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 Advisory Opinion 24-02

    Only in unusual circumstances where a lawyer’s financial interests are not significantly intertwined with the lawyer’s spouse’s should a lawyer consider referring clients to a pre-settlement funding business owned by a lawyer’s spouse. If either the business of the lawyer’s spouse benefits the lawyer financially or otherwise or the lawyer assists the spouse financially or otherwise in the creation or operation of the spouse’s business, then the lawyer would, by advising a client about or referring a client to the spouse’s business, violate Rule 1.8(e) through the acts of another in violation of 8.4(a). Even if the lawyer does not financially or otherwise contribute to or benefit from the business of the lawyer’s spouse and, thus, is not prohibited under Rule 8.4(a) from referring the client to the business of the lawyer’s spouse, the lawyer should fully disclose the spouse’s interest in the business.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 24-01

    No. Lawyer A would violate Rule 4.2 if Lawyer A communicates directly in any way with the represented purported seller without the consent of Lawyer B, unless the communication is otherwise allowed by law or court order. Lawyer A has an obligation under Rules 1.1 and 1.3 to take all action necessary to verify the seller and protect Lawyer A’s client, but may not employ means that otherwise violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, “Parties to a matter may communicate directly with each other, and a lawyer is not prohibited from advising a client concerning a communication that the client is legally entitled to make.” Rule 4.2, Cmt. 4.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 23-05

    A lawyer may employ a social worker provided the lawyer adequately informs the social worker of the professional obligations of the lawyer, has measures in place that provide reasonable assurance that the social worker’s conduct is compatible with those obligations, and supervises and is responsible for the work of the social worker. In addition, if a potential conflict exists between the social worker’s obligations as a social worker and the Rules of Professional Conduct, the lawyer should inform the client of the social worker’s potentially conflicting duties and allow the client to make an informed decision whether to consent to the social worker assisting with the client’s case. However, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that there is information in the lawyer’s file that will trigger disclosure by the social worker, the lawyer cannot allow the social worker to have access to that information.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 23-04

    Lawyer previously represented both Husband and Wife, so for purposes of Rule 1.9, the questions are: i) whether drafting new documents for Husband with the proposed changes is a “substantially related matter” to drafting the documents for Him, and if so, ii) whether the changes would be “materially adverse” to the interests of Wife; and iii) whether there is any information from the prior representation that could be used to the disadvantage of Wife that was not already shared with Husband during the prior joint representation. The Committee concludes Section 1.9(b) would not apply to this fact situation.

  • Ethics Advisory Opinion 23-03

    The use of RDS advertising with the format proposed including only the firm name, the word “Call” and the firm phone number complies with Rule 7.2(d) as interpreted and applied in Rule 7.2, Comment 10.