Mallory Beach boat case: Judge denies request to disqualify attorneys

Posted at 11:54 AM, June 29, 2023 and last updated 10:13 AM, July 3, 2023


HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) — A circuit court judge has denied a motion to disqualify attorneys representing the family of Mallory Beach from a civil case regarding the boat crash that killed Beach in 2019.

Mark Tinsley

Witness Mark Tinsley, attorney for Mallory Beach’s family, answers questions during Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, in Walterboro, S.C. Attorney Murdaugh is standing trial on two counts of murder in the shootings of his wife and son at their Colleton County home and hunting lodge on June 7, 2021. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)

Attorneys for Greg Parker, owner of the Parker’s Kitchen convenience store chain, had argued that Beach family attorneys Mark Tinsley and Tabor Vaux engaged in improper actions. The Beach family is suing Parker’s, along with Alex Murdaugh, for wrongful death. The case is scheduled to be heard in Hampton County Court on August 14.

WATCH: Mallory Beach’s Family Attorney Speaks to Court TV

In a motion filed on June 13, 2023, Parker’s attorneys argued:

“Tinsley should be disqualified based on (1) his improper receipt and review of Parker’s privileged documents; (2) his improper disclosure of privileged information and materials; and (3) his improper communications with a represented person in a related lawsuit. Further, Vaux should be disqualified based on his improper receipt and review of Parker’s privileged information.”

Paul Murdaugh's mugshot

Mugshot taking in the courthouse hallway of Paul Murdaugh (South Carolina Attorney General’ Office)

Beach, 19, was tossed from a boat driven by Paul Murdaugh, who hit a bridge in the early morning hours of February 24, 2019. Paul, 19, was reportedly drunk at the time. He had used his older brother Buster’s ID to illegally purchase alcohol at Parker’s hours before the crash. Beach’s body was recovered seven days later. She had drowned.

Some parties named in the Beach family suit settled, including Buster Murdaugh and the estate of Maggie Murdaugh; but Parker’s and Murdaugh opted to go to trial.

WATCH: Attorney for Mallory Beach’s Family Details Lawsuits

In a separate case earlier this year, Alex was convicted of fatally gunning down his son, Paul, and his wife, Maggie. He’s currently serving a life sentence for those murders.

Paul and Maggie died on June 7, 2021, three days before a hearing was scheduled to take place regarding the boat crash civil suit. Criminal charges against Paul that were still pending at the time, but were formally dropped in August 2021.