Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback

RULE 16
LAWYERS CHARGED WITH OR CONVICTED OF A CRIME

(a) Transmittal of Charging Documents. The clerk of any court in this state shall transmit a certified copy of any indictment, information or complaint charging a lawyer with a crime to the disciplinary counsel within 10 days of the filing of such charging document.

(b) Transmittal of Certificate of Conviction. The clerk of any court in this state in which a lawyer is convicted of a crime shall, within 10 days after the conviction, transmit a certified copy of the judgment of conviction to disciplinary counsel.

(c) Action by Disciplinary Counsel. Upon receiving competent evidence that a lawyer has been charged or convicted of a crime, disciplinary counsel shall determine whether the crime involved is a serious crime as defined by Rule 2(aa). If the crime is a serious crime, disciplinary counsel may seek an interim suspension under Rule 17(a) if the lawyer has been charged with a serious crime, and shall seek an interim suspension under Rule 17(a) if the lawyer has been convicted of a serious crime. If the crime is not a serious crime, disciplinary counsel shall process the matter in the same manner as any other information coming to the attention of the Commission.

(d) Conviction as Conclusive Evidence. A certified copy of a judgment of conviction constitutes conclusive evidence that the lawyer committed the crime, and the sole issue in any disciplinary proceedings based on the conviction shall be the nature and extent of the discipline imposed.

(e) Stay of Hearing; Effect of Acquittal, Dismissal of Charges, or Reversal or Vacation of Conviction. The hearing under Rule 26 shall not be held until all direct appeals from the conviction are exhausted. An acquittal, dismissal of the criminal charges, or reversal or vacation of a conviction shall not automatically terminate any proceeding then pending against the lawyer, and the Commission may proceed on the basis of the available evidence other than the charge or the conviction.