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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 415
LIMITED CERTIFICATE OF ADMISSION FOR THE RETIRED AND
INACTIVE ATTORNEY PRO BONO PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

(a) Qualifications for Admission. The Supreme Court may issue a limited certificate to practice law in South Carolina to any person who:

(1) is or was admitted to practice law in another state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia and is retired from the active practice of law or is on inactive status;

(2) has been a member in good standing in each jurisdiction in which the retired or inactive attorney is or was admitted to practice law;

(3) has not been disciplined for professional misconduct in any jurisdiction within the past fifteen (15) years and is not the subject of any pending disciplinary proceeding;

(4) is associated with an approved legal services organization (Legal Services) which receives, or is eligible to receive, funds from the Legal Services Corporation; is working on a case or project through the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program (the Program); or is working with a program funded in whole or in part by a grant from the South Carolina Bar Foundation, Inc. (the Grantee), using interest and dividends remitted under the procedure established in Rule 412, SCACR;

(5) performs all activities authorized by this Rule under the supervision of an attorney who is a regular member of the South Carolina Bar employed by, or participating as a volunteer for, Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee and who assumes professional responsibility for the conduct of the matter, litigation, or administrative proceeding in which the retired or inactive attorney participates and;

(6) agrees to abide by the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct and all other rules governing the practice of law in this State and to submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for disciplinary purposes. No license fee or assessment shall be charged to these attorneys under Rules 410 and 411, SCACR.

(b) Application. An attorney desiring a limited certificate shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court an application in duplicate on a form prescribed by the Supreme Court accompanied by:

(1) a certification by Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee stating that;

(A) the retired or inactive attorney is currently associated with Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee;

(B) a regular member of the South Carolina Bar employed by, or acting as a volunteer for, Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee will assume the duties of the supervising attorney required by this Rule; and

(C) the retired or inactive attorney meets the requirements of section (a) of this Rule;

(2) a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the retired or inactive attorney is or was admitted to practice law; and

(3) a sworn statement by the retired or inactive attorney that the retired or inactive attorney:

(A) has read and is familiar with the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct and all rules relating to the practice of law in this State and will abide by the provisions thereof; and

(B) will neither ask for nor receive compensation of any kind for the legal services rendered under this Rule.

(c) Reference to the Committee on Character and Fitness. Any questions concerning the fitness or qualifications of the retired or inactive attorney may be referred by the Supreme Court to the Committee on Character and Fitness for a hearing and recommendation.

(d) Confidentiality. The confidentiality provisions of Rule 402(n), SCACR, shall apply to all files and records of the Board of Law Examiners, the Committee on Character and Fitness, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court relating to a limited certificate to practice law under this rule.

(e) Scope of Practice. The limited certificate issued under this Rule authorizes the retired or inactive attorney to provide legal services solely to clients approved to receive services from Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee, or to provide other services through the Program such as Ask-A-Lawyer or educational clinics. The retired or inactive attorney issued a limited certificate may:

(1) appear in any court or before any tribunal in this State if the client consents, in writing, to that appearance and the supervising attorney has given written approval for the appearance. The written consent and approval must be filed with the court or tribunal and must be brought to the attention of the judge or presiding officer prior to the appearance;

(2) prepare pleadings and other documents to be filed in any court or before any tribunal in this State on behalf of the client. Such pleadings shall also be signed by the supervising attorney; and

(3) otherwise engage in the practice of law as is necessary for the representation of the client.

(f) Unauthorized Practice. If an attorney granted a limited certificate engages in the practice of law in excess of that permitted by this rule, the attorney may be subject to discipline under Rule 413, SCACR, a revocation of the limited certificate by the Supreme Court, or being held in contempt of the Supreme Court for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

(g) Misconduct and Incapacity. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, the procedures provided by Rule 413, SCACR, shall be used for resolving allegations that the attorney has committed ethical misconduct or suffers from a physical or mental condition which adversely affects the attorney's ability to practice law. If, however, the Supreme Court imposes a definite suspension or disbarment, or transfers the attorney to incapacity inactive status, the limited certificate shall be terminated as provided in (i) below. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the attorney may not seek to be readmitted as an attorney under this rule or any other rule until the period of suspension has expired or, in the case of disbarment, until five years after the date of the opinion or order imposing the disbarment.

(h) Termination of Certificate. The limited certificate of admission to practice law shall terminate if:

(1) a determination by the Supreme Court, in its discretion, that the limited certificate should be revoked. Notice of the revocation shall be sent to the attorney granted the limited certificate and Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee within five (5) days of the revocation. This includes a revocation for the grounds specified in (f) and (g) above

(2) the attorney is admitted to practice law in South Carolina under Rule 402, SCACR, or is granted another limited certificate of admission to practice law under this or any other rule, or is licensed as a foreign legal consultant under Rule 424, SCACR.

(3) the attorney is suspended or disbarred in this or any other jurisdiction. This does not include interim suspensions under Rule 17 of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement contained in Rule 413, SCACR, or a similar rule in another jurisdiction. For an administrative suspension under Rule 419, SCACR, the attorney may seek reinstatement as provided in that rule.

(4) notice by Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee stating that the attorney granted the limited certificate has ceased to be associated with Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee. Such notice must be sent to the attorney granted the limited certificate and must be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court within five (5) days after the association has ceased. The notice need not state a reason for the cessation of the association.

(i) Resignation. Any request by an attorney licensed under this rule shall be processed as provided by Rule 409, SCACR.

(j) Surrender of Certificate and Notice to Courts and Tribunals. Upon the termination of the limited certificate or acceptance of a resignation, the attorney granted the limited certificate shall immediately surrender the certificate to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The failure to immediately surrender the certificate upon termination or the acceptance of a resignation may subject the attorney to discipline under Rule 413, SCACR, or to being held in contempt of the Supreme Court. Additionally, the supervising attorney shall immediately file notice of the expiration in the official file of each matter pending before any court or tribunal in which the retired or inactive attorney was involved.

Last amended by Order dated May 7, 2012, effective January 1, 2013.