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Attorneys

Attorneys – Discipline – Definite Suspension – Divulging Confidential Information – Aiding Misrepresentation (access required)

In re Poff Respondent improperly disclosed confidential client information to a third party, mishandled his trust account, engaged in fee sharing with a non-lawyer, and aided his assistant in misrepresenting her income to the government. Respondent thereby violated Rules 1.2(d) (scope of representation), 1.6(a) (confidentiality), 1.15(a) (safekeeping of property), 8.4(d) and 8.4(e) (misconduct), RPC, Rule 407, SCACR, and Rules 7(a)(1) (violating the RPC), 7(a)(5) (conduct tending to pollute the administration of justice), and 7(a)(6) (violating lawyers’ oath of office), RDLE, Rule 413, SCACR.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Definite Suspension – Cancer Treatment – Clients’ Interests (access required)

In re Bentley While respondent was being treated for cancer, she closed her office and failed to protect her clients’ interests. She also failed to keep proper records for her trust account. We accept the agreement for discipline by consent entered into by respondent and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Respondent is suspended from the practice of law for two years, retroactive to her interim suspension.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Court Rules – Client Communication – Trust Account — Suspension (access required)

In re Hoffman Respondent failed to properly communicate with or to abide by the rules of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims while representing clients there; moreover, respondent failed to inform her clients that their appeals had been dismissed because of her failures. Respondent also failed to keep proper trust account records.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Notarizing Signatures – Improper Procedure – Reprimand (access required)

In re Cerato Based on his misunderstanding of proper procedure for notarizing documents, respondent notarized statements that came to him already signed, after telephoning the signers and, in one case, the assistant of the person who purportedly signed the statement. In the last instance, the purported signer had not signed the document.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Real Property – Closing Irregularities – Reprimand (access required)

In re Brown In numerous closings that respondent performed for Johnny Hoy, Hoy bought a parcel of land and immediately resold the land and a mobile home. Respondent followed the instructions of a bank employee and completed HUD-1 settlement statements so that the statements failed to reflect the fact that Hoy used the proceeds he received from his sale of the parcel and mobile home to fund his purchase of the parcel. Upon learning of this court’s decision in In re Barbare, 360 S.C. 560, 602 S.E.2d 382 (2004), respondent changed his closing procedures, and Hoy stopped using respondent’s services. We accept the agreement for discipline by consent between respondent and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Respondent is publicly reprimanded.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Suspension – Reciprocal Action – Florida Suspension  (access required)

In re Dahle The Supreme Court of Florida suspended respondent from the practice of law for one year after he admitted to overcharging a client in one case and withholding evidence in another. Neither the Office of Disciplinary Counsel nor respondent has given this court any indication that the imposition of identical discipline is not warranted.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Definite Suspension – Asperger’s Syndrome (access required)

In re Longtin While we are sympathetic to respondent’s recent diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, we must protect the public from lawyers who may lack the present ability to adequately represent their clients in the courts of this state. Respondent’s misconduct warrants suspension from the practice of law for a period of nine months from the date of this opinion, and during the suspension, we direct the appointment of an attorney to protect his clients’ interests.

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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 – Public Reprimand – Notary Public – Witness Signatures – Favorable Affidavits (access required)

In re Robinson The respondent-attorney is also a notary public. As such, she falsely attested that witnesses had signed affidavits, which they had not signed and to which they demanded changes — unfavorable to respondent’s client - before they would sign. We publicly reprimand respondent for her misconduct. She shall pay the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

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