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Local attorney can argue in U.S. Supreme Court

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Walterboro attorney Maryann Blake is now sworn to argue cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. “This is the highest court in our country, the court of last resort,” Blake said. And it’s not just a court where an attorney can just file a case. Getting admitted to the court requires a process. “It’s been a goal of mine since attending college at American University in Washington, D.C. While in college, I saw the Court for Oral Argument and I was so impressed. I thought some day, after law school, I want to be able to argue cases before that court. It is such a humbling experience to be able to be in that courtroom and know the major cases that have been argued there.” She sought admission because there are only two other lawyers in Colleton County who are qualified, and she felt she could serve Colleton County and residents of the Lowcountry by offering another option to resolve their cases through the appeals process. However, the court hears only a small percentage of cases that comes before it. Blake has been practicing law in Walterboro since 2006. After attending law school at Rutgers and eventually getting her law degree in Florida, she moved to the Lowcountry to do an internship in Beaufort. “I planned on going back to D.C. But I just ended up staying here.” Her practice is primarily civil law (family law, homeowners associations, construction defect cases, personal injury), but she also does some criminal cases. She also serves as the prosecutor for the City of Walterboro. Her long-term goal is to be a South Carolina circuit court judge, and having the distinction of being able to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court “will help show that I am very serious about the practice of law,” she said. But becoming a state judge is a long and extensive process. To be a circuit court judge requires an exceptionally lengthy application; an extensive background check; interviews with various committees and the S.C. Bar Association; then selection by a state judicial committee, which selects up to three candidates. Then one of the three must be approved by a vote in the S.C. General Assembly. But that’s the future. For now, she’s happy with her U.S. Supreme Court admission. “Being able to help the people of South Caroline is my goal. God has blessed me in so many ways, including being able to practice law in South Carolina. I love Walterboro and want to give back to the community in whatever way I can, whether it be a judgeship, elected office or some other avenue. I love the community. I love the people.” she said.

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