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South Carolina
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CANON 5

A STAFF ATTORNEY OR LAW CLERK SHOULD REGULATE HIS EXTRA-OFFICIAL ACTIVITIES TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF CONFLICT WITH HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES

A. Avocational Activities. A staff attorney or law clerk may write, lecture, teach, and speak on non-legal subjects, and engage in the arts, sports, and other social and recreational activities, if such avocational activities do not detract from the dignity of his office or interfere with the performance of his official duties.

B. Civic and Charitable Activities. A staff attorney or law clerk may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not detract from the dignity of his office or interfere with the performance of his official duties. He may serve as an officer, director, trustee, or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization and solicit funds for any such organization, subject to the following limitations:

(1) He should not use or permit the use of the prestige of his office in the solicitation of funds.

(2) He should not solicit his subordinates to contribute to or participate in any civic or charitable activity, but he may call his subordinates' attention to a general fund-raising campaign such as the United Way.

(3) He should not solicit funds from lawyers or persons likely to come before the court he serves.

C. Financial Activities.

(1) A staff attorney or law clerk should refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to detract from the dignity of his office, interfere with the proper performance of his official duties, exploit his official position, or involve him in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court he serves. Before or during a clerkship or tenure as a staff attorney, a law clerk or staff attorney may seek and obtain employment to commence after the completion of that job; if any law firm, lawyer, or entity with whom a law clerk or staff attorney has been employed or is seeking or has obtained future employment appears in any matter pending before the appointing judge, the law clerk or staff attorney should promptly bring this fact to the attention of the appointing judge or justice, the Court, or his or her attorney supervisor, and they shall determine the extent of the law clerk's or staff attorney's performance of duties in connection with such matter. In relation to such future employment, the law clerk or staff attorney may accept payment of bar examination related expenses, including reasonable living expenses while preparing for a bar examination, and relocation expenses from the future employer.

(2) Neither a staff attorney or law clerk nor a member of his family residing in his household should accept a gift, bequest, favor, or loan from any person under circumstances that might reasonably be regarded as influencing the performance of his official duties. He shall report the value of any gift or bequest, other than from a relative by blood or marriage, as required by law.

D. Practice of Law. A staff attorney or law clerk shall not practice law in any federal, state, or local court, except in his official capacity as a staff attorney or law clerk, or undertake to perform legal services for any private client in return for remuneration. This prohibition, however, shall not be construed to preclude the performance of legal work necessary to the management of the personal affairs of the staff attorney or law clerk, his spouse or minor child, so long as:

(1) such work is done without compensation;

(2) it does not require any act, including the entry of an appearance in a court of this State or of the United States, that would suggest that his position is being misused, that preferential treatment is being sought by virtue of the holding of that position, or that would otherwise be inconsistent with his primary responsibility to the employing court;

(3) such activity does not conflict or reasonably appear to conflict with court duties or will not reflect adversely on the court or create the appearance of impropriety.

This provision shall not be construed to prohibit a staff attorney or law clerk from qualifying to practice law in South Carolina under Rule 403, SCACR.

This provision shall not be construed to preclude staff attorneys or law clerks who are members of the reserve components of the armed forces or National Guard from fulfilling the duties in those organizations.