Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The South Carolina Supreme Court has imposed a two year suspension retroactive to a previously imposed interim suspension.
The court apparently did not find a violation in the following alleged conflict of interest:
Respondent's parents divorced in 1981. Sometime after the divorce, a dispute arose as to whether Respondent's father had complied with the division of certain real property. Respondent initiated an action in which he represented his mother against his father. On January 6, 1997, the family court issued an order that required the father to transfer certain property to Respondent's mother. When the father did not comply, Respondent filed a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause in April 2001 to determine whether his father should be held in contempt for failing to deed the property as required by the order.
During the time that Respondent represented his mother adverse to his father, Respondent also represented his father in a legal malpractice action. Respondent's representation of his father began in 1999 and continued through the conclusion of the appeal in June of 2003. Additionally, an opinion by the Court of Appeals lists Respondent as the attorney for his mother and father in an appeal during this same time period.
Respondent testified both parents were aware of his dual representation and he had advised his father that the mother's case had priority. There is no evidence in the record to refute Respondent's testimony.
The court found that the attorney had created false evidence in a civil case and rejected his arguments concerning a number of alleged procedural irregularities in the bar process. (Mike Frisch)