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
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
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
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.