Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2012-11-02-02

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In the Matter of Derwin Thomas Brannon, Respondent.

Appellate Case No. 2012-212600


ORDER


On July 13, 2009, the Court definitely suspended respondent from the practice of law for one (1) year, retroactive to April 30, 2008, the date of his interim suspension.  In the Matter of Brannon, 383 S.C. 374, 680 S.E.2d 776 (2009). [1]  After a hearing on his Petition for Reinstatement, the Committee on Character and Fitness (the Committee) filed a Report and Recommendation recommending respondent be reinstated subject to certain conditions, including, among others:  1) completion of the South Carolina Bar's Advertising and Trust Account School and Legal Ethics and Practice Program School within one (1) year of reinstatement, 2) execution of a restitution agreement with the Commission on Lawyer Conduct (the Commission) to repay $7,792.24 to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection (Lawyers' Fund), and 3) paying $11,000 to former client Lisa G. Lewis in restitution within one year of the Court's decision on reinstatement.  See May 9, 2011, Report and Recommendation.  Respondent filed no exceptions to the Committee's Report and Recommendation.

On June 23, 2011, the Court issued an order granting respondent's Petition for Reinstatement subject to the same conditions proposed by the Committee.  The order specified: 

  1. within one (1) year of the date of this order, respondent shall attend and complete the South Carolina Bar's Advertising and Trust Account School and Legal Ethics and Practice Program School and provide the Commission with evidence of completion of the programs;

  2. within sixty (60) days of the date of this order, respondent shall enter into a restitution agreement with the Commission agreeing to repay the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection (Lawyers' Fund) $7,792.24 for claims paid on his behalf; and

  3. within one year of the date of this order, respondent shall repay $11,000.00 to former client Lisa G. Lewis.

See June 23, 2011, order. 

ODC has filed a Petition to Issue Rule to Show Cause pursuant to Rule 5(b)(7), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, alleging respondent failed to comply with the Court's June 23, 2011, order by: 1) failing to provide the Commission with evidence of completion of the South Carolina Bar's Advertising and Trust Account School and Legal Ethics and Practice Program School by June 23, 2012; 2) failing to enter into a restitution agreement with the Commission to repay the Lawyers' Fund $7,792.24; and 3) failing to repay $11,000.00 to former client Lisa G. Lewis by June 23, 2012.  ODC petitions the Court to require respondent to show cause why he should not be held in civil and criminal contempt of Court for failing to comply with the terms of the order reinstating him to the practice of law. 

Respondent filed a return admitting he failed to comply with the terms of the Court's order reinstating him to the practice of law.  He states he has been working and living in Africa since September 3, 2011, and has been unable to pay the ordered restitution.  Regarding his failure to attend the Advertising and Trust Account School and Legal Ethics and Practice Program School, respondent requests "an online option or some other prepackaged course offerings that I can complete while overseas."
  
We decline to issue the Rule to Show Cause.  We rescind that portion of the June 23, 2011, order reinstating respondent to the practice of law.  Respondent shall not file a Petition for Reinstatement until he has fulfilled all of the requirements set forth in the Court's June 23, 2011, order including:  1) attending and completing the South Carolina Bar's Advertising and Trust Account School and Legal Ethics and Practice Program School and providing the Commission with evidence of completion of the programs; 2) entering into a restitution agreement with the Commission agreeing to repay the Lawyers' Fund $7,792.24; and 3) repaying $11,000.00 to former client Lisa G. Lewis.  Respondent's Petition for Reinstatement shall be referred to the Committee for a hearing and issuance of a Report and Recommendation. 


[1] In the Matter of Brannon, 377 S.C. 474, 661 S.E.2d 98 (2008). 

s/Jean H. Toal                                  C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                          J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                             J.

s/John W. Kittredge                             J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                  J.


Columbia, South Carolina
November 2, 2012