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. 

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  • Ethics Advsory Opinion 21-02

    1. Is the lawyer permitted to open up an additional trust account pursuant to South Carolina Appellate Court Rule 412, separate from his IOLTA account in an interest-bearing account? 2. Should the entire amount be placed in the account or should the entire sum minus the attorney’s fees and costs be placed into the account?

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 21-01

    May Lawyer A participate in Company’s service provider network for an annual fee of $249.00 and be listed as an “identified” service provider that a Bank customer may choose without violating S.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2(c)?

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 20-03

    May Lawyer D utilize the names of retired lawyers A and B in the New Firm name (A, B, & D, P.A.) and be in compliance with Rules 7.5 and 7.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct? Stated differently, is New Firm considered a “bona fide successor” firm to Prior Firm as discussed in Ethics Advisory Opinions 79-06 and 75-01 such that the trade name of the firm can include the names of retired or deceased members? Is the analysis different if Lawyer B serves in an “of counsel,” non-equity role for a short time for New Firm prior to B’s retirement? Lawyer D may use the names of retired lawyers A and B in the new firm name, formed subsequent to B’s retirement. Pursuant to Rules 7.5 and 7. 1, will be a bona fide successor firm.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 20-02

    May Attorney contribute money towards a settlement on behalf of his defendant Client in order for the case to resolve more quickly? If so, must attorney disclose what he is doing to either Insurance Company or Client? The Attorney may not contribute a portion of the attorney’s fee directly to a settlement, as to do so would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. The attorney may, however, inform the insurance company of his desire to reduce his fee in order to allow the insurance company to have more money to put toward the settlement, thus allowing for an outcome that benefits the client, and also is cost-effective for the attorney and the insurance company. Attorney must disclose his actions to both insurance company and to client, in order to satisfy Rules 1.4. and 5.4(c).

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 20-01

    A lawyer seeks to enhance her internet presence with the use of keyword advertising. The lawyer inquires whether she may engage in keyword advertising by using her competitors’ names as search terms for placement of her advertisement.