South Carolina Law Review symposium addresses the opioid crisis on February 8

The South Carolina Law Review’s 2019 symposium, “The Opioid Crisis and the Practice of Law,” will be held on Friday, Feb. 8 and will examine the implications of the opioid epidemic on the practice of healthcare and tort law, as well as legislative and law enforcement efforts in response to this national crisis. The symposium will be held at the University of South Carolina School of Law, 1525 Senate Street, and has been approved for 4.75 hours of CLE credit.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that in 2017 over 42,000 deaths were attributable to opioid overdoses, with approximately 2.1 million people characterized as having an opioid use disorder. These chilling statistics have spurred great national concern, leading President Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in October of 2017.

While the efforts of lawmakers have the potential to curtail the crisis, determining the appropriate balance between government intervention and access to prescription opioids is nothing short of a challenge. Questions concerning rehabilitation, addiction treatment drugs, and Good Samaritan laws will continue to arise and difficult trade-offs will be required by any response employed. These issues and more will be addressed during the South Carolina Law Review’s symposium.

Because of the problem's complexity, interdisciplinary speakers and panelists will be a central aspect of this year's symposium with local and national experts from academic, legal, medical, pharmaceutical and law enforcement agencies, including many dealing with the crisis right here in South Carolina:

- The Honorable Bruce Williams of the South Carolina Court of Appeals
- SC Senator Tom Davis, R-Beaufort
- Christie Frick, Director of the Prescription Monitoring Program for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- Andy Moorman, Narcotics Deputy Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office
- Joseph F. Rice, Motley Rice LLC
- E. Fielding Pringle, Chief County Public Defender for Richland County
- Rick Hubbard, Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office
- Craig Burridge, South Carolina Pharmacy Association
- Leon Lott, Richland County Sheriff’s Department

The keynote address will be given by James Hodge of Arizona State University Law School, whose scholarship focuses on topics within public and global health law, including emergency legal preparedness, obesity law and policy, vaccination laws, and public health information privacy. Symposium attendees will also hear from Luther Strange, formerly a United States Senator from Alabama and Alabama’s Attorney General, who plans to speak on opioid litigation involving local governments.

A full list of speakers can be found at the South Carolina Law Review's website,

For those seeking CLE credit, the cost of the symposium is $50 through Monday, Jan. 28, and $75 thereafter. The symposium is FREE for anyone not seeking CLE credit, however registration is still requested for all attendees by going to

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