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In re Jardine

Supreme Court of South Carolina

October 29, 2014

In the Matter of Nathan N. Jardine, Respondent

Submitted: October 14, 2014.

Lesley M. Coggiola, Disciplinary Counsel, and Barbara M. Seymour, Deputy Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Nathan N. Jardine, of Farmington, Utah, Pro se.

TOAL, C.J., PLEICONES, BEATTY, KITTREDGE and HEARN, JJ., concur.

OPINION

[410 S.C. 370] DISCIPLINE IMPOSED

PER CURIAM:

Respondent is licensed to practice law in Utah and California; [1] he is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina. On November 1, 2013, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) filed Formal Charges against respondent alleging he offered to provide legal services in South Carolina and directly solicited a resident of this state in violation of Rule 7, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, and Rule 418, SCACR. Respondent did not answer the Formal Charges, was found to be in default, and was therefore deemed to have admitted the factual allegations made in this charges.[2] See

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[410 S.C. 371] Rule 24(a), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR. Following an evidentiary hearing in which respondent did not appear, the Hearing Panel issued a Panel Report recommending the Court bar respondent from seeking any form of admission in South Carolina for five (5) years, along with other sanctions. Neither ODC nor respondent filed exceptions to the Panel Report. The matter is now before the Court for consideration.

FACTS

Matter I

In January 2013, respondent associated with Fulcrum 360, a loan modification company, for the purpose of soliciting clients in loan modification cases under the name J Nolan Legal.[3] Fulcrum 360 was owned and operated by non-lawyers. Fulcrum 360 prepared and distributed marketing materials for J Nolan Legal on behalf of respondent. The materials included a direct mail solicitation and a website. Fulcrum 360 represented to respondent that an attorney had reviewed the marketing materials for ethical compliance and that it had developed a referral network consisting of attorneys in each state to refer clients for foreclosure representation if necessary. In fact, neither respondent nor Fulcrum 360 had a referral relationship or association with an attorney licensed to practice law in South Carolina.

In or around February 2013, a South Carolina resident received a direct mail solicitation from respondent addressed to her at her home in Eastover, South Carolina. The solicitation stated it was issued after the prospective client made known to respondent a desire not to be solicited by virtue of her failure to respond to prior attempts to contact her. The direct mail solicitation contained material misrepresentations and omissions of facts necessary to make certain statements considered as a whole not materially misleading. Specifically, the solicitation did not disclose the name under which respondent was licensed to practice law, contained the trade name J Nolan Legal which made it difficult for the prospective client [410 S.C. 372] to identify respondent, and did not specify that respondent is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina or otherwise indicate the jurisdictional limitations on his ability to practice law in this state. The direct mail solicitation: 1) listed a " virtual office" in California which respondent only used for the purpose of receiving mail while he actually worked from an office in Utah and 2) failed to include the various disclaimers required by Rule ...


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