Ethics Hotline

The Ethics Hotline is staffed and operated by a trained Bar lawyer who is available to answer our members’ ethics questions, provide analysis of the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct as applied to certain facts and make recommendations regarding risk management, while leaving final decisions up to the Bar member.

Callers should be aware of the following guidelines before calling the Ethics Hotline:

  1. The Hotline only provides guidance to lawyers admitted to practice in South Carolina about the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, while leaving final decisions up to the Bar member.
  2. The Hotline only provides guidance concerning the caller's own prospective conduct. We do not answer questions about past conduct or the conduct of other lawyers.
  3. The Hotline does not provide legal advice or answer questions of law.
  4. The Hotline does not answer questions about the unauthorized practice of law (UPL).
  5. The Hotline provides general guidance. Due to the limited information we can obtain during a brief and informal telephone conversation, we cannot provide a definitive answer to Hotline questions.
  6. The Hotline does not answer questions that are the subject of a pending legal proceeding or are before a grievance committee.
  7. The Ethics Hotline does not respond to complaints or inquiries regarding unethical conduct of other lawyers.

If, after speaking with someone on the Hotline, a South Carolina lawyer wishes to obtain a written Ethics Advisory Opinion from the Ethics Advisory Committee, he or she may submit a written request. Please review the guidelines for requesting an Ethics Advisory Opinion here. As with Hotline questions, the Committee's Advisory Opinions are limited to interpreting the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. Please be aware that the Committee cannot provide a concrete timeline for responding to written requests. If your matter is urgent, you may wish to retain professional ethics counsel.

All conversations are confidential and protected by Rule 8.3(f) of the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.

Call (803) 799-6653, ext. 178 or email Nichole Davis.

Ethics Advisory Opinions | The South Carolina Bar Ethics Advisory Committee provides the full text of all ethics opinions since 1990 online.

Rules of Professional Conduct | Access the Rules of Professional Conduct via the S.C. Judicial Department.