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ABA Reports on the Lawyer and Judicial Disciplinary Systems

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Request for Written Comments on ABA Consultation Team’s
Recommendations Regarding the South Carolina Lawyer and Judicial
Disciplinary Systems

At the request of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, a consultation team sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Professional Discipline conducted an in-depth review of the lawyer and judicial disciplinary systems in South Carolina. In addition to reviewing rules, annual reports and other documentation, this eminently qualified team conducted extensive on-site interviews with personnel within the Office of Disciplinary Counsel; the Office of the Attorney General; members of the Commission on Lawyer Conduct and Commission on Judicial Conduct; respondents and their counsel; complainants; and members of the Legislature. Additionally, they met with the leadership of the South Carolina Bar and with the members of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is delighted to announce that it has received and reviewed the reports prepared by the ABA consultation team, and it is extremely grateful for the recommendations made by the team. They reflect the highly professional and thoughtful approach which the team applied to its review of our lawyer and judicial disciplinary systems. The reports are available on the Judicial Department Website at www.sccourts.org/ABA.

As the team recognized in its reports, this Court is fully committed to improving and modernizing our lawyer and judicial disciplinary systems. While most of the changes recommended by the team do not involve significant changes to the disciplinary process or the protections afforded to the parties in disciplinary matters, several recommendations are significant and will require further study and consideration by this Court. To assist the Court in the review of these recommendations, the Court requests written comments on the ABA recommendations.

Persons desiring to submit written comments regarding the ABA recommendations may do so by filing an original and seven (7) copies of their written comments with the Supreme Court. The comment should clearly identify the ABA recommendation to which the comment is directed (e.g., Recommendation 2, Report on the Lawyer Regulation System). Comments which do not address an ABA recommendation or which involve or reference allegations of misconduct by a specific lawyer or judge will not be accepted for filing as part of this request for written comments. The comments must be sent to the following address:

The Honorable Daniel E. Shearouse
Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of South Carolina
P.O. Box 11330
Columbia, South Carolina 29211

The Supreme Court must receive any written comments by Friday, November 21, 2008. Additionally, the Court requests that an electronic version of the comments in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect be e-mailed to ABARecommendations@sccourts.org.

Columbia, South Carolina
September 18, 2008