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Ethics Advisory Opinion 07-10

April 13, 2007

South Carolina Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion 07-10

SC Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15(f)

Date: November 16, 2007

Question
May a lawyer accept cashiers checks and certified checks from non-bank depository institutions such as credit unions and treat them as “collected funds” under Rule 1.15(f), although the Rule uses only the word “bank”?

Opinion
Yes. Subject to future clarification from the Supreme Court, the Committee believes the term “bank” in Rule 1.15(f) should be read to include credit unions and other financial institutions as defined in IOLTA Rule 412(a)(4). The “Scope” of the Rules of Professional Conduct state: “The Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with reference to the purposes of legal representation and of the law itself.”

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