Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

RULE 503

Section A

There is hereby created an Advisory Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct. The purpose of the Committee shall be to render written advisory opinions to inquiring judges concerning the propriety of contemplated judicial and nonjudicial conduct.

Section B

The Committee shall consist of one Circuit Court judge, one Family Court judge, and one regular member of the South Carolina Bar who does not hold and has never held a judicial office.

Committee members shall be appointed by the Supreme Court and shall hold office for a period of three (3) years. The terms of the members shall be staggered so that one term expires each year. The Supreme Court shall appoint one of the members of the Committee as the Chairman.

Section C

Two members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any Committee business, including the issuance of any advisory opinion, whether in a meeting or by circulated writing.

Section D

All opinions shall be advisory in nature only. No opinion shall bind the Commission on Judicial Conduct in any proceeding properly before that body. However, in the discretion of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, an opinion of the Committee may be considered as evidence of a good faith effort to comply with the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Section E

All requests for opinions shall be in writing, addressed to the Committee and signed by the requesting judge. All opinions rendered by the Committee shall be in writing and shall, within the body of the opinion, state the facts on which it is based. The name of the requesting judge and any other party or parties shall not be contained in the opinion and shall remain confidential. A copy of each opinion shall be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and with the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Upon filing with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, opinions shall become a matter of public record. All other files and records of the Committee shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except upon order of the Supreme Court.

Section F

No member of the Committee shall participate in any matter before the Committee in which he has a direct or indirect interest.

Section G

Any determination of the propriety or impropriety of particular conduct by the Commission on Judicial Conduct shall supersede any conflicting opinion of the Committee.

Section H

No individual shall serve simultaneously on the Advisory Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct and the Commission on Judicial Conduct.