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North Charleston attorney reprimanded

Attorney: John W. Swan

Location: North Charleston

Bar membership: Member since 1975

Disciplinary action: Publicly reprimanded on March 14

Background: On several occasions, Swan made sexually inappropriate comments to a client on the telephone while she was in jail, and on one occasion did the same with another client who was in jail. There is no evidence Swan had sexual relations or engaged in any other inappropriate touching with either client, including with the client while she was staying in his home, or that Swan requested sexual services in exchange for anything. Swan asserts he believed at the time the comments were made that they were merely “raunchy banter” or jokes. He now acknowledges the inappropriate nature of the comments. An ODC review of the conversations at issue revealed Swan’s comments to be sexually explicit and highly offensive in nature. Swan also delivered electronic cigarettes to two clients in jail, deliberately concealed the transfer by positioning his body in order to block the surveillance camera. A second delivery to one of the clients was foiled. As an attorney, Swan was afforded special privileges by the jail facility and by delivering cigarettes to his clients he violated the trust the jail had in him as a member of the bar.

Previous discipline: Swan was publicly reprimanded in January 2008 after writing a letter to a Workers’ Compensation commissioner venting outrage over a ruling. He admitted that the tone of and descriptive speech contained in the letter were abusive and brought disrepute and disrespect to a tribunal engaged in the administration of justice, and the letter could be described as disruptive to the tribunal.

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