The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Amendments to Rule 426, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules
Appellate Case No. 2019-000846
The South Carolina Bar has filed a petition requesting the Court adopt comments to Rule 426 of South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. The comments are currently contained in the American Bar Association's Model Court Rule on Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster. We grant the Bar's request to add the comments, with minor modifications to ensure the comments are consistent with Rule 426.
Pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 426 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules is amended as set forth in the attachment to this Order. The amendment is effective immediately.
s/Donald W. Beatty C.J.
s/John W. Kittredge J.
s/Kaye G. Hearn J.
s/John Cannon Few J.
s/George C. James, Jr. J.
Columbia, South Carolina
November 27, 2019
Rule 426, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, is amended to add the following comments to the rule:
 A major disaster in this or another jurisdiction may cause an emergency affecting the justice system with respect to the provision of legal services for a sustained period of time interfering with the ability of lawyers admitted and practicing in the affected jurisdiction to continue to represent clients until the disaster has ended. When this happens, lawyers from the affected jurisdiction may need to provide legal services to their clients, on a temporary basis, from an office outside their home jurisdiction. In addition, lawyers in an unaffected jurisdiction may be willing to serve residents of the affected jurisdiction who have unmet legal needs as a result of the disaster or, though independent of the disaster, whose legal needs temporarily are unmet because of disruption to the practices of local lawyers. Lawyers from unaffected jurisdictions may offer to provide these legal services either by traveling to the affected jurisdiction or from their own offices or both, provided the legal services are provided on a pro bono basis through an authorized not-for-profit entity or such other organization(s) specifically designated by the Supreme Court. A major disaster includes, for example, a hurricane, earthquake, flood, wildfire, tornado, public health emergency, or an event caused by terrorists or acts of war.
 Under paragraph (a)(1), the Supreme Court shall determine whether a major disaster causing an emergency affecting the justice system has occurred in this jurisdiction, or in a part of this jurisdiction, for purposes of triggering paragraph (b) of this Rule. The Supreme Court may, for example, determine that the entirety of this jurisdiction has suffered a disruption in the provision of legal services or that only certain areas have suffered such an event. The authority granted by paragraph (b) shall extend only to lawyers authorized to practice law and not disbarred, suspended, or otherwise restricted from practice in any other manner in any other jurisdiction.
 Paragraph (b) permits lawyers authorized to practice law in an unaffected jurisdiction, and not disbarred, suspended, or otherwise restricted from practicing law in any other manner in any other jurisdiction, to provide pro bono legal services to residents of the affected jurisdiction following determination of an emergency caused by a major disaster; notwithstanding that they are not otherwise authorized to practice law in the affected jurisdiction. Other restrictions on a lawyer's license to practice law that would prohibit that lawyer from providing legal services pursuant to this Rule include, but are not limited to, probation, inactive status, disability inactive status, or a non-disciplinary administrative suspension for failure to complete continuing legal education or other requirements. Lawyers on probation may be subject to monitoring and specific limitations on their practices. Lawyers on inactive status, despite being characterized in many jurisdictions as being "in good standing," and lawyers on disability inactive status are not permitted to practice law. Public protection warrants exclusion of these lawyers from the authority to provide legal services as defined in this Rule. Lawyers permitted to provide legal services pursuant to this Rule must do so without fee or other compensation, or expectation thereof. Their service must be provided through an established not-for-profit organization that is authorized to provide legal services either in its own name or that provides representation of clients through employed or cooperating lawyers. Alternatively, the Supreme Court may instead designate other specific organization(s) through which these legal services may be rendered. Under paragraph (b), an emeritus lawyer from another United States jurisdiction may provide pro bono legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction provided that the emeritus lawyer is authorized to provide pro bono legal services in that jurisdiction pursuant to that jurisdiction's emeritus or pro bono practice rule. Lawyers may also be authorized to provide legal services in this jurisdiction on a temporary basis under Rule 5.5(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
 Lawyers authorized to practice law in another jurisdiction, who principally practice in the area of such other jurisdiction determined by the Supreme Court to have suffered a major disaster, and whose practices are disrupted by a major disaster there, and who are not disbarred, suspended, or otherwise restricted from practicing law in any other manner in any other jurisdiction, are authorized under paragraph (c) to provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction. Those legal services must arise out of and be reasonably related to the lawyer's practice of law in the affected jurisdiction. For purposes of this Rule, the determination of a major disaster in another jurisdiction should first be made by the highest court of appellate jurisdiction in that jurisdiction. For the meaning of "arise out of and reasonably related to," see Rule 5.5 Comment , Rules of Professional Conduct.
 Emergency conditions created by major disasters end, and when they do, the authority created by paragraphs (b) and (c) also ends with appropriate notice to enable lawyers to plan and to complete pending legal matters. Under paragraph (d), the Supreme Court determines when those conditions end only for purposes of this Rule. The authority granted under paragraph (b) shall end upon such determination except that lawyers assisting residents of this jurisdiction under paragraph (b) may continue to do so for such longer period as is reasonably necessary to complete the representation. The authority created by paragraph (c) will end 60 days after the Supreme Court makes such a determination with regard to an affected jurisdiction.
 Paragraphs (b) and (c) do not authorize lawyers to appear in the courts of this jurisdiction. Court appearances are subject to the pro hac vice admission requirements in Rule 404 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. The Supreme Court may, in a determination made under paragraph (e)(2), include authorization for lawyers who provide legal services in this jurisdiction under paragraph (b) to appear in all or designated courts of this jurisdiction without need for such pro hac vice admission. If such an authorization is included, any pro hac vice admission fees shall be waived. A lawyer who has appeared in the courts of this jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph (e) may continue to appear in any such matter notwithstanding a declaration under paragraph (d) that the conditions created by major disaster have ended. Furthermore, withdrawal from a court appearance is subject to Rule 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
 Authorization to practice law as a foreign legal consultant or in-house counsel in a United States jurisdiction offers lawyers a limited scope of permitted practice and may therefore restrict that person's ability to provide legal services under this Rule.
 The ABA National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank is available to help determine whether any lawyer seeking to practice in this jurisdiction pursuant to paragraphs (b) or (c) of this Rule is disbarred, suspended, or otherwise subject to a public disciplinary sanction that would restrict the lawyer's ability to practice law in any other jurisdiction.