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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 15
OATHS; SUBPOENA POWER

(a) Oaths. Oaths and affirmations may be administered by any member of the Commission, disciplinary counsel, or any other person authorized by law to administer oaths and affirmations.

(b) Subpoenas for Investigation.

(1) Disciplinary counsel may compel by subpoena the attendance of the lawyer or witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers, documents (whether in typed, printed, written, digital, electronic, or other format), and other tangible evidence for the purposes of investigation.

(2) The Commission chair, vice-chair, or Commission counsel may issue subpoenas for specific witnesses or documents at the request of the lawyer under investigation or direct disciplinary counsel to subpoena witnesses or documents and provide the subpoenaed information to the Commission chair, vice-chair, or Commission counsel.
         
(c) Subpoenas for Deposition or Hearing. After formal charges are filed, disciplinary counsel and respondent may compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers, and documents at a deposition or hearing held under these rules.

(d) Enforcement of Subpoenas. The willful failure to comply with a subpoena issued under this rule may be punished as a contempt of the Supreme Court. Upon proper application, the Supreme Court may enforce the attendance and testimony of any witnesses and the production of any documents subpoenaed.

(e) Quashing Subpoenas. Any attack on the validity of a subpoena shall be heard and determined by the investigative panel or chair of the 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).

(f) Subpoena Pursuant to Law of Another Jurisdiction. Whenever a subpoena is sought in this State pursuant to the law or disciplinary rules of another jurisdiction for use in lawyer or judicial disciplinary or disability proceedings, and where the issuance of the subpoena has been duly approved under the applicable laws or rules of the other jurisdiction, the chair or vice-chair or a panel of the Commission upon a showing of good cause, may issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents in the county where the witness resides or is employed or elsewhere in this state as agreed by the witness. Service, enforcement, or challenges to such subpoenas shall be as provided in these rules.

Last amended by Order dated October 9, 2013.