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24673 - In the Matter of Josef Kirk Myers

Davis Adv. Sh. No. 24
S.E. 2d

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of Josef

Kirk Myers, Respondent.

Opinion No. 24673

Heard May 21, 1997 - Filed August 11 , 1997

DEFINITE SUSPENSION

I. S. Leevy Johnson, of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A., of

Columbia, for respondent.

Attorney General Charles Molony Condon and Senior

Assistant Attorney General James G. Bogle, Jr., both of

Columbia, for complainant.

PER CURIAM: In this attorney grievance matter, we impose on

Josef Kirk Myers a definite suspension from the practice of law for a period of

sixty days.

Medical University of South Carolina Matter

Respondent represented Sondra Trent in a personal injury action. The

Trents were treated at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) for injuries

sustained in a serious automobile accident. Omni Insurance Company issued a draft

in the amount of $8,000 payable to Theodore Trent and MUSC. Respondent endorsed

the draft by typing MUSC's name on the back and deposited the draft into his trust

account. The proceeds of the draft were paid to Theodore Trent. Respondent did not

have authority to negotiate the draft.

Albertha Rouse Matter

In an unnecessarily convoluted and complicated manner, Respondent

prepared and executed numerous documents to assist his client, Albertha Rouse, in

a real estate forfeiture matter. In so doing, Respondent misrepresented to a

mortgage lender that it held a valid mortgage on his client's home. Additionally,

because of Respondent's orchestration and manipulation of real estate documentation,

p49

IN THE MATTER OF MYERS

the lender was deceived into making loans it might not otherwise have made. We

note that Respondent's actions were not motivated by nor did he receive any personal

gain.

The evidence in the record supports the findings of violations of the

Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, Rules 8.4(d)(by engaging in conduct

involving moral turpitude); 8.4(e) (by engaging in conduct prejudicial to the

administration of justice; and 4.l(a) (by making a false statement of material fact to

a third person).

The Panel recommended a public reprimand. The Interim Review

Committee adopted the Panel's findings of fact and conclusions of law, but

recommended a ninety day suspension. Although the recommendations of the Panel

and Interim Review Committee are persuasive, the ultimate authority to discipline

attorneys and the manner of discipline rests with this Court. In re Dobson, 310 S.C.

422, 427 S.E.2d 166 (1993). We find the appropriate sanction is suspension from the

practice of law for sixty days.

Respondent shall file, within fifteen (15) days of this opinion, an affidavit

with the clerk of this Court stating he has complied with Paragraph 30 of Rule 413,

SCACR. Additionally, Respondent shall comply with Rule 32 of Rule 413, SCACR.

DEFINITE SUSPENSION.