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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct

Comment - Rule 4.4

[1] Responsibility to a client requires a lawyer to subordinate the interests of others to those of the client, but that responsibility does not imply that a lawyer may disregard the rights of third persons. It is impractical to catalogue all such rights, but they include legal restrictions on methods of obtaining evidence from third persons.

[2] The South Carolina version deletes "substantial" which is the qualifier before "purpose" in the model rule. The chilling effect of having to demonstrate a substantial purpose outweighs the protections to be afforded to third persons. A lawyer should not have to determine the relative merits of trial tactics against embarrassment to a third person. As to cross examining an adverse witness, the lawyer's conduct is limited by the rules of evidence and the control which the trial judge exercises over the conduct of the trial. In problems of delaying or burdening witnesses, the trial judge can also exercise control and the witness in certain circumstances can obtain a rotective order.