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24792 - In the Matter of Mitchum

Davis Adv. Sh. No. 19
S.E. 2d

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of

Kenneth L. Mitchum, Respondent.

Opinion No. 24792

Submitted April 13, 1998 - Filed May 18, 1998

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

Kenneth L. Mitchum, of Georgetown, pro se.

Henry B. Richardson, Jr., of Columbia, for the

Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

PER CURIAM: In this attorney disciplinary matter,

respondent and Disciplinary Counsel have entered into an agreement

under Rule 21, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR. In the agreement, respondent

admits misconduct and consents to a public reprimand. We accept the

agreement.

In 1991, respondent was retained to complete an adoption.

Respondent commenced the action in 1991 but took no further meaningful

action in the matter. During the pendency of the petition, respondent was

unresponsive to his clients' inquires regarding the adoption proceeding and

provided untruthful information regarding the status of the matter.

In September 1996, respondent wrote to his clients, explaining

that he suffered from chronic depression and apologizing for his failure to

diligently pursue the adoption on their behalf. Although his clients

expressed interest in obtaining substitute counsel, respondent encouraged

them to allow him to pursue the adoption and promised to complete the

matter. Respondent, however, failed to perform any meaningful work on

the matter, and the clients terminated respondent's services for his failure

p.39


IN THE MATTER OF MITCHUM

to provide any meaningful representation in connection with the matter.

Respondent admits that he neglected this legal matter by failing

to provide competent representation to his clients, failing to consult

with his clients regarding the adoption proceeding, failing to pursue this

matter with reasonable diligence and promptness, failing to keep his

clients reasonably informed about the status of the matter, and failing to

promptly comply with their requests for information. By his conduct,

respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 8.4 of the Rules of

Professional Conduct. Rule 407, SCACR

By violating the Rules of Professional Conduct, respondent has

committed misconduct under Rule 7(a)(1), RLDE. In our opinion,

respondent's misconduct warrants a public reprimand. Accordingly,

respondent is hereby publicly reprimanded for his misconduct.

PUBLIC REPRIMAND.