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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 410
SOUTH CAROLINA BAR

(a) Name. There is hereby created and established an organization to be known as the South Carolina Bar.

(b) Purposes. The purposes of the organization shall be to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of South Carolina; to protect, and maintain respect for, representative government; to continually improve the administration of justice throughout the State; to require the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, and uphold the integrity and honor of the legal profession; to advance the science of jurisprudence; to promote consistent high quality of legal education and legal services to the public; to apply the knowledge, experience and ability of the legal profession to the promotion of the public good; to encourage goodwill and respect for integrity and excellence in public service among the members of the legal profession and the public; to perform any additional purposes and duties assigned to it by the Supreme Court of South Carolina; and to promote and correlate such policies and activities of the Bar as fall within these purposes in the interest of the legal profession and the public.

(c) Duties and Powers. The duties of the South Carolina Bar shall be to faithfully carry out its stated purposes as set forth in this rule as may be amended from time to time, with the powers as shall be reasonably necessary and proper for the carrying out of these purposes, including the power to adopt, and amend as necessary, the Bylaws by which it shall be governed, to recommend amendments or additions to this rule and to the Constitution approved by this Court, and to recommend changes in the license fees to be charged the members thereof.

(d) Membership. Except as otherwise provided in the rules of this Court, no person shall engage in the practice of law in the State of South Carolina who is not licensed by this Court and a member in good standing of the South Carolina Bar. Further, no person shall be a member of the South Carolina Bar who has not been licensed to practice law by this Court.

(e) Attorney Information System (AIS). The AIS is a web-based system developed by the South Carolina Judicial Department to maintain and update information regarding members of the South Carolina Bar. Members use this system, which is accessed using a user name and password, to verify and update their contact information, and view their membership class and status. The mailing and e-mail address shown in the AIS shall be used for the purpose of notifying and serving the member.

(f) Enrollment of Members and Duties Upon Enrollment. Every person admitted to the practice of law in South Carolina shall be added to the AIS immediately upon their admission. The Clerk of the Supreme Court is authorized to release information from the admissions/application records as necessary to populate the data fields in the AIS. Each new member shall verify and update their information in the AIS within five (5) days of being admitted or licensed. Additionally, the South Carolina Bar may require a new member to provide additional information on a form provided by the South Carolina Bar.

(g) Duty of Members to Verify and Update the AIS. Persons admitted to practice law in South Carolina shall have a continuing duty to verify and update their information contained in the AIS, and must ensure that the AIS information is current and accurate at all times. At a minimum, the contact information listed in the AIS must include a mailing address, an e-mail address and a telephone number. Members must update their contact information within five (5) days of any change. Additionally, members must verify and update all of their information prior to paying their bar license fees every year. For those fields that the member cannot correct or update using the AIS, the member will make and submit a discrepancy report through the AIS so that the matter can be resolved. Members who have resigned, been disbarred or suspended, or whose admission or license has otherwise been terminated, and who do not intend to ever seek reinstatement or readmission, are not required to update their information.

(h) Membership Classes. The membership classes within the South Carolina Bar shall be as follows:

(1) Persons Admitted Under Rule 402, SCACR. All persons who have been admitted to practice law under Rule 402 (or its predecessor rule) shall be divided into the following membership classes:

(A) Regular Member. Any member who does not fall within any other class of membership.

(B) Inactive Member. Any regular member who has elected to become an inactive member. Except as provided in section (q) below, an inactive member may not engage in the practice of law in South Carolina. If an inactive member has engaged in the practice of a law in this or any other jurisdiction within the last twelve months, the inactive member may become a regular member by paying the fee specified in section (o) below if that member is cur­rent on man­da­to­ry continuing  legal ed­u­ca­tion  re­quire­ments in that jurisdiction. Otherwise, the inactive member may only become a regular member by paying the fee specified in section (o) below and providing proof that the inactive attorney has completed the continuing legal education requirements of a regular member under Rule 408, SCACR, within the last twelve months.

(C) Judicial Member. This class shall include any member who:

(i) Is a full-time judge for a South Carolina court.

(ii) Was a member under (i) above, but has retired as a judge under a state or local retirement system, and has not engaged in the practice of law since retirement or elected to practice law under S.C. Code Ann. § 9-8-120.

(iii) Is a judge of a federal court (including those in senior status).

For the purpose of this rule, the term judge shall include a judge, justice, master-in-equity or magistrate.  

(D) Judicial Staff Member. Any member who is a law clerk, staff attorney or other attorney employed full-time by:

(i) the South Carolina Judicial Department, or any court or judge within the South Carolina unified judicial system.

(ii) the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit or the Supreme Court of the United States. This shall not include attorneys in a federal public defender organization.

(E) Military Member. Any member who is serving on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States for six months or more, including members of the National Guard and other reserve components, and elects to become a military member. Military members may not engage in the practice of law in South Carolina outside of their duties in the Armed Forces of the United States.

(F) Administrative Law Judge Member. This class shall include any member who is a judge on the South Carolina Administrative Law Court or is a federal administrative law judge whose duties are primarily performed within the State of South Carolina.

(G) Retired Member. Any member who has elected to retire due to age, serious illness, or total and permanent disability. To be el­i­gi­ble for re­tired mem­ber­ship by reason of age, a mem­ber shall have at­tained age six­ty-five or more; provided, however, that a member may elect to retire at the start of the license year in which the member will turn sixty-five years of age. Except as provided in section (q) below, a retired member may not engage in the practice of law in South Carolina. After being in this status for more than two years, the member may not become a regular member without completing fourteen hours of continuing legal education, including two hours on legal ethics and professional responsibility.

(2) Limited Member. Any person who holds a limited certificate of admission to practice law in South Carolina. A person may hold only one limited certificate. Limited Members shall be further divided into the following subclasses:

(A) Limited Member – Rule 405 (Limited Certificate of Admission for In-House Counsel). Any person who holds a limited certificate under Rule 405, SCACR.

(B) Limited Member - Rule 414 (Limited Certificate of Admission for Clinical Law Program Teachers). Any person who holds a limited certificate under Rule 414, SCACR

(C) Limited Member – Rule 415 (Limited Certificate of Admission for Retired and Inactive Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program). Any person who holds a limited certificate under Rule 415, SCACR.

(i) Status. In addition to having a membership class, each member or former member of the South Carolina Bar shall have a status as set forth below. A member who is deceased shall maintain the status that the member held on the date of death.

(1) Status of Persons Admitted Under Rule 402, SCACR.  

(A) Good Standing. A member who does not have any other status listed below.

(B) Resigned. A member whose resignation has been accepted by the Supreme Court under Rule 409, SCACR. Members in this status do not pay license fees.

(C) Not in Good Standing. A member is not in good standing if:

(i) The member is administratively suspended under Rule 419, SCACR.

(ii) The member's membership is administratively terminated under Rule 419, SCACR.

(iii) The member is suspended under Rule 413, SCACR. This includes interim suspensions.

(iv) The member is on incapacity inactive status under Rule 413, SCACR. This includes interim suspensions based on incapacity.

(v) The member is disbarred under Rule 413, SCACR.

(vi) The member's admission has been vacated under Rule 402(h) or (i)(8), SCACR.

(2) Status of Limited Members.

(A) Good Standing. A limited member who does not have one of the statuses listed below.

(B) Resigned. A limited member whose resignation has been accepted by the Supreme Court under Rule 409, SCACR.

(C) Certificate Not Currently Valid. A limited member who is on interim suspension under Rule 413, SCACR, including an interim suspension for incapacity, or whose certificate is terminated for any of the reasons stated in Rules 405, 414 or 415, as applicable.

(j) License Fees. The membership year shall be the calendar year. By January 1st, each member who is in good standing (other than deceased members) shall pay the South Carolina Bar the fees specified in this section and in section (k) below. All income and assets shall be handled separately by the South Carolina Bar, as prescribed in its Constitution and Bylaws. For the purpose of this rule, the term "license fee" shall include any assessment under Rule 411, SCACR.

(1) Regular Member. The license fee for a regular member who has been admitted to practice law in this State or any other jurisdiction for less than three years shall be $175. The license fee for all other regular members shall be $260. In addition, the license fee of a regular member shall include the Lawyer's Fund for Client Protection assessment specified by Rule 411, SCACR. Finally, each regular member shall pay $30 which shall be designated for meeting the civil legal needs of indigents as directed by the Board of Governors of the Bar, but any member may deduct this fee before remitting payment.

(2) Inactive Member. The license fee shall be $190.

(3) Judicial Member. The license fee shall be $190.

(4) Judicial Staff Member. The license fee for a judicial staff member who has been admitted to practice law in this State or any other jurisdiction for less than three years shall be $175. The license fee for all other judicial staff members shall be $190.

(5) Military Member. The license fee for a military member shall be $190. This fee shall be waived during a time of war declared by the Congress of the United States and, upon written request, shall be waived when the member is serving on active duty in an area designated as a combat zone by the President of the United States.

(6) Administrative Law Judge Member. The license fee shall be $190.

(7) Retired Member. No fee is required.

(8) Limited Member. No fee shall be required for a person holding a limited certificate under Rule 415 (Limited Certificate of Admission for Retired and Inactive Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program), SCACR. The license fee for all other persons holding a limited certificate shall be $260.

(k) Additional License Fee to Support Lawyer and Judicial Disciplinary Functions.  Members in good standing (other than deceased members) shall also pay an additional fee which shall be placed in a separate account by the South Carolina Bar and shall be disbursed as directed by the Supreme Court to help defray the costs of operating the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Commission on Lawyer Conduct, and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

(1) Regular Member. The additional license fee for a regular member who has been admitted to practice law in this State or any other jurisdiction for less than three years shall be $40. The additional license fee for all other regular members shall be $70.

(2) Inactive Member. The additional license fee shall be $20.

(3) Judicial Member. The additional license fee shall be $50.

(4) Judicial Staff Member. The additional license fee for a judicial staff member who has been admitted to practice law in this State or any other jurisdiction for less than three years shall be $20. The additional license fee for all other judicial staff members shall be $50.

(5) Military Member. The additional license fee for a military member shall be $20. This fee, upon written request, shall be waived during a time of war declared by the Congress of the United States and, upon written request, shall be waived when the member is serving on active duty in an area designated as a combat zone by the President of the United States.

(6) Administrative Law Judge Member. The additional license fee shall be $50.

(7) Retired Member. No fee is required.

(8) Limited Member. No fee shall be required for a person holding a limited certificate under Rule 415 (Limited Certificate of Admission for Retired and Inactive Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program), SCACR. The additional license fee for a person holding a limited certificate under Rules 405 (Limited Certificate of Admission for In-House Counsel) and 414 (Limited Certificate of Admission for Clinical Law Program Teachers), SCACR, shall be $20.

(l) Foreign Legal Consultants.

(1) Duty to Verify and Update the AIS. While not members of the South Carolina Bar, persons who are licensed as foreign legal consultants under Rule 424, SCACR, shall be added to the AIS immediately upon their licensing, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court is authorized to release information from the admissions/application records as necessary to populate the data fields in the AIS. Foreign legal consultants shall have the same duty to update and verify their information on the AIS as specified for members under (f) and (g) above.

(2) License Fees. Foreign Legal Consultants who are in good standing (other than deceased consultants) shall pay a license fee of $295 to the South Carolina Bar by January 1st. Fifty dollars of this fee shall be placed in the separate account referenced in (k) above to be disbursed as directed by the Supreme Court to help defray the costs of operating the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Commission on Lawyer Conduct, and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

(3) Status. A foreign legal consultant shall have a status as indicated below. A foreign legal consultant who is deceased shall maintain the status that the member held on the date of death.

(A) Good Standing. Any foreign legal consultant who does not have any other status listed below.

(B) Resigned. A foreign legal consultant whose resignation has been accepted by the Supreme Court.  

(C) License Not Currently Valid. A foreign legal consultant who is on interim suspension under Rule 413, SCACR, including an interim suspension for incapacity, or whose license has been terminated for any of the reasons stated in Rule 424, SCACR.

(m) Penalty for Late Payment. If a member or foreign legal consultant fails to pay the license fees by January 31st, the fees shall be increased by fifty (50) percent.

(n) License Fees For New Admittees or Licensees. Persons admitted or licensed before July 1 of any calendar year must pay one half of the license fee by July 1st of that year. Persons admitted or licensed on or after July 1st of any calendar year will pay no license fee for that year. For the purpose of this section, a person who is admitted under Rule 402, SCACR, shall be treated as a new admittee even if the person previously held a limited certificate to practice law or was licensed as a foreign legal consultant.

(o) License Fees Due Upon a Change in Membership Class. A member admitted under Rule 402, SCACR, who transfers from being an inactive member to being a regular member must pay the difference in the license fee for that year regardless of when the change occurs. Except as provided in section (n) above, no other change in membership class within a license year shall require the payment of any additional fee. No refund shall be provided based on a change in membership class.

(p) Return to Good Standing. A member or foreign legal consultant who is not in good standing is not obligated to pay license fees. If that person desires to return to good standing, the member must, in addition to any other requirement of reinstatement or readmission, pay the license fees for the year in which the member desires to be reinstated or readmitted if the fees have not already been paid for that year. If the member was suspended for non-payment of license fees, the member must also pay the delinquent fees and penalties which caused that suspension. Proof that these fees have been paid to the South Carolina Bar must accompany any petition for reinstatement or readmission.

(q) Pro Bono Participation by Inactive and Retired Members. An inactive or retired member as defined in section (h) above may provide pro bono legal services if:

(1) the member is associated with an approved legal services organization which receives, or is eligible to receive, funds from the Legal Services Corporation or is working on a case or project through the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program;

(2) performs all pro bono legal services under the supervision of an attorney (Supervising Attorney) who is a regular member of the South Carolina Bar employed by, or participating as a volunteer for, the legal services organization or the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program and who assumes professional responsibility for the conduct of the matter, litigation, or administrative proceeding in which the attorney participates; and

(3) neither asks for nor receives compensation of any kind for the legal services provided to the client.

Last amended by Order dated May 28, 2014.