Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch


(a) Briefs of Disciplinary Counsel and Respondent. Within 30 days of the service of the hearing panel report, disciplinary counsel and/or respondent may serve and file a brief setting forth and arguing any exceptions taken to the findings, conclusions or recommendations made by the hearing panel. Within 30 days after service of the brief, any opposing party may serve and file a brief in response. Within 15 days of the service of the response, the party who filed the brief containing exceptions may serve and file a reply brief. The failure of a party to file a brief taking exceptions to the report constitutes acceptance of the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations.

(b) Form, Content and Number of Briefs. The form and content of the briefs shall to the extent possible comply with the requirements of Rules 208 and 267, SCACR. The number of briefs to be served and filed shall be the same as that required for final briefs under Rule 211(a), SCACR.

(c) Supplementary Filings and Oral Argument.

(1) If the Supreme Court desires an expansion of the record or additional findings, it shall remand the case to the hearing panel with appropriate directions, retain jurisdiction, and withhold action pending receipt of the additional filing.

(2) The Supreme Court may order additional briefs or oral arguments as to the entire case or specified issues.

(d) Stay for Further Proceedings. Disciplinary counsel shall advise the Supreme Court if it receives any other complaint(s) against respondent during review by the Supreme Court. Disciplinary counsel may also advise the Supreme Court if there any pending complaints against respondent at the time the matter is submitted for review. The Supreme Court may stay its review pending the Commission's determination of any other complaint(s). The Supreme Court may impose a single sanction covering all recommendations for discipline from the Commission against a respondent.     

(e) Decision.

(1) The Supreme Court shall file a written decision dismissing the case, containing a letter of caution, imposing a sanction(s), or transferring the judge to incapacity inactive status. Any order relating to incapacity shall comply with Rule 28(b)(9). Unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, the decision shall be effective upon filing.

(2) The Supreme Court may accept, reject, or modify in whole or in part the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Commission.

(3) The Supreme Court may assess costs against the respondent if it finds the respondent has committed misconduct. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, costs shall be paid within 30 days of the filing of the opinion or order assessing costs.

(f) Rehearing. A petition for rehearing must be received by the Supreme Court within 15 days after the filing of the decision or order in accordance with Rule 221, SCACR. No return to a petition for rehearing may be filed unless requested by the Supreme Court. Ordinarily, however, rehearing will not be granted in the absence of such a request.

(g) Recusal. A justice of the Supreme Court shall not participate in any proceeding involving allegations of misconduct or incapacity against the justice, or in any proceeding where recusal is required under the Code of Judicial Conduct. Upon notice of recusal, the Chair of the Commission on Judicial Conduct may appoint a lawyer who is not an employee of the Judicial Branch to act as disciplinary counsel in the matter. Following recusal of the affected justice, the Chief Justice (or Acting Chief Justice) shall appoint an acting justice to replace the recused justice for the duration of the case.

Last Amended by Order dated September 28, 2022.