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24898 - In the Matter of Matson

Davis Adv. Sh. No. 6
S.E. 2d

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of Ginger P. Matson,

Respondent.

Opinion No. 24898

Submitted January 6, 1999 - Filed February 8, 1999

DEFINITE SUSPENSION

Attorney General Charles Molony Condon and

Senior Assistant Attorney General James G. Bogle,

Jr., both of Columbia, for the Office of Disciplinary

Counsel.



Ginger P. Matson, of Covington, Texas, 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 an appropriate sanction. We accept the agreement and impose

an eighteen-month definite suspension, retroactive to November 30, 1998.

We find that the instant matter was part of a pattern of misconduct

discussed in In the Matter of Ginger P. Matson, Op. No. 24862 (S.C. Sup. Ct.

filed Nov. 30, 1998) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 38 at 22). Therefore, the

sanction imposed in this matter is concurrent with the sanction imposed in

Op. No. 24862.

p.28


IN THE MATTER OF MATSON





Deborah L. Miller Matter



Respondent represented Deborah L. Miller (Miller) regarding a

family court matter. Respondent accepted a fee of $250.00 from Miller.

Respondent admits that she failed to return all of Miller's telephone calls

and failed to respond to Miller's inquiries about the status of her case.

Furthermore, respondent admits that she left South Carolina and relocated

to Texas without notifying Miller. In addition, respondent acknowledges

that she failed to respond to the Commission on Lawyer Conduct

(Commission) which had requested information on this matter.





In mitigation, respondent submits that while she was handling

this matter, she was suffering from depression which was exacerbated by her

mother's illness and eventual death







By her actions in this matter, respondent has violated Rule 7,

RLDE, by violating the Rules of Professional Conduct; by engaging in

conduct tending to pollute the administration of justice or bring the courts or

the legal profession into disrepute or conduct demonstrating an unfitness to

practice law; by violating the oath of office taken upon admission to practice

law in South Carolina; and by knowingly failing to respond to a lawful

demand from the Commission and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel,

including a request for a response under Rule 19, RLDE.





Moreover, respondent's misconduct constitutes a violation of the

Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR. Respondent failed to

provide competent representation. Rule 1.1. She failed to act with

reasonable diligence and promptness representing her client. Rule 1.3. She

failed to keep her client reasonably informed about the status of her case and

comply with reasonable requests for information. Rule 1.4. She failed to

withdraw from representation of a client if representation would result in a

violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 1.16. She engaged in

conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Rule 8.4. She failed to

respond to a demand for information by the Commission. Rule 8.1.





Accordingly, we impose an eighteen-month definite suspension,

retroactive to November 30, 1998. Additionally, prior to reinstatement,

respondent must refund any unearned fees as determined by a Fee Dispute

Resolution Committee.

p.29


IN THE MATTER OF MATSON





Within fifteen days of the date of this opinion, respondent

shall file an affidavit with the Clerk of Court showing that she has complied with

Rule 30 RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR.



DEFINITE SUSPENSION.

p.30