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25000 - In the Matter of Lillie R. Davis

Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 30
S.E. 2d



THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of Lillie

R. Davis, Respondent.

Opinion No. 25000

Submitted July 20, 1999 - Filed September 13, 1999

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

Lillie R. Davis, of Columbia, pro se.

Attorney General Charles M. Condon, Senior

Assistant Attorney General James G. Bogle, Jr., and

Henry B. Richardson, Jr., all 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 of

413, SCACR. In the agreement, respondent admits misconduct and consents

to a public reprimand.1 We accept the agreement for a public reprimand.





Estate Matter



Respondent was retained to represent the estate of Cleo Conkle,

who died without a will. Cleo Conkle's husband, Willie L. Conkle, survived

her and was appointed personal representative of Cleo Conkle's estate.

Thereafter, Willie Conkle died with a will, and was replaced as personal


1Respondent was previously publicly reprimanded in Matter of Davis,

321 S.C. 2819 468 S.E.2d 301 (1996).

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In the Matter of Lillie R. Davis





representative on the Cleo Conkle estate by Elizabeth Lovett (Elizabeth).





The appointment of Elizabeth as personal representative for the

estate of Cleo Conkle was incorrect because Elizabeth was falsely thought to

be the only heir. However, there was, in fact, a granddaughter and

respondent neglected this matter by failing to provide the court information

as to the granddaughter, or by failing to seek from members of the family the

identity of all possible heirs, including the granddaughter.







A series of delinquency notices regarding the Cleo Conkle estate

and the Willie Conkle estate were sent by the Probate Court to respondent.

Delinquency notices were also sent to Elizabeth as personal representative of

the Cleo Conkle estate. A pre-summons was sent to both Elizabeth as

personal representative and respondent on August 13, 1997.





Despite the issuance of the delinquency notices and the pre

summons, respondent did not contact the Probate Court. A pre-summons

was sent to Elizabeth as personal representative and respondent on October

22, 1997, regarding the estate of Willie Conkle.





Respondent did not reply to the Probate Court. As a result of the

summonses, a Rule to Show Cause hearing was held before the Probate

Court on February 8, 1998. Respondent did not attend this hearing.





After the hearing, the Probate Court staff assisted Elizabeth as

Personal Representative and the families of Cleo Conkle and Willie Conkle

in closing out the Cleo Conkle estate and the Willie Conkle estate.







The Commission on Lawyer Conduct (Commission) wrote

respondent an inquiry letter concerning this matter; however, respondent

did not reply until she received a second letter of inquiry from the

Commission. Additionally, while respondent replied to the second letter of

inquiry, she did not respond to the Notice of Full Investigation.





Julian A. Reynolds Matter



Respondent, in her representation of Leon Davis (Davis), asked

Julian A. Reynolds (Reynolds), the operator of Reynolds Drug Store, to

provide medications to Davis in the amount of $116.04, which Reynolds did.





Respondent wrote Reynolds on two occasions stating that she

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In the Matter of Lillie R. Davis





had been retained to represent Davis and that Reynolds' fees would be

protected and paid.







Thereafter, the money was not paid, and Reynolds made at least

two telephone attempts to collect the money without success in 1997 and

1998.





Conclusion



Respondent has violated numerous provisions of the Rules of

Professional Conduct contained in Rule 407, SCACR. Respondent failed to

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

reasonable diligence and promptness. Rule 1.3. She failed to keep her client

reasonably informed about the status of the case and respond to requests

from the court. Rule 1.4. Respondent failed to make reasonable efforts to

expedite litigation consistent with the interests of her client. Rule 3.2. She

engaged in misconduct in violation of Rule 8.4.





In addition, respondent has violated provisions of the Rules for

Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR, including Rule 7(a)(1)

(violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct); Rule 7(a)(5) (engaging in

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

or the legal profession into disrepute or conduct demonstrating an unfitness

to practice law); and Rule 7(a)(6) (violation of the oath of office taken upon

admission to practice law in South Carolina).





Accordingly, respondent is hereby publicly reprimanded.





PUBLIC REPRIMAND.

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