SC Chief Justice “Improperly Lobbying” For Staffer

S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal has been accused of exerting improper influence in a contested judicial race on behalf of Rosalyn Frierson – her longtime court administrator. Frierson – who has no prior experience as a judge – is running for a newly created at-large family court seat, and multiple state…

S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal has been accused of exerting improper influence in a contested judicial race on behalf of Rosalyn Frierson – her longtime court administrator.

Frierson – who has no prior experience as a judge – is running for a newly created at-large family court seat, and multiple state lawmakers tell FITS they have been directly contacted by Toal (a.k.a. “Queen Jean”) and explicitly told to support her candidacy. One lawmaker even accused Toal of personally applying “pressure” on legislators to support Frierson.

Judges in the Palmetto State are elected by the legislative branch. In fact the S.C. General Assembly not only elects judges, its leaders control the slate of candidates via an inherently corrupt screening process.

Rosalyn Frierson
Rosalyn Frierson

Having succeeded in getting her unqualified toady through the screening hurdle, Toal is now twisting arms in an effort to make sure Frierson has the votes to win this week’s hotly contested judicial election.

“Lots of people are getting pressure put on them by the wrong person to vote for (Frierson),” one lawmaker tells FITS.

Who is the “wrong person?”

“The Queen,” the lawmaker told us.

No stranger to corruption, Toal’s advocacy on behalf of her longtime employee is even more curious giving Frierson’s utter lack of qualification.

Last fall the Judicial Qualifications Committee of the S.C. Bar – which is the state’s professional organization for attorneys – found Frierson unqualified to serve as a family court judge given her lack of experience on the bench. That’s when Toal allegedly stepped in – and when black leaders began furiously playing the race card on Frierson’s behalf.

As a result of this political pressure, the S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission formally nominated Frierson as a candidate for this post last November.

Honestly? We’ve got nothing against Frierson. The fact she has no prior experience as a judge doesn’t strike us as a compelling reason to oppose her candidacy. Otherwise every other first time candidate for a position on the bench would have to be shot down. Having said that, her candidacy has been irreparably tainted by the strings pulled to get her name on the ballot – and the strings being pulled to secure her election.

This story is yet another example of corruption in state government – and further evidence of the need to reform the way judges are selected in this state.

FITS has consistently argued that Palmetto State governors should appoint judges with the advice and consent of the State Senate (a.k.a. the federal model). Absent such a change, shady behind-the-scenes deal-making will continue to cloud the integrity of our state’s judicial selection process.


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kc January 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I’m not a particular fan of Toal’s but I don’t believe this story. You need to put up some proof, not your usual anonymous source bullshit.

Doris January 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Call and ask any state senator or house member for confirmation on this issue, kc. Start with Joel Lourie. “She and my daddy were great, great friends,” he has said publicly on more than one occasion.

kc January 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Doris, if it is that’s easy to get legislators to confirm on the record that Toal is “improperly lobbying.” as Folks claims, why doesn’t he do that himself? He’s the one making the allegation.

Roscoe January 30, 2013 at 7:50 am

You are a friend of Toals simply by acting the way you do or either you do not keep abreast of SC politics.

kc January 30, 2013 at 10:50 am

Roscoe, it’s called proof. Put up or shut up.

Smirks January 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Ugh! That picture! Toal has a face that not even a mother could love. Even worse than Helen Thomas. Probably explains her DUIs. If my face were that bad, I’d drink too.

She could probably smack herself over and over again with an ugly stick and come away looking more attractive.

Pee Wee January 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

She’s so ugly that her momma had to tie a pork chop bone around her neck to get the dog to play with her.

shifty henry January 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm

….. come on folks, try to be a little more sensitive, don’t you know that females of lesser beauty get tired of hearing jokes like these?—

1) Her husband was a man a few words: “fetch”….”sit”….

2) The last time she heard a whistle, she was hit by a train

3) She entered an ugly contest and came in first, second and third. She would have come in fourth,but that went to the judge’s sister.

Pee Wee January 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

4) She could make a freight train take a dirt road.

TontoBubbaGoldstein January 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Day-um, Sonny Crockett sure didn’t age well.

interested January 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I am not sure what would qualify one as a judge. But I would think first-hand trial experience in civil and criminal cases would be a required basic foundation. As a “long time court administrator” how does she know how to conduct a trial? (lol, she doesn’t.) The vagueries of the rules of evidence? (she’s clueless).

Aw hell, appoint her. The people of SC deserve to have her as a judge. We deserve it. We deserve it good and hard.

squirrel in te capitol dome January 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

SC Family Court is notoriously corrupt! I once had a legislator, who was the head of the old “Fat and Ugly” caucus, tell me, “We don’t care if the candidate is qualified, it’s who wants them elected how we vote”. This says it all!
One of Queen Jean’s favorite a Family Court Judges, from the upstate, went from Family Court to the Federal Bench, shortly after being appointed by Toal to hear the case.
I’ve also heard a Family Court Judge say,”If I have a hot woman in a divorce, she gets what she wants every time”.

Never January 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

It isn’t just that she has no experience as a judge, she has no experience as a lawyer, either. None. She clerked for a judge. She has been a court administrator. She has never had a client, never argued on a client’s behalf, never cross examined a witness, never earned a legal fee…the “nevers” are too numerous to list. Read her judicial candidate screening. She implies that her proximity to her lawyer husband has prepared her. My dad was a fighter pilot and my wife is a doctor. Does that qualify me to climb in the cockpit of an airplane or start examining patients?

Qualifications, What Qualifications? January 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Worst of all, she’s never gotten her ass kicked in court representing a client. Until that happens, you are not qualified to be a judge on any court except a kangaroo court, which doesn’t bother Toal because she’s only concerned about power and making the good old boy system a good old girl system. Same sin/different gender.

Aloha Steve January 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

Agree 1005 with both of these. Ridiculous. And I completely believe this story to be true, despite being skeptical about other Toal stories.

norman January 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I go along with the ideal qualification for family court Judge should be training as a boxing referee. Let the woman get the thankless POS Judgeship. Wonder when Jean is going to fire off one of her swearing rants?

reasonable January 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Family court judges don’t typically have previous judicial experience. Most judges don’t for that matter, but for those that do come to the bench with experience, their first experience is often in family court.

Frank Pytel January 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Wron answer;

SECTION 63-3-30. Judges’ qualifications and terms.

(A)(1) No person shall be eligible to the office of family court judge who is not at the time of his assuming the duties of such office a citizen of the United States and of this State, and has not attained the age of thirty-two years, has not been a licensed attorney at law for at least eight years, and has not been a resident of this State for five years next preceding his election, and is not a resident of the circuit wherein the family court of which he is a judge is located. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any former member of the General Assembly may be elected to the office of family court judge.

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with the Demlicans and Republicrats in charge.

Frank Pytel

Swingline January 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm


What about that statue implies “judicial experience” as a requisite to you?

The part that reads, “has not been a licensed attorney at law for at least eight years”? That doesn’t equate to “judicial experience.” It doesn’t even equate to experience in the courtroom. You can pass the bar, be sworn in, and go inactive the next day and still be elected to the bench after eight years. At a minimum it implies that you went to an accredited law school and passed the SC Bar. Nothing more, nothing less.

I bet your reading comprehension scores were in the basement as a kid.

Swingline January 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Of course, I would have a typo on statute. C’est la vie.

Frank Pytel January 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

mon erreur

Yeah, but I was doing Trig in the 8th grade.

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with the Demlicans and Republicrats in charge.

Frank Pytel

shifty henry January 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

…… a throwaway off the shelf—-

The judge called the prisoner into his chambers and said sadly, “I’m afraid clemency is impossible in your case. The governor just got indicted.”

Hold Up January 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Nobody thinks a lack of experience as a judge is Toady’s problem, its her lack of experience as a lawyer. She’s never practiced. She clerked for Justice Finney and then he and Toal put her in charge of Court Administration, which is what it sounds like. She will be the least experienced person in the courtroom when she presides on Day 1 unless she starts off with two pro se litigants, and even then it’s a toss-up.

Toal wants to put another Toady named Stephanie Nye in charge of court administration to give her a pay bump and to put Freirson on the bench for (1) the usual ego stroke that gives an attorney, and (2) judicial retirement. The fact that Toal has to completely ignore the law and ethics doesn’t matter to her because she has declared herself above both.

Maybe somebody should report all of this to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel — never mind.

Invisible hired help January 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Rosalyn Frierson was head of court administration a few years ago when Barbara Seymour, Deputy ODC, hired her brother’s knocked up girlfriend as a paralegal for about 95 days. The brother, Michael Virzi was himself an ODC lawyer at the time. Virzi married the girl as his wife #3. The new Mrs. Virzi quit the job and had the baby in a few months. Virzi’s state health insurance paid the baby’s bill at Richland Memorial and the new wife used her own state health insurance – acquired during her 95 days of work as Seymour’s paralegal, to pay for her stay at the hospital. Toal and Frierson approved it all. This incident alone – there are others – should let all legislators know that Rosalyn does not have the strength to say No to Queen Jean – even when the request is at a minimum unethical.

Law Student January 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Michael Virzi is now an asshole USC law school professor. His greatest claim to fame is his side job of representing lawyers before his sister who is somehow in charge of attorney discipline for CJ Toal.

USC law student II January 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Will, you should have a poll asking which Virzi is more corrupt: Barbara Seymour or her assole brother Michael? Michael is telling people his sister will be the head of the ODC soon. Whatever that is.

Staffer January 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

None of the candidates have any prior experience as a judge you dumbass. I think what you are trying to say is that Frierson doesn’t have any experience practicing in Family Court. She has just run it from an administrative standpoint.

Also, what is wrong with Judge Toal having an opinion? Why is that improper?

interested January 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

When I read that with a Toal Charleston drawl I peed my pants just a little. Please forgive us, Madam Chief Justice.

Staffer January 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

She was born in Columbia and has never lived in Charleston. She has a beach house on the Isle of Palms but her accent develop long before that was built.

Original Good Old Boy January 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm

What’s improper, Staffer, is your reading comphrehension. He’s not saying Toal has no right to an opinion. He’s saying Toal is exerting undue influence on the process by pressuring lawmakers.

scsince60 January 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Frierson has the only qualification that matters.

Carpe Jugulum January 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Another example of why lawyers are viewed with utter disdain and are avoided by polite society. The only people who can stand to be around lawyers are other lawyers. They desperately posture to be thought of as respectable, intellectual, and insightful. It just doesn’t seem to sink in, or faze them, that their profession is viewed as ranking alongside used car salesman and telemarketers. Used car salesmen and telemarketers are reportedly offended by the comparison. Queen Jean is a prime example (Exhibit #1). When she looks in the mirror she sees Atticus Finch in a judicial robe. Everybody else sees Joe Isuzu with a glass of scotch in one hand and Jake Knotts “do” list in the other. In a profession of “slip and fall” hacks, she indeed reigns supreme.

This is really nothing to get excited about. This is the best the legal profession can do. As with intellectually delayed children, their horizons are low. When is the last time you heard a parent or teacher encourage anybody to go to law school (such as it is in SC)? Tattoo artist are more respectable and have a better career path. Only in South Carolina could someone “pass the bar” and then wander around saying, “it’s a sweepstakes!” With Queen Jean, the state Bar got exactly what it deserved and was destined to get. There are no surprises here.

Original Good Old Boy January 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm

And what is your profession, sir?

I do agree that 95% of lawyers give the remaining 5% of us a bad name.

shifty henry January 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm

…. excellent post, and are you referring to comments such as—-

Two lawyers were walking down the street when a most beautiful, sexy girl passed by them. One lawyer turned around to watch her and said, “Man-o-man, I would really like to screw her!” His friend asked him, “Out of what?”

Democrat Queen January 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I have spoken. You will listen.

Sarge January 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Jean used to have Jakie Knotts contact and stiff arm Senators for her to let other senators know who she wanted elected. She’s got 3 house members (lawyer legislators she owns with her keeping their ODC files in her office) that can use to let house members know how she wants them to vote. This has been going on for years. Frierson is not as bad as McBride….but she is not ready to be a Family Court judge.

shifty henry January 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

…. to Carpe Jugulum, are you saying that the problem with lawyers is–

If I gave you an orange, I’d simply say, “I give you this orange.”

But when the transaction is entrusted to a lawyer he puts down —–

“I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interest, rights, title, claim and advantages of and in said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp and pits and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut and otherwise eat the same, or give the same away with and without the rind, juice, pulp and pits, anything herein before or herein after or in any other deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.”

Then another damn lawyer comes along and takes it away from you!

Patriot January 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Does this really surprise anyone? The Chief-Drunk, er I mean Chief Justice can do anything without any reprecussions. She is more of a disgrace than any politician in this state. Let’s talk about all the DUIs that disappear or hit and runs that are dropped. She should have been impeached years ago.

For Real January 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Yeah .. ethics reform, my ass! Tens of thousands of South Carolinians are fed up with the rogues in our government.

Time to protest and demand resignations … We also need repeatedly failed bill that allows voter recalls to be had rammed down every single member of the House and the Senate’s God Damn throats.

For Real January 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Toal needs to be taught a lesson. If the General Assembly will not do it, others will.

This corruption has crossed the line one too many fooking times.

Punish that drunk!

Sarge January 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The Feds? Oh hell no. Bill Nettles and Alex Sanders are owned by Jean Toal. Ask either of them: They love Jean, blah, blah, blah. Keels’ balls are smaller than sesame seeds when discussing Jean Toal.

9" January 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Prepare to be outraged,but I heard people are also…, human beings;The horror! The horror!

shifty henry January 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

…. Will, I did have to go back to read the headline – in haste I misread the last word as “STIFFER” and I was trying to figure out what word came next………..

Mad January 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

You want judic reform? Start by firing that corrupt two-face lying bitch Jean Toal.

Hmmmm January 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Sic, and you think appointments by the governor would be less corrupt??? That’s absolutely nuts.

interested January 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

Appointed judges with this Governor? Oh gee, you’d have nothing but young smartass and unqualified women appointed.

Racists don’t want judges voted on by the people, because let’s face it, you’d have more black judges and for some that is not good.

Legislators like having judges elected by the legislature, because that’s their “plan B” if they lose their seat or just get tired of keeping that shit eating grin and shaking the filthy hands of the serfs. It is a way to hold on the power they so desperately slit throats to obtain.

shifty henry January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

…. it surprises that SubZeroIQ is absent from this discussion – could Toal have intimidated her?

jeffy01 January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

I like that dudes jacket in the picture. He needs to shave though

Invisible hired help January 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Ms. Frierson was defeated today. Maybe the legislature is finanally understanding Queen Jean is a lying, corrupt person. Let’s only hopw so.


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