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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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2007-11-15-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In re: Amendments to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules


ORDER


By Order dated April 4, 2007, the Court amended Rules 413 and 502, SCACR, pursuant to a request from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Among other things, these amendments eliminated the subpanel process in disciplinary proceedings. However, several provisions within the rules continue to refer to the subpanel process or to Rule 26(c)(7), which was deleted by the amendments to Rule 413 and Rule 502.

Therefore, pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, we hereby amend Rules 413 and 502, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, as set forth in the attachment to this Order. This order is effective immediately.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/James E. Moore                             J.

s/John H. Waller, Jr.                           J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

Columbia, South Carolina
November 15, 2007


RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR

RULE 5
DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL

. . .

(b) Powers and Duties. Disciplinary counsel shall have the authority and duty to:

(1) receive and screen complaints, refer complaints to other agencies when appropriate, conduct preliminary investigations, recommend to an investigative panel of the Commission and upon authorization conduct full investigations, notify complainants about the status and disposition of their complaints, make recommendations to an investigative panel on the disposition of complaints after full investigation, file formal charges when directed to do so by an investigative panel, prosecute formal charges, and file briefs and other appropriate petitions with the Supreme Court;

. . .

RULE 14
TIME, SERVICE AND FILING

. . .

(b) Extending and Diminishing Time Prescribed by These Rules.

(1) By the Commission. The chair of the Commission, the vice-chair of the Commission, or the chair of the hearing panel before which the matter is pending, may extend or shorten the period of time to perform any act required by Rules 19-26. Any request for an extension by an investigative panel or hearing panel shall be considered by the chair or vice-chair of the Commission. No extension over 30 days shall be granted except upon good cause shown. The grant or denial of an extension shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal.

. . .

RULE 15
OATHS; SUBPOENA POWER

. . .

(e) Quashing Subpoenas. Any attack on the validity of a subpoena shall be heard and determined by the investigative or hearing panel before which the matter is pending. Any resulting order shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal; instead these decisions must be challenged by filing objections or a brief pursuant to Rule 27(a).

. . .

RULE 25
DISCOVERY

(a) Exchange of Witness Lists. Within 20 days of the filing of an answer, disciplinary counsel and respondent shall exchange the names and addresses of all persons known to have knowledge of the relevant facts. Disciplinary counsel or the respondent may withhold such information only with permission of the chair of the hearing panel or the chair’s designee, who shall authorize withholding of the information only for good cause shown, taking into consideration the materiality of the information possessed by the witness and the position the witness occupies in relation to the lawyer. The chair’s review of the withholding request is to be in camera, but the party making the request must advise the opposing party of the request without disclosing the subject of the request. The hearing panel shall set a date for the exchange of the names and addresses of all witnesses the parties intend to call at the hearing.

. . .

(g) Failure to Disclose. If a party fails to timely disclose a witness’s name and address, any statements by the witness, summaries of witness interviews, or other evidence required to be disclosed or exchanged under this rule, the hearing panel may grant a continuance of the hearing, preclude the party from calling the witness or introducing the document, or take such other action as may be appropriate. In the event disciplinary counsel has not timely disclosed exculpatory material, the hearing panel may require the matter to be disclosed and grant a continuance, or take such other action as may be appropriate.

(h) Resolution of Disputes. Disputes concerning discovery shall be determined by the hearing panel. Review of these decisions shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal; instead these decisions must be challenged by filing objections or a brief pursuant to Rule 27(a).


RJDE, Rule 502, SCACR.

RULE 5. DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL

. . .

(b) Powers and Duties. Disciplinary counsel shall have the authority and duty to:

(1) receive and screen complaints, refer complaints to other agencies when appropriate, conduct preliminary investigations, recommend to an investigative panel of the Commission and upon authorization conduct full investigations, notify complainants about the status and disposition of their complaints, make recommendations to an investigative panel on the disposition of complaints after full investigation, file formal charges when directed to do so by an investigative panel, prosecute formal charges, and file briefs and other appropriate petitions with the Supreme Court;

. . .

RULE 14. TIME, SERVICE AND FILING

. . .

(b) Extending and Diminishing Time Prescribed by These Rules.

(1) By the Commission. The chair of the Commission, the vice-chair of the Commission, or the chair of the hearing panel before which the matter is pending, may extend or shorten the period of time to perform any act required by Rules 19-26. Any request for an extension by an investigative panel or hearing panel shall be considered by the chair or vice-chair of the Commission. No extension over 30 days shall be granted except upon good cause shown. The grant or denial of an extension shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal.

. . .

RULE 15. OATHS; SUBPOENA POWER

. . .

(e) Quashing Subpoenas. Any attack on the validity of a subpoena shall be heard and determined by the investigative or hearing panel before which the matter is pending. Any resulting order shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal; instead these decisions must be challenged by filing objections or a brief pursuant to Rule 27(a).

. . .

RULE 25. DISCOVERY

(a) Exchange of Witness Lists. Within 20 days of the filing of an answer, disciplinary counsel and respondent shall exchange the names and addresses of all persons known to have knowledge of the relevant facts. Disciplinary counsel or the respondent may withhold such information only with permission of the chair of the hearing panel or the chair’s designee, who shall authorize withholding of the information only for good cause shown, taking into consideration the materiality of the information possessed by the witness and the position the witness occupies in relation to the judge. The chair’s review of the withholding request is to be in camera, but the party making the request must advise the opposing party of the request without disclosing the subject of the request. The hearing panel shall set a date for the exchange of the names and addresses of all witnesses the parties intend to call at the hearing.

. . .

g) Failure to Disclose. If a party fails to timely disclose a witness’s name and address, any statements by the witness, summaries of witness interviews, or other evidence required to be disclosed or exchanged under this rule, the hearing panel may grant a continuance of the hearing, preclude the party from calling the witness or introducing the document, or take such other action as may be appropriate. In the event disciplinary counsel has not timely disclosed exculpatory material, the hearing panel may require the matter to be disclosed and grant a continuance, or take such other action as may be appropriate.

(h) Resolution of Disputes. Disputes concerning discovery shall be determined by the hearing panel. Review of these decisions shall not be subject to an interlocutory appeal; instead these decisions must be challenged by filing objections or a brief pursuant to Rule 27(a).