RESIGNATION IN LIEU OF DISCIPLINE
(a) Motion for Resignation in Lieu of Discipline. A lawyer who desires not to contest or defend against allegations of misconduct in connection with a pending disciplinary investigation or formal proceedings may file a motion for permission to permanently resign in lieu of discipline by delivering to the Commission and serving on disciplinary counsel an affidavit that includes the following:
(1) A statement that the permanent resignation in lieu of discipline is freely and voluntarily rendered and that the lawyer is not being subjected to coercion or duress;
(2) A statement that the lawyer is aware that there is a pending investigation or formal charges involving allegations of misconduct, that the lawyer acknowledges that disciplinary counsel can prove those allegations, and that the lawyer desires not to contest or defend against those allegations;
(3) A statement that the lawyer is fully aware that the resignation, if granted, will be permanent and that the lawyer will never be eligible to apply, and will not be considered, for admission or reinstatement to the practice of law or for any limited practice of law in South Carolina;
(4) Identification of all other jurisdictions in which the lawyer is admitted to practice law and a statement that the lawyer will promptly seek to resign permanently from those jurisdictions if the motion is granted;
(5) A statement from Commission counsel that all costs incurred by the Commission and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in connection with the pending disciplinary proceedings have been paid in full; and
(6) A statement from the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection that all payments made on behalf of the lawyer have been reimbursed to the Fund.
(b) Disciplinary Counsel's Return and Lawyer's Opportunity to Withdraw. Disciplinary counsel shall file a return within thirty days of service including (1) a detailed statement of the allegations of misconduct giving rise to the proceedings; (2) disciplinary counsel's concurrence with or opposition to the motion for permanent resignation based on the best interests of the public and the profession; and (3) proof of service on the lawyer. The lawyer may withdraw the motion within ten days after service of disciplinary counsel's return. If the lawyer does not timely file a withdrawal of the motion, the detailed statement of the allegations shall be deemed to have been conclusively established for the purpose of consideration of the motion.
(c) Submission to the Investigative Panel. An investigative panel of the Commission shall consider the lawyer's affidavit and disciplinary counsel's return and shall then file with the Supreme Court its recommendation regarding the lawyer's motion.
(d) Action by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall either reject the motion or issue a decision ordering the lawyer's permanent resignation. If the motion for permanent resignation is rejected by the Supreme Court, the proceedings shall continue. The rejected affidavit and disciplinary counsel's return shall be withdrawn, shall remain confidential, and shall not be used against the lawyer in any further proceedings. If the motion for permanent resignation is granted by the Supreme Court, the lawyer's motion and affidavit, the return of disciplinary counsel, and the recommendation of the investigative panel shall be public. The order granting the request shall be published.
(e) Effect of Filing on the Proceedings. The filing of a motion for permanent resignation in lieu of discipline does not, without the consent of disciplinary counsel, serve to delay or suspend any pending disciplinary investigation or formal proceedings.
Adopted by Order dated November 12, 2014.