THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court
In the Matter of Willi J.
Opinion No. 24846
Submitted September 15, 1998 - Filed October 26, 1998
Henry B. Richardson, Jr., of Columbia, Disciplinary Counsel.
Willie J. Glee, of Charleston, pro se.
PER CURIAM: In this attorney disciplinary matter, respondent
and disciplinary counsel have entered into an agreement under Rule 21 of the
Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (RLDE) contained in Rule 413,
SCACR. In the agreement, respondent admits misconduct and consents to be
disbarred from the practice of law. We accept the agreement and disbar
Respondent stipulated to the following facts:
Flagnor Mouzon Probate Proceeding
Respondent represented Anna C. Mouzon in the probate of her
husband's estate from March 20, 1990, until her death on October 19, 1994. In
connection with this proceeding, respondent received and deposited into his law
office trust account three certified checks made to the order of himself and Anna
Mouzon totaling $11,5071, $9,590.70 of which respondent was to disburse to the
By April 1994, heirs of the Mouzon estate were being represented
by Mr. Jack Brickman. By letter dated April 15, 1994, respondent represented
to Brickman that he enclosed a check for $9,590.70. Neither the letter nor
check were ever mailed.
By order dated September 25, 1996, the probate court ordered
respondent to produce an accounting of all monies related to the Mouzon probate
proceeding. Respondent did not comply. Subsequently, by letter dated October
24, 1996, respondent informed the probate court that he had transmitted to
Brickman a check in the amount of $9,590.70. Respondent had not done so.
On April 3, 1998, respondent issued check # 2035 from his law
office trust account in the amount of $9,590.70 to Brickman. On that date, the
trust account balance totaled $4,277.22. The check was not honored due to
insufficient funds. Respondent admits that he converted the funds for purposes
other than which were intended or authorized, and that he issued the check
knowing there were insufficient funds in the account.
On June 17, 1998, the probate court issued a rule to show cause for
contempt and respondent failed to appear. By order dated July 16, 1998,
respondent was held in contempt of court. In response to a bench warrant
issued by the court, respondent was arrested.
From the time respondent deposited the Mouzon trust account funds
in September 1993, the account balance repeatedly slipped below the requisite
minimum of $9,590.70 to amounts as low as $4.22. The money owed the
Mouzon estate heirs was finally paid in full between July 24, 1998, and July 31,
Other Trust Account Improprieties
With respect to fifteen other trust account checks written to the
order of respondent, respondent failed to keep specific client trust account
balance information. Respondent neglected to list client names with
corresponding account deposits, designate file numbers, or keep client ledger
sheets. As a result, respondent is unable to identify what amounts are owed to
Respondent has violated numerous provisions of the Rules of
Professional Conduct contained in Rule 407, SCACR. Respondent converted
client funds for his own purposes. Rule 1.15. He failed to provide competent
representation. Rule 1.1. He failed to comply with demand for payment. Rule
1.2. He failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness. Rule 1.3. He
failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the case and
respond to requests. Rule 1.4. He failed to surrender and release trust account
funds owed upon termination of the attorney/client relationship. Rule 1.16. He
was dilatory in winding up and closing the probate action. Rule 3.2. He
engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation in
violation of Rule 8.4 (a),(d),&(e). Respondent has clearly demonstrated his
unfitness to practice law and his conduct is grounds for disbarment under Rule
7(a)(1), (5), (6) and (7) of the RLDE.
Accordingly, we disbar respondent from the practice of law. Within
fifteen days of the date of this opinion, respondent shall file an affidavit with
the Clerk of Court showing that he has complied with Rule 30(g) of Rule 413,