Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
26083 - In the Matter of Michael V. Hart

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of Michael V. Hart, Respondent.

Opinion No. 26083
Submitted November 8, 2005 - Filed December 19, 2005


Henry B. Richardson, Jr., Disciplinary Counsel, and Barbara M. Seymour, Senior Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Desa Ballard, of West Columbia, for respondent.   

PER CURIAM:  The Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) and respondent have entered into an Agreement for Discipline by Consent pursuant to Rule 21, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, in which respondent admits misconduct and consents to the imposition of a letter of caution, admonition, or a public reprimand.  We accept the agreement and issue a public reprimand.  The facts, as set forth in the agreement, are as follows.


Respondent was arrested on a charge of criminal domestic violence after a physical altercation with his wife.  He pled guilty to simple assault and entered Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI).  Respondent has now completed PTI.  Respondent self-reported his misconduct to ODC.   


Respondent admits that, by his misconduct, he has violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR:  Rule 8.4(a) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to violated the Rules of Professional Conduct); Rule 8.4(b) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects); and Rule 8.4(c) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving moral turpitude).[1]  Respondent acknowledges that his misconduct constitutes grounds for discipline under the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR, specifically Rule 7(a)(1) (it shall be ground for discipline for a lawyer to violate Rules of Professional Conduct) and 7(a)(4) (it shall be ground for discipline for a lawyer to be convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or a serious crime).  


We find that respondent’s misconduct warrants a public reprimand.  Accordingly, we accept the Agreement for Discipline by Consent and publicly reprimand respondent for his misconduct.


TOAL, C.J., MOORE, BURNETT and PLEICONES, JJ., concur.  WALLER, J., not participating.

[1] Respondent’s misconduct occurred before the effective date of the Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct.  See Court Order dated June 20, 2005.  The Rules cited in this opinion are those which were in effect at the time of respondent’s misconduct.