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24934 - In the Matter of Reeve

Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14
S.E. 2d

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The, Supreme Court



In the Matter of Brian

Charles Reeve, Respondent.



Opinion No. 24934

Submitted March 16, 1999 - Filed April 19, 1999



PUBLIC REPRIMAND



Frank A. Barton, of Columbia, for respondent.



Senior Assistant Attorney General James G. Bogle,

Jr., of Columbia, for the Office of Disciplinary

Counsel.





PER CURIAM: In this attorney disciplinary matter,

respondent has admitted the allegations against him and the parties have

entered into an agreement for a sanction ranging from a letter of caution to a

public reprimand pursuant to Rule 21 of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary

Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR. We accept the agreement and publicly

reprimand respondent.





Respondent admits that he received attorney's fees in three real

estate closings at which he was not present. In one instance, respondent

failed to explain the documents to his clients prior to the closing. In

addition, respondent was aware that his staff notarized and witnessed

documents outside of the clients' presence.





In a loan refinancing prepared by respondent, respondent had no

personal contact with the client. Although the client had not paid real estate

taxes on the property for three years, when respondent's staff telephoned the

Richland County Treasurer's Office, no notice of the unpaid taxes was given.

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IN THE MATTER OF REEVE





Respondent was paid an abstract or title search fee for his representation in

this matter. However, respondent failed to secure the amounts and due

dates of the client's unpaid taxes. After the closing, the client received a tax

notice for the unpaid taxes.







Finally, respondent conducted a closing for a couple refinancing

their home. Although he had notice of a judgment for repossession of a

mobile home, the closing was conducted and respondent issued a check on

his trust account to the couple. After depositing respondent's check, writing

checks, and withdrawing cash from their account based on the deposit of

respondent's check, the couple was informed by their bank that respondent

had placed a stop payment on his check.





Respondent has engaged in misconduct by failing to properly

supervise nonlawyers employed by him, assisting a person in the

unauthorized practice of law, failing to provide competent representation,

failing to make reasonable efforts to correct clients' misunderstandings of his

role in legal matters, and failing to respect the legal rights of third parties in

representing a client. By his conduct, respondent has violated Rules 1.1, 4.3,

4.4, 5.2, 5.5, and 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR,

and his oath of office. In addition, respondent has engaged in conduct which

tends to pollute the administration of justice and bring the legal profession

into disrepute.





Accordingly, we publicly reprimand respondent for his

misconduct.





PUBLIC REPRIMAND.

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