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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

1.14   Rule 1.14 Client Under a Disability

1.14:100   Comparative Analysis of SC Rule

Primary SC References: SC Rule 1.14
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

1.14:101      Model Rule Comparison

South Carolina Rule 1.14 and its comments are identical to Model Rule 1.14, except that South Carolina has not adopted comment paragraphs 6 and 7 dealing with emergency assistance, which were approved by the ABA in 1997.

1.14:102      Model Code Comparison

There was no counterpart to Rule 1.14 in the Code of Professional Responsibility, although several ethical considerations referred to lawyers' duties to impaired clients.

1.14:200   Problems in Representing a Partially or Severely Disabled Client

Primary SC References: SC Rule 1.14
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 31:601, ALI-LGL 35, Wolfram 4.4

A lawyer who is the conservator for a minor should not serve also as the attorney for the minor, even with court approval. S.C. Bar Ethics Adv. Op. # 96-21.

1.14:300   Maintaining Client-Lawyer Relationship with Disabled Client

Primary SC References: SC Rule 1.14(a)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14(a), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 31:601, ALI-LGL 35, Wolfram 4.4

Rule 1.14 requires that the lawyer for an incompetent person maintain to the extent possible "a normal lawyer-client relationship with the client." The rule recognizes that there are varying degrees of incompetence and that a client, while without competence to make legally binding decisions may, nevertheless, be able to "reach conclusions about matters affecting the client's own well-being." Rule 1.14, cmt.

1.14:400   Appointment of Guardian or Other Protective Action

Primary SC References: SC Rule 1.14(b)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14(b), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 31:601, ALI-LGL 35, Wolfram 4.4

If a legal representative, such as a guardian or conservator, has been appointed for the client, the lawyer ordinarily should follow the decisions of that representative. Rule 1.14, cmt. When a guardian has been appointed, the lawyer must determine whether the lawyer represents the ward or the guardian. If the lawyer represents the guardian and becomes aware that the guardian is "acting adversely to the ward's interest," the lawyer may be required to take steps to prevent or correct such misconduct. Id. The comment does not specifically address the duty of the lawyer when the lawyer represents the interests of the ward and is instructed by the guardian to act in a manner that the lawyer believes is adverse to the interests of the client.