Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Court News ...

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Re: Amendments to Rule 501, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules

Appellate Case No. 2019-000847



The South Carolina Bar has proposed amending the Commentary to Canon 4B of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which is contained in Rule 501 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, to include a new paragraph permitting judges to encourage lawyers to provide pro bono services.  We grant the Bar's request to add the commentary, with a minor modification to the last sentence. 

Pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Canon 4B is amended, as set forth in the attachment to this Order.  This amendment is effective immediately.


s/Donald W. Beatty                        C.J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                J.

s/John Cannon Few                           J.

s/George C. James, Jr.                      J.

Columbia, South Carolina
October 23, 2019

Canon 4B, CJC, Rule 501, SCACR is amended to add the following language as the second paragraph in the Commentary:

A judge may promote the administration of justice by supporting and encouraging lawyers to provide pro bono legal services as long as the judge does not employ coercion or abuse the prestige of the judicial office. Such support and encouragement may include, but is not limited to: participating in events to recognize lawyers who do pro bono work; establishing general procedural or scheduling accommodations for pro bono lawyers as feasible; acting in an advisory capacity to pro bono programs; assisting an organization in the recruitment of lawyers or law firms to provide pro bono legal services so long as the recruitment effort cannot reasonably be perceived as coercive; participating in programs concerning the law which promote the provision of pro bono legal services; and providing leadership in convening, participating or assisting in advisory committees and community collaborations devoted to the provision of legal services to the indigent or those with low incomes.