In the Matter of Brian DeQuincey Newman, Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2018-001654
Submitted October 23, 2018
S. Nichols, Disciplinary Counsel, and Joseph P. Turner, Jr.,
Senior Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for
Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Demos Protopapas, of Rikard & Protopapas, LLC, of
Columbia, for Respondent.
attorney disciplinary matter, respondent and the Office of
Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) have entered into an Agreement for
Discipline by Consent (the 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 definite suspension for
six months, retroactive to respondent's interim
suspension. We accept the Agreement and suspend
respondent from the practice of law in this state for six
months, retroactive to respondent's interim suspension.
The facts, as set forth in the Agreement, are as follows.
failed to file state income tax returns and pay state taxes
for the years 2012 and 2013. In 2016, respondent pled guilty
to two counts of failing to file income tax returns and
failing to pay state income taxes. Respondent was sentenced
to one year, suspended to two years' probation, which was
reduced to six months' probation based upon respondent
having made full restitution. Respondent has completed his
received a fee and deposited it into his operating account.
Respondent treated the money as an advance fee pursuant to a
written fee agreement with his client. Respondent
acknowledges his written fee agreement neither informed the
client of their right to terminate the lawyer-client
relationship and discharge respondent nor informed the client
they may be entitled to a refund of all or a portion of the
fee if the agreed-upon legal services were not provided.
respondent acknowledges he failed to adequately maintain his
financial records as required by the financial recordkeeping
requirements of Rule 417, SCACR.
admits that by his conduct he has violated the following
provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct contained in
Rule 407, SCACR: Rule 1.5(f)(4), (5) (a lawyer may charge an
advance fee and treat the fee as immediately earned if the
lawyer and client agree in advance in a written fee agreement
that notifies the client he or she has the right to terminate
the lawyer-client relationship and discharge the lawyer, and
notifies the client he or she may be entitled to a refund of
all or a portion of the fee if the agreed-upon legal services
are not provided); Rule 8.4(b) (it is professional misconduct
for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely
on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a
lawyer in other aspects); Rule 8.4(c) (it is professional
misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving moral
turpitude); and Rule 8.4(d) (it is professional misconduct
for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty,
fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation). Respondent further
admits violating Rule 417, SCACR (financial recorded
respondent admits the allegations contained in the Agreement
constitute grounds for discipline under Rule 7(a)(1), RLDE,
Rule 413, SCACR ("It shall be a ground for discipline
for a lawyer to: (1) violate or attempt to violate the Rules
of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, or any other rules
of this jurisdiction regarding professional conduct of
lawyers . . . .").
respondent's misconduct warrants a definite suspension
from the practice of law in this state for six months
retroactive to January 8, 2016, the date of respondent's
interim suspension. Accordingly, we accept the Agreement and
suspend respondent for a period of six months, retroactive to
his earlier interim suspension. Within thirty (30) days of
the date of this opinion, respondent shall pay the costs
incurred in the investigation and prosecution of this matter
by ODC and the Commission. Additionally, prior to seeking
reinstatement, respondent must ...