Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Dotson

Supreme Court of South Carolina

October 23, 2019

In the Matter of James Darrell Dotson, Respondent Appellate Case No. 2019-001503

          Submitted September 26, 2019

          John S. Nichols, Disciplinary Counsel, and Carey Taylor Markel, Deputy Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

          James Darrell Dotson, of North Carolina, pro se.

          PER CURIAM.

         In this 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, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR. In the Agreement, Respondent admits misconduct and consents to the imposition of a definite suspension of not more than one year. Respondent requests his suspension be applied retroactively to October 13, 2016, the date of his interim suspension. See In re Dotson, 418 S.C. 253, 792 S.E.2d 1 (2016). We accept the Agreement and suspend Respondent from the practice of law in this state for one year, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension. The facts, as set forth in the Agreement, are as follows.

         Facts

         Matter I

         Client J retained Respondent to represent him in a workers' compensation matter. Respondent failed to completely and diligently pursue Client J's legal matter and failed to adequately communicate with Client J for several months, including Client J's repeated requests for his client file.

         During the time he represented Client J, Respondent suffered from a mental health condition that impaired his fitness to practice law. Respondent failed to seek adequate and appropriate treatment and failed to withdraw from the representation.

         Initially, Respondent failed to respond to ODC's notice of investigation regarding Client J's complaint. Ultimately, Respondent appeared before ODC in response to a subpoena issued pursuant to Rule 19(c)(3), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR. Following a Rule 19(c)(3) interview with ODC, Respondent entered into a deferred discipline agreement, which was accepted by the Commission on October 22, 2014. In the deferred discipline agreement, Respondent admitted violating the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.1 (competence), 1.2 (scope of representation), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), and 8.1 (knowingly failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority), Rule 407, SCACR. Respondent agreed to comply with certain terms and conditions set forth in the deferred discipline agreement. When Respondent failed to comply with the deferred discipline agreement, the Commission terminated the agreement on October 16, 2015.

         Matter II

         Client S paid Respondent $4, 500 to represent him in his divorce proceeding. Respondent stopped communicating with Client S, and the divorce action was dismissed based on the 365-day rule. Respondent did not respond to Client S's phone calls.

         Respondent initially failed to provide a written response to ODC's notice of investigation. Only after being compelled to appear and provide testimony pursuant to Rule 19, RLDE, did Respondent provide any response to Client S's complaint. Respondent stated he spoke with Client S, met with him "numerous times," prepared and filed the pleadings, and appeared on behalf of Client S at a temporary hearing; however, Respondent admitted he subsequently let the case lapse. Respondent explained he did not provide Client S with his client file because it was locked in a storage unit and Respondent could not afford to pay the past-due bill. Respondent maintained the files were subsequently destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.

         Matter ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.