Wednesday, September 25, 2013
An attorney who was disbarred in Georgia as a result of his guilty plea to seven misdemeanors was reciprocally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The Georgia opinion describes the conduct, which involving smuggling contraband into a jail facility:
...jails and correctional facilities can be dangerous and violent places—they often house, after all, dangerous and violent individuals—even with the best of security measures and protocols. And the introduction of contraband into such a facility tends to undermine those security measures and protocols. As a deputy sheriff explained in these proceedings, “any type of contraband, any things that are restricted from an inmate standpoint can further create problems on the floor,” and secreting contraband into a jail “would definitely break down the security or integrity of the internal security structure.” Accordingly, these crimes also necessarily reflect a disregard for the security of the jail and the safety of those who work, or are incarcerated, in it.
In this case, Jones acted deceitfully, dishonestly, in breach of his trust as an attorney, and in a way that threatened the security of the Richmond County Jail. When Jones smuggled contraband to his client, he secreted the contraband and passed it covertly to his client. He did so knowing that it was against the rules of the jail and with the understanding that he could be making matters worse for his client, if the client were found in possession of the contraband. When Jones himself was caught, he lied to law enforcement and disclaimed any knowledge of the contraband. On at least one occasion, Jones passed contraband to his client without even knowing the nature of the contraband. And Jones smuggled contraband to his client on ten separate occasions. All these things reflect dishonesty, amount to an obstruction of the administration of justice, and in light of the dangers that they posed for his client, other inmates, and the jailers, involve a disregard for the safety of others.