New Office! Wedding Venue! Say What?

By Bettie Kelley Sousa

Recently, Smith Debnam introduced attorney Liz Blackwell, who joined Smith Debnam alumnus and “rejoinder,” Ron Jones, in the newly staked out Charleston, SC, office. Church Street in Charleston may be known for the many beautiful old churches. But move over old money; there’s a new wedding venue in the historic district!

Zoom on. You see, the first closing held in the new Smith Debnam office wasn’t a land purchase or a commercial loan. It was Liz’s contract of marriage! Conducted by Charleston County Probate Judge, Irv Condon, via a Zoom conference, Liz and hubby Graeme Ross, a Canadian physician currently completing a critical care fellowship in Kingston, Ontario, decided to go ahead and tie the knot. But there wasn’t a knot to be seen in a black tie or bow tie. Graeme wore scrubs as did three of his medical buddies, who all connected by videoconference. Liz was radiant in the Smith Debnam conference room, which, by the way, needs some wall hangings. No hand-holding, no eye gazing, no kissing of the bride. But a lovely, sweet, albeit quick ceremony warmed the hearts of those few “in attendance” and those with whom the video has been shared. Afterwards, the Smith Debnam Charleston office folks enjoyed a champagne toast, and the groom was back to the important work of providing health care.

Elizabeth Blackwell

Newly discovered survival skills? Nope. No stranger to natural disasters, Atlanta native Liz was in a joint law / MBA program at Tulane. When? Yep. Katrina. She packed up and moved inland to complete her studies at the University of South Carolina, where she was awarded a J.D. from the School of Law and an MBA in international business from the Darla Moore School of Business in Columbia. Later, it was Graeme, then completing a fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who landed the big prize, Liz—smart, laid back, and quite capable of handling a crisis. Obviously.

A more conventional celebration of their vows is planned for 2021. But in the midst of quarantine-stir-craziness and worries, Liz’s and Graeme’s wedding bells ring a note of optimism. Thanks to Graeme for his service as a medical professional! And thanks to Liz for “christening” the Smith Debnam Charleston office with a joyous contract closing!