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The sins of the father (access required)

Long time Columbia city councilman and convicted felon E.W. Cromartie II had an interesting argument for why the South Carolina Supreme Court shouldn’t disbar him from the profession. Cromartie, who spent ten months in federal prison for tax evasion, asked the court during an Oct. 4 hearing not to strip him of law license because he feared it would hurt his namesake son, E.W. Cromartie III, who is also an attorney.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Clients’ Funds – Mother’s Estate (access required)

In re Hemingway Respondent failed to protect the liens of two of his personal-injury clients’ medical providers, failed to comply with court orders when he was administering his mother’s estate, failed to disburse settlement funds to another client, and accepted a retainer fee while he was on interim suspension.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Stealing Client Funds (access required)

In re Taylor Where respondent (1) embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars of client funds in order to support a lavish lifestyle, (2) failed to safeguard other client funds, (3) incurred debt in his wife’s name without her knowledge, (4) pled guilty to breach of trust with fraudulent intent, and (5) failed to respond to inquiries by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, we agree with the recommendation of the Commission on Lawyer Conduct panel’s recommendation that respondent be disbarred.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Failure to Respond – Abandonment of Practice (access required)

In re Hursey Due to respondent’s failure to answer the formal charges against him, he is deemed to have admitted the factual allegations in 13 disciplinary matters. Further, respondent has abandoned his law practice without regard to the status of his law license. Respondent has never communicated with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and he did not appear before this court. We disbar respondent.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Inadequate Representation – Violations of State Law & Court Orders (access required)

In re Davis Where respondent violated state law and the orders of this court, and where he failed to adequately represent clients, sufficiently respect the rights of third parties, or satisfy adverse monetary judgments, respondent is not fit to practice law.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Trust Account Misconduct – Clients’ Funds – Response to Investigation – Disbarment (access required)

In re Steinmeyer Respondent violated the Rules of Professional Conduct in numerous ways: (1) she failed to report another lawyer’s violation of the Rules for three years; (2) she deposited a client’s funds into her personal bank account; (3) her secretary signed and notarized an ejectment application such that it appeared to have been signed by a magistrate; (4) she wrote checks on her trust account for non-client related expenses, and there were insufficient funds in the account to pay the checks; (5) she misappropriated funds intended for clients; (6) she was arrested on drug and DUI charges; (7) she failed to file a complaint on behalf of a client; and (8) she failed to respond to communications from the Officer of Disciplinary Counsel.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Trust Account Misconduct – Clients’ Funds – Response to Investigation — Disbarment (access required)

In re Steinmeyer Respondent violated the Rules of Professional Conduct in numerous ways: (1) she failed to report another lawyer’s violation of the Rules for three years; (2) she deposited a client’s funds into her personal bank account; (3) her secretary signed and notarized an ejectment application such that it appeared to have been signed by a magistrate; (4) she wrote checks on her trust account for non-client related expenses, and there were insufficient funds in the account to pay the checks; (5) she misappropriated funds intended for clients; (6) she was arrested on drug and DUI charges; (7) she failed to file a complaint on behalf of a client; and (8) she failed to respond to communications from the Officer of Disciplinary Counsel.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Failure to Respond (access required)

In re Bagnell Respondent was hired by a client to work on a matter against a financial institution over a disputed debt but later began to ignore all the client’s attempts to contact him and was dismissive when the client tracked him down in person. Where respondent failed to respond to the investigation of the client’s grievance or to this disciplinary action, respondent has effectively admitted the allegations against him. Respondent is disbarred.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Murder Solicitation – Employee’s Embezzlement (access required)

In re Walker In addition to numerous other disciplinary violations, respondent tried to hire a hit man to murder another S.C. attorney. We accept the Agreement for Discipline by Consent and disbar respondent retroactively to Sept. 18, 2009, the date of his interim suspension. Respondent shall not file a petition for reinstatement until he has fully completed his criminal sentence, fully paid restitution to the parties affected by the misappropriation of funds from his trust accounts, fully reimbursed the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, and satisfied all judgments against him arising from the practice of law. Once he has completed the active term of his prison sentence, respondent shall make arrangements to fully reimburse Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Commission on Lawyers Conduct for costs incurred in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

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