The South Carolina Bar Ethics Advisory Committee provides the full text of all ethics opinions since 1990 online. To find the opinion you need, simply use the search form below.
The opinions in this database contain the advice of the Committee based on the state of the law at the time of each opinion. Opinions are not updated to reflect changes in the Rules of Professional Conduct, more recent opinions, or other law. Further research may be necessary. Earlier opinions are available through Fastcase.
Frequently Asked Questions are also available.
Ethics Advisory Opinion 23-01
An attorney is permitted to charge his or her hourly rate for potential future time spent testifying as a fact witness relating to the representation, subject to the requirement that the rate must be reasonable. Therefore, an attorney is permitted to include such a provision in the client engagement agreement.
Ethics Advisory Opinion 22-06
The Ethics Advisory Committee addressed whether the inquirer could limit the scope of representation to assisting in the preparation of pleadings and whether the inquirer would be required to include a disclosure such as “Prepared with the Assistance of Counsel” on any documents that inquirer helped draft. The opinion said the inquirer may limit the scope of representation if such limitation is reasonable and that the inquirer is not required to make an affirmative disclosure of any sort regarding the limited assistance.
Ethics Advisory Opinion 22-05
In Ethics Advisory Opinion 22-05, the Ethics Advisory Committee addressed whether the inquirer could continue to represent his client in a probate matter if he knows that his client forged the plaintiff’s signature on a beneficiary receipt/release, notarized that forged signature, and then submitted the receipt/release to the probate court to represent that the plaintiff had received the distributions to which she was entitled and released the estate and client from any liability or claims. The opinion said the inquirer may continue to represent the client unless the client intends to use the forged document or make use of its existence in the litigation in any way.
Ethics Advisory Opinion 22-04
The question posed is "May lawyer charge an amount to cover administrative costs associated with stop-payment fees and trust account check reissuance and re-mailing fees for checks that remain outstanding for more than 30 days after issuance? Summary: Yes, lawyer may charge a check recipient an amount to cover administrative measures undertaken to resolve the outstanding check, which includes expenses incurred such as stop payment fees and postage fees, provided the amount charged is not unreasonable.
Ethics Advisory Opinion 22-03
The Rules of Professional Conduct impose no duty upon Inquirer to report this event. In the absence of a current attorney-client relationship with either the Institution or its president, Inquirer has no duty to provide legal advice to the president. Inquirer is prohibited under Rule 1.9 from using or disclosing the information unless it has become generally known as provided in 1.9(c)(1) or the institution provides informed consent as provided in Rule 1.6(a).