Ethics and Professional Responsibility

This statewide practice area focuses on all matters involving lawyer and judicial ethics, including grievance defense, law firm compliance and general counsel services, ethics opinions, and assistance with bar admission and reinstatement from our centrally-located office in Columbia.

Discipline Defense

Responding to an allegation of misconduct can be the most difficult and challenging experience in the professional life of a lawyer or judge.  We help our clients navigate the discipline system and work towards a favorable outcome.  If we can’t secure a dismissal, we will work with the disciplinary authorities to craft resolution that is appropriate for the client’s circumstances.  If the allegations of misconduct are disputed, we are prepared to litigate formal charges and defend our clients before the Commission on Lawyer Conduct, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, and the Supreme Court of South Carolina.  We also accept cases involving out-of-state lawyers engaged in multi-jurisdictional practices that subject them to the jurisdiction of South Carolina disciplinary authorities.   The Discipline Defense Practice includes:

  • Lawyer Discipline
  • Judicial Discipline
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law Charges

Law Firm Compliance and General Counsel Services

We provide lawyers and law firms with confidential and effective assistance in ensuring ethical compliance to help avoid disciplinary complaints and malpractice claims.  We work to customize a package of services that suits the unique needs of each of our law firm clients.  Law Firm Compliance and General Counsel Services include:

  • Ethics Counseling
  • Conflicts Analysis
  • Advertising Review
  • Risk Management Assessments and Site Visits
  • Trust Account Set-Up and Management Training
  • In-House Continuing Legal Education and Staff Training Programs
  • Law Firm Departures and Dissolutions
  • Drafting Law Firm Practice Manuals

Ethics Opinions

Professional opinions are provided to law firms, legal departments, and malpractice litigants on a variety of issues including conflicts of interest, negligence, law firm marketing, supervision of subordinates, trust accounting practices, fee setting and fee sharing, disclosure of confidential information, and the unauthorized practice of law.  Access to Ethics Opinions and advice is available through a variety of methods:

  • On-Call Services
  • Written Opinion Letters
  • Pre-Litigation Review
  • Professional Opinion Affidavits and Testimony

Bar Admissions and Reinstatement

It is essential to the function of our legal system that lawyers are held to a high standard of professional and personal conduct.  Yet, we recognize that people sometimes make mistakes.  We assist lawyers and law students in overcoming past missteps in order to join or rejoin the legal profession.  We work closely with bar applicants and lawyers to develop an action plan to establish that they have the character and fitness necessary to practice law.  The Bar Admission and Reinstatement Practice focuses on preparing the client for the rigors of Character and Fitness review and advocating for the client’s admission or reinstatement before the Committee and the Supreme Court.

Consult with an Ethics and Professional Responsibility Attorney

If you are in need of a South Carolina ethics and professional responsibility attorney, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843) 577-2026 to learn more about our services.

South Carolina ethics and professional responsibility attorney.

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