In the Matter of Ronald Wade Moak, Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2016-001018
Submitted June 21, 2016
M. Coggiola, Disciplinary Counsel, and Sabrina C. Todd,
Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for Office
of Disciplinary Counsel.
Wade Moak, of Camden, pro se.
attorney disciplinary matter, respondent and the Office of
Disciplinary Counsel have entered into an Agreement for
Discipline by Consent (Agreement) pursuant to Rule 21 of the
Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (RLDE) contained in
Rule 413 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR).
In the Agreement, respondent admits misconduct and consents
to the imposition of a public reprimand with conditions. We
accept the Agreement and issue a public reprimand with
conditions as stated hereafter in this opinion. The facts, as
set forth in the Agreement, are as follows.
agreed to represent Client A on three matters for a flat fee
of $2, 500: a criminal domestic violence charge, a Department
of Social Services paternity case, and a possible divorce.
Ultimately, respondent collected $2, 785 in fees, but also
represented Client A on an additional criminal domestic
violence charge as well as an animal control charge.
days after beginning the representation, respondent filed a
divorce complaint and a motion for an emergency hearing on
Client A's behalf. Although respondent provided
information for the domestic action, respondent did not
provide him with a copy of the complaint. The temporary
hearing was continued because Client A's wife was
incarcerated in another county. Respondent did not seek to
have the hearing rescheduled and did not adequately explain
the status of the case to Client A. When Client A later
waivered on whether he wanted to pursue the divorce,
respondent considered the matter abandoned but did not
clearly communicate that to Client A. At times,
respondent's communications with Client A and his
daughter caused Client A to believe the divorce action was
admits that, at times, he failed to respond to Client A's
reasonable requests for information about the action. He did
not notify Client A when he received a 365-day benchmark
notice from the family court or when the case was dismissed.
A obtained a divorce with assistance from another lawyer.
Thereafter, Client A filed a complaint with ODC under the
mistaken belief respondent never filed a divorce action on
admits that his conduct violated the following provisions of
the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR: Rule 1.3
(lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in
representing client); and Rule 1.4 (lawyer shall keep client
reasonably informed about status of matter and promptly
comply with reasonable requests for information).
B sought respondent's assistance with a child visitation
issue. Respondent recommended Client B reach a visitation
agreement with the child's father which respondent could
then submit to the family court for adoption as an official
court order. Respondent agreed to represent Client B for
$500, which included a court appearance and filing fees. The
fee agreement was not reduced to writing. Client B understood
respondent would file the visitation agreement upon payment
of $350 with the balance due later. Client B paid respondent