Disciplinary proceedings

The S.C. Supreme Court has released several disciplinary opinions so far this year, including complaints of criminal conduct, trust account violations, and sex with clients:

A lawyer was suspended for a period of 9 months after 23 complaints were filed on him, including complaints for failing to enter proper fee agreements, failing to diligently pursue matters he was retained on, failing to return clients’ files, failing to appear for a hearing without notifying the court, failing to communicate with clients, failing to return un-earned fees to clients, and failing to respond to disciplinary counsel’s inquiries.

A lawyer was suspended for 90 days for commingling funds that were supposed to be deposited into his trust account, and for failing to respond to disciplinary counsel’s inquiries.

A lawyer received a public reprimand for submitting a false resume to a potential employer and for lying to disciplinary counsel.

A lawyer received a public reprimand for mis-stating and exaggerating his qualifications, experience, and results on his websites.

A lawyer received a public reprimand for having sex with his divorce client (which was discovered by opposing counsel’s investigator).

A lawyer received a public reprimand for failing to deposit client funds into a trust account and for having sex with a client.

A lawyer was disbarred for misappropriating client funds, a conviction for breach of trust with fraudulent intent for which he received a three year prison sentence, for taking out loans in his wife’s name without her knowledge, and for failing to respond to disciplinary counsel.

A lawyer was suspended for 18 months for mismanagement of his trust account/ misappropriation of client funds, resulting from his use of illegal drugs.  Although disbarment is the usual sanction for misappropriation of client funds, this lawyer took great lengths to get clean and to remain clean, and made full restitution.

A lawyer was suspended for 6  months after he (1) was charged with CDVHAN in 2004; (2) pled guilty to trespass and disorderly conduct in June 2008; and (3) pled guilty to possession of unlawful prescription drugs in April 2010; complaints were also filed because he failed to pursue an appeal on behalf of a client (because the client never retained him, after the lawyer filed the notice of appeal with the court), and because he had provided a criminal client’s discovery materials to a co-defendant in the client’s case (he says that the client told him to but that was never put in writing).

A lawyer was suspended for 6 months because he failed to diligently pursue a client’s claim for nearly 10 years.  The lawyer had been disciplined twice already in unrelated matters.

 

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