IN THE STATE OF
In The Supreme Court
In the Matter of Theo W. Mitchell, Respondent.
Opinion No. 25993
Submitted May 6, 2005 - Filed June 6, 2005
Henry B. Richardson, Jr., Disciplinary Counsel, and Barbara M. Seymour, Senior Asistant Disciplinary Counsel, both of
Columbia, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Theo W. Mitchell, of
Greenville, pro se.
PER CURIAM: The Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) and respondent have entered into an Agreement for Discipline by Consent pursuant to Rule 21, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, in which respondent admits misconduct and agrees to either an admonition or a public reprimand. We accept the agreement and issue a public reprimand. The facts, as set forth in the agreement, are as follows.
Respondent operates a solo practice in
After receiving the letter of caution, respondent continued to use the word “associates” in his firm name and to refer to “attorneys and counselors at law” on his letterhead even though he employed no licensed attorneys other than himself. It was not until receipt of the Notice of Full Investigation in this current matter that respondent discontinued the use of “Theo Mitchell & Associates, Attorneys and Counselors at Law” in his communications.
Respondent now acknowledges that his continued use of the term “associates” and the phrase “attorneys and counselors at law” could have misled clients about Mr. Kinsey and other staff members’ status in the law firm.
Respondent admits that he has violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR: Rule 7.1 (lawyer shall not make false, misleading, deceptive or unfair communications about the lawyer or his services); Rule 7.5(a) (lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead, or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1) and Rule 7.5(d) (lawyer may state or imply he practices in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact). Respondent acknowledges that his misconduct constitutes grounds for discipline under the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR, specifically Rule 7(a)(1) (it shall be ground for discipline for lawyer to violate Rules of Professional Conduct).
We find that respondent’s misconduct warrants a public reprimand. Accordingly, we accept the Agreement for Discipline by Consent and publicly reprimand respondent for his misconduct.
TOAL, C.J., MOORE, WALLER, BURNETT and PLEICONES, JJ., concur.