The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Lawyer-Legislator Protection During the Legislative Session
This order supersedes the April 5, 2004 order issued by the Chief Justice concerning lawyers who serve as members of the General Assembly and who at times are unable to appear in any court, deposition and administrative hearing during the legislative session.
I find that lawyers who serve as members of the General Assembly provide a great service to the citizens of this State and, at times, are unable to appear in the courts of this State for trials, hearings, or depositions and in administrative tribunals for hearings during the legislative session. Lawyer-legislators may have a need to be protected on all days during the legislative session because of the need to attend to matters such as preparing briefs, meeting with clients, and the continuing requirements to attend to the constituents they represent. I further find that such protection of the lawyer-legislators will benefit their clients. Now, therefore,
IT IS ORDERED that lawyers who are members of the General Assembly are granted absolute protection from being called to a trial, deposition or hearing in any court of competent jurisdiction of this State or any administrative tribunal of this State from the first Tuesday in January until the third Thursday in June or until two weeks after the General Assembly stops meeting in regular session, whichever is later. Further, lawyer-legislators are similarly protected during any special or called session after the regular session. Hearings, trials or depositions may be scheduled during these time periods only if the lawyer-legislator consents to the hearing, deposition or trial being set and is given proper notice.
This order takes effect immediately and remains in effect unless amended or rescinded by the Chief Justice.
|s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean H. Toal
Chief Justice of South Carolina
April 21, 2010
Columbia, South Carolina