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.

A trained Bar lawyer is available to answer ethics questions, provide analysis of the Rules of Professional Conduct as applied to certain facts and make recommendations regarding risk management, while leaving final decisions up to the Bar member. All conversations are confidential and protected by Rule 8.3(d) of the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. Call (803) 799-6653, ext. 178 or email ndavis@scbar.org.


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  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 18-05

    Licensed South Carolina Lawyer wants to accept earnest money deposits from a client through PayPal. Questions: (1) May a lawyer accept an earnest money deposit through PayPal? (2) If a lawyer may accept an earnest money deposit through PayPal, when does the lawyer have to transfer the money from PayPal?

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 18-04

    Lawyer A sends an email to Lawyer B and copies several people, including Lawyer A’s client. Lawyer A has not previously consented to Lawyer B contacting Lawyer A’s client and does not expressly do so in the email. Question: If Lawyer B receives an email from Lawyer A on which Lawyer A’s client is copied, may the lawyer “reply to all” – copying Lawyer A’s client with the response – without the express consent of Lawyer A?

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 18-03

    In large part, the questions posed by the Inquirer involve legal issues that are beyond the Committee’s purview. Addressing only those aspects of the Inquiry that potentially raise concerns under the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, the Committee’s opinion is as follows: Question 1: An attorney who has been involved in substantive matters during the investigative phase of a complaint should not act as Advice Counsel during the adjudicatory phase. Acting in such a dual capacity raises the specter of undue influence on the Agency’s decision-making process, regardless of the care taken by the attorney to avoid any actual impropriety. Question 2: The decision to seek reconsideration of, or to appeal, the panel’s order is one for the Agency head, as the client. The Prosecuting Attorney must communicate and consult with the Agency head on whether to seek reconsideration or to appeal. In doing so, the Prosecuting Attorney should render candid advice regarding not only the law but also other relevant considerations, which may include the views of the complainant.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 18-02

    Yes, Lawyer may accept financial assistance from the chiropractor to facilitate the dissemination of advertisements on behalf of the Lawyer, with an expectation of client referrals to the chiropractor for treatment, provided adequate disclosures are made. In addition to disclosing the relationship, Lawyer should obtain informed consent, confirmed in writing, regarding the substantial risk that the existence of the relationship may materially limit Lawyer’s ability to represent clients who obtain treatment with the chiropractor.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 18-01

    May Lawyer act as a property and casualty insurance agent for a local insurance agency selling automobile insurance for insurance carriers Lawyer may submit claims against in Lawyer’s law firm? Yes, provided Lawyer ensures that (1) he does not perform legal work as an insurance agent, and (2) his representation of clients against insurance carriers with which he works as an insurance agent is not materially limited by his responsibilities as an agent.