Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is a service of the Ethics Advisory Committee. The Committee plans to add additional questions and answers to this site regularly. If you have a question that you think arises often, please e-mail
FAQ: How long must a lawyer keep client files?
FAQ: What are a lawyer’s ethical obligations in returning a client’s file?
FAQ: What are a lawyer's ethical obligations when the lawyer receives notice of a lien or assignment of client funds to a third party? 
FAQ: How do the restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law apply to South Carolina lawyers who are involved in real estate transactions? 
FAQ: How do I conduct real estate closings now that I have to wait for the funds to clear? 
FAQ: I am an attorney who lawfully practices in multiple jurisdictions, including South Carolina; however, I keep my trust account in the state where I primarily practice. Do I have to open a trust account in South Carolina in order to comply with the new IOLTA rules? 
FAQ: Under Rule 1.15(h), as revised October 1, 2005, a lawyer who maintains a trust account must give the financial institution a written directive requiring the financial institution to report overdrafts on the trust account to the Commission on Lawyer Conduct. Has the Supreme Court issued a form to be used to comply with this requirement? 
FAQ: May an out-of-state attorney file a deed in South Carolina? 
FAQ: When may an out-of-state attorney practice law in South Carolina? 
FAQ: What steps should a lawyer take when a client cannot be found? 
FAQ: May a lawyer who is leaving the practice of transfer closed files to another lawyer without the consent of each client? 
FAQ: What are a lawyer's responsibilities regarding payment of service providers (court reporters, surveyors, mediators, etc.) in connection with a case? 
FAQ: A lawyer receives a subpoena for documents from the file of a former client, who is not a party to the litigation. The former client has not consented to the production of any documents. May the lawyer produce non-privileged documents from the file or must the lawyer object to the subpoena and refuse to comply absent a further court order compelling production?
FAQ: Does a lawyer unnecessarily burden another lawyer and therefore violate Rule 4.4 (a) if he serves a recipient lawyer with a subpoena calling for production of a client or former client’s file, instead of serving a Rule 34, SCRCP request, when the recipient lawyer’s client is a party to the action?