The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: Administrative Suspensions for Failure to Pay License Fees or
Comply with Continuing Legal Education Requirements
By order dated September 6, 2000, this Court adopted Rule 419, SCACR. This rule provides a comprehensive procedure for suspending lawyers who fail to pay license fees to the South Carolina Bar or to comply with Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements. This rule provides that a lawyer who is not reinstated within three years of being suspended by this Court will have his or her membership in the South Carolina Bar terminated and will have to comply with all of the requirements of Rule 402, SCACR, to be readmitted to the practice of law in this state.
Prior to the adoption of Rule 419, this Court held hearings and suspended lawyers for failing to pay license fees or to comply with CLE requirements. Although our order adopting Rule 419 did not deal with its application to lawyers suspended prior to its adoption, we find that this rule should be applied to those lawyers.
However, to insure they have an adequate opportunity to apply for reinstatement prior to having their membership terminated, lawyers who were suspended for failure to pay bar dues or comply with CLE requirements before Rule 419 became effective, have until June 1, 2004, to seek reinstatement under the procedures provided by Rule 419. If they fail to do so, their membership in the South Carolina Bar will be terminated, and they will have to comply with all requirements of Rule 402 to be readmitted to practice law in this state.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Jean H. Toal C.J.
s/E.C. Burnett, III J.
s/Costa M. Pleicones J.
Columbia, South Carolina
May 16, 2003