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2008-09-16-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In re: Amendments to Rule 415,
South Carolina Appellate Court Rules


ORDER


The South Carolina Bar Foundation has filed a petition to amend Rule 415, SCACR, to allow retired or inactive lawyers to provide legal services to organizations which receive IOLTA1 grants. Currently, retired or inactive lawyers may provide legal services to organizations that receive, or are eligible to receive, funds from the South Carolina Legal Services Corporation, and where the lawyer is working on a case or project through the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program. The Bar Foundation’s proposed amendment permits retired or inactive lawyers to provide legal services to programs funded in whole or in part by grants from the Bar Foundation using interest and dividends remitted under the procedure established in Rule 412, SCACR.

We grant the Bar Foundation’s petition. Rule 415 is hereby amended as provided in the attachment to this order.

The amendments are effective immediately.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

 
s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/John H. Waller, Jr.                           J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

Columbia, South Carolina
September 16, 2008


1 Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts. Rule 412, SCACR.


RULE 415

LIMITED CERTIFICATE OF ADMISSION FOR THE RETIRED AND INACTIVE ATTORNEY PRO BONO PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

(a) The Supreme Court may issue a limited certificate to practice law in South Carolina to any person who:

(1) is or was admitted to practice law in South Carolina or any other state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia and is retired from the active practice of law or is on inactive status;

(2) has not been retired or on inactive status for more than seven years;

(3) has been a member in good standing in each jurisdiction in which the retired or inactive attorney is or was admitted to practice law;

(4) has not been disciplined for professional misconduct in any jurisdiction within the past fifteen (15) years and is not the subject of any pending disciplinary proceeding;

(5) is associated with an approved legal services organization (Legal Services) which receives, or is eligible to receive, funds from the Legal Services Corporation; is working on a case or project through the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program (the Program); or is working with a program funded in whole or in part by a grant from the South Carolina Bar Foundation, Inc. (the Grantee), using interest and dividends remitted under the procedure established in Rule 412, SCACR;

(6) performs all activities authorized by this Rule under the supervision of an attorney who is an active member of the South Carolina Bar employed by, or participating as a volunteer for, Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee and who assumes professional responsibility for the conduct of the matter, litigation, or administrative proceeding in which the retired or inactive attorney participates and;

(7) agrees to abide by the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct and all other rules governing the practice of law in this State and to submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for disciplinary purposes.

(b) The limited certificate issued under this Rule authorizes the retired or inactive attorney to provide legal services solely to clients approved to receive services from Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee, or to provide other services through the Program such as Ask-A-Lawyer or educational clinics.  The retired or inactive attorney issued a limited certificate may:

(1) appear in any court or before any tribunal in this State if the client consents, in writing, to that appearance and the supervising attorney has given written approval for the appearance.  The written consent and approval must be filed with the court or tribunal and must be brought to the attention of the judge or presiding officer prior to the appearance;

(2) prepare pleadings and other documents to be filed in any court or before any tribunal in this State on behalf of the client.  Such pleadings shall also be signed by the supervising attorney; and

(3) otherwise engage in the practice of law as is necessary for the representation of the client.

(c) An attorney desiring a limited certificate shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court an application in duplicate on a form prescribed by the Supreme Court accompanied by:

(1) a certification by Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee stating that;

(A) the retired or inactive attorney is currently associated with Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee;

(B) an active member of the South Carolina Bar employed by, or acting as a volunteer for, Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee will assume the duties of the supervising attorney required by this Rule; and

(C) the retired or inactive attorney meets the requirements of section (a) of this Rule;

(2) a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the retired or inactive attorney is or was admitted to practice law; and

(3) a sworn statement by the retired or inactive attorney that the retired or inactive attorney:

(A) has read and is familiar with the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct and all rules relating to the practice of law in this State and will abide by the provisions thereof; and

(B) will neither ask for nor receive compensation of any kind for the legal services rendered under this Rule.

(d) Any questions concerning the fitness or qualifications of the retired or inactive attorney may be referred by the Supreme Court to the Committee on Character and Fitness for a hearing and recommendation.

(e) The limited certificate shall be revoked immediately upon:

(1) notice by Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee stating that the retired or inactive attorney has ceased to be associated with Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee.  Such notice must be sent to the retired or inactive attorney and must be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court within five (5) days after the association has ceased.  The notice need not state a reason for the cessation of the association; or

(2) a determination by the Supreme Court, in its discretion, that the limited certificate should be revoked.  Notice of the revocation shall be sent to the retired or inactive attorney and Legal Services, the Program or the Grantee within five (5) days of the revocation.

(f) Upon the revocation of the limited certificate, the supervising attorney shall immediately file notice of the revocation in the official file of each matter pending before any court or tribunal in which the retired or inactive attorney was involved.

(g) The confidentiality provisions of Rule 402(i), SCACR, shall apply to all files and records of the Board of Law Examiners, the Committee on Character and Fitness, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court relating to a limited certificate to practice law under this rule.

Last amended by Order dated September 16, 2008