found Mr. Biddle was in “willful contempt” and he was fined. This was after numerous requests to produce documents involving the closing of an estate and the court giving him extensions. Sound familiar?
In another Probate case, Mr. Biddle failed to respond to a client’s repeated urgent requests to help her protect the assets of an estate. He lied to her stating her case had been scheduled for court but it never was. The client had to eventually get another attorney to file a petition to remove the personal representative based on breach of fiduciary duty. This was approximately 18 months after Mr. Biddle was first contacted. Again, this all sounds very familiar.
Mr. Biddle was reinstated to practice law in 2022 but with strict conditions. However, we know that doesn’t mean much in South Carolina.
Mr. Barth is also the attorney at the center of the Jo Hanna probate case. If you remember the attorneys for Craig Hanna (Jo Hanna’s eldest son) have vigorously fought to get the court transcripts from a Probate hearing that took place in October and November of 2022. For over 8 months attorneys have been told there are no transcripts to most recently finding out there are transcripts and Craig Hanna’s attorneys paid for those transcripts in January of 2023. Probate Judge Marvin Lawson who presided over that case has retained his own attorney, Desa Ballard. After a FITSNews article came out concerning the whereabouts of missing transcripts, Ms. Ballard contacted attorney Tucker Player to state it was Mr. Barth who was holding up the process. Per an agreement between attorneys, they were to split the cost of the transcripts but Mr. Barth has never made payment. The Hanna case involves a patient with a terminal illness who was exploited for millions in assets, yet Mr. Barth has stalled this case for months. Time is not a friend of Ms. Hanna’s but this doesn’t seem to be a concern of Mr. Barth’s. We also wonder if Judge Lawson has reported Kevin Barth to the Office of Disciplinary Council for not paying his part.
You might wonder, if this where Mr. Barth’s involvement ends? Nope! As this Mom fought for her kids, experiencing harassment, gaslighting, over $100,000 in fees, she also found out Kevin Barth would be the mediator for her case. BUT WAIT!!! Didn’t Kevin Barth represent attorney Marshall Biddle in his case regarding ethics violations? Conflict of interest? One would think since Biddle was a client of Barth’s, especially concerning violations that disregard the law, Barth and Biddle shouldn’t be conducting any cases together. However, it happened.
The Hanna family has been a victim of Kevin Barth’s sarcastic and outrageous remarks in court but digging a bit deeper we see they aren’t the only victims. It was noted in a court transcript, during a family court mediation, attorney and mediator Kevin Barth left the room to take a call from a expert witness in Texas. We all know phone records can be subpoenaed so that’s a plus, but why would a mediator leave to take a lengthy call during a mediation where the best interest of minor children are involved? Did this Mom have to pay Mr. Barth for the hour he left the room?
What’s more interesting is what’s noted in the court transcript overheard by a witness in that mediation. This person was not a party to the case. After being gone for quite sometime, the witness stated after “about an hour”, Mr. Barth came back into the room. When Guardian Ad Litem Sandye Hicks asked Mr. Barth how his call went, the witness claims with a smile Mr. Barth smugly said “you can get them to say anything if you pay them enough”. Do what? If you want to see the transcript information, please view the comments below. (click embedded Facebook post to see comments.)
Here’s where it gets even crazier. Maybe if Mr. Barth had been more focused on that mediation involving what’s in the best interest of the minor kids, the mediated agreement wouldn’t have been withdrawn. The mediation agreement could have never been endorsed under the law. Again, this was an agreement created by Kevin Barth.
Now this Mom is trying to get the $20.000 back in legal fees she gave Attorney Kenneth Massey. Kenneth Massey wanted off the case and remember sent the Mom to Attorney Marshall Biddle.
There will be a dispute resolution hearing in Florence involving this matter. However, we have also been told Kenneth Massey serves as “Mentor” for Mr. Biddle due to the SC ethics violations and Mr. Biddle will be attending this dispute resolution hearing with Massey. You really can’t make this stuff up.
LAWYER KENNETH MASSEY AND OTHER ISSUES BROUGHT FORWARD ON FACEBOOK POST
As to Carolina Forest resident Whelen, he closed with, “Prior to a potential court litigation for custody Ms Sandye Hicks hired the paralegal that was entrenched in my case. She knew my case better than anyone. Our strategy was to dismiss Ms Sandye Hicks during the trial for her behavior as the GAL in my custody case. I believe she may have sensed that. I think it may have been a strategic move to botch my case by hiring the person who was the heart of my case. This was a gross disruption and grossly unfair to me. While it may have been legal to do so, it was done without regard for what I considered to be in the best interest of my child as well as another move by these lawyers to over bill me. There must have been hundred’s of hours lost as well as knowledge due to Sandye Hicks’ underhanded move to hire the paralegal who played such a huge strategic part in my case.
It was brought to my attention that Sandye Hicks was sued by my lawyer previously so there may have been some underlying vindictive animosity taking place. That’s only my speculation,” writes Whelen.