Easler, Matter of

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtLEWIS
Citation275 S.C. 400,272 S.E.2d 32
PartiesIn the Matter of William Randolph EASLER, Respondent.
Decision Date24 October 1980

Page 32

272 S.E.2d 32
275 S.C. 400
In the Matter of William Randolph EASLER, Respondent.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Oct. 24, 1980.
[275 S.C. 401] ORDER

LEWIS, Chief Justice.

Respondent, William Randolph Easler, was disbarred by Order of this Court on September 2, 1980. In the Matter of William Randolph Easler, 269 S.E.2d 765 (1980). He is presently before the Court on a rule to show cause why he should not be found in contempt for continuing to practice law after having been disbarred. 1

Respondent is accused of engaging in the practice of law by preparing a deed, having it executed, and filing it in the Spartanburg County Courthouse for a small fee. He admits the acts complained of, but alleges he was merely performing the services of a paralegal.

Paralegals are routinely employed by licensed attorneys to assist in the preparation of legal documents such as deeds and mortgages. The activities of a paralegal do not constitute the practice of law as long as they are limited to work of a preparatory nature, such as legal research, investigation, or the composition of legal documents, which enable the licensed attorney-employer 2 to carry a given matter to a conclusion through his own examination, approval or

Page 33

additional effort. See State ex rel. Oregon State Bar v. Lenske, 284 Or. 23, 584 P.2d 759 (1978); The Florida Bar v. Thomson, 310 So.2d 300 (Fla.1975).

[275 S.C. 402] The evidence presently before this Court fails to show that respondent's final work product was subject to the approval of a licensed attorney before recordation or that the parties to the deed conferred with a licensed attorney concerning the deed.

It is therefore adjudged that respondent is in contempt of court for engaging in the practice of law in violation of this Court's Order of disbarment. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is hereby ordered to arrest respondent and imprison him in the Richland County Jail for the term of thirty (30) days.

The issue of whether a member of the Bar of this State may, under any circumstances, employ a disbarred attorney to do paralegal work is not here involved; and we indicate no opinion thereabout.

Let this Order be published with the opinions of the Court.

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1 The practice of law after disbarment constitutes contempt of court. See In re Duncan, 83 S.C. 186, 65 S.E. 210 (1909).

2 The attention of members of the South Carolina Bar is directed to Ethical Consideration 3-6 of the Code of...

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13 practice notes
  • Practice and procedure: Patent and trademark cases rules of practice; representation of others before Patent and Trademark Office,
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...503 P.2d 95 (Wash. 1972); Florida Bar v. Thomson, 354 So.2d 3000 (Fla. 1975); In re Kraus, 670 P.2d 1012 (Ore. 1983); In re Easler, 272 S.E.2d 32 (S.C. 1980); Crawford v. State Bar of California, 7 Cal. Rptr. 746 (Cal. 1960); and Ohio State Bar Ass'n. v. Hart, 375 N.E.2d 1246 (Ohio 1978). L......
  • Part II
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...503 P.2d 95 (Wash. 1972); Florida Bar v. Thomson, 354 So.2d 3000 (Fla. 1975); In re Kraus, 670 P.2d 1012 (Ore. 1983); In re Easler, 272 S.E.2d 32 (S.C. 1980); Crawford v. State Bar of California, 7 Cal. Rptr. 746 (Cal. 1960); and Ohio State Bar Ass'n. v. Hart, 375 N.E.2d 1246 (Ohio 1978). L......
  • State v. Buyers Service Co., Inc., No. 22730
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 1987
    ...all action for them in matters connected with the law." See also State v. Wells, 191 S.C. 468, 5 S.E.2d 181 (1939); Matter of Easler, 275 S.C. 400, 272 S.E.2d 32 (1980). Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. § 40-5-320 (1986) strictly prohibits corporations from the practice of A. Preparation o......
  • Discipline of Jorissen, Matter of, No. C3-79-50661
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • August 8, 1986
    ...attorney, it is not considered to be the practice of law. See State v. Schumacher, 214 Kan. 1, 519 P.2d 1116, 1124 (1974); In re Easler, 275 S.C. 400, 401, 272 S.E.2d 32, 32-33 (1980). Where, however, the non-lawyer acts in a representative capacity in protecting, enforcing, or defending th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • State v. Buyers Service Co., Inc., No. 22730
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 1987
    ...and all action for them in matters connected with the law." See also State v. Wells, 191 S.C. 468, 5 S.E.2d 181 (1939); Matter of Easler, 275 S.C. 400, 272 S.E.2d 32 (1980). Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. § 40-5-320 (1986) strictly prohibits corporations from the practice of A. Preparation of......
  • Discipline of Jorissen, Matter of, No. C3-79-50661
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • August 8, 1986
    ...attorney, it is not considered to be the practice of law. See State v. Schumacher, 214 Kan. 1, 519 P.2d 1116, 1124 (1974); In re Easler, 275 S.C. 400, 401, 272 S.E.2d 32, 32-33 (1980). Where, however, the non-lawyer acts in a representative capacity in protecting, enforcing, or defending th......
  • Doe v. McMaster, No. 25508.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 5, 2002
    ...to enhance the business opportunities for lawyers. See In re Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules, supra. 4. Doe cites to In re Easier, 275 S.C. 400, 272 S.E.2d 32 (1980) (holding that the preparation of a deed for another constitutes the unauthorized practice of law); State v. Despain, 319 S......
  • Doe v. Condon, No. 25508.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 5, 2002
    ...to enhance the business opportunities for lawyers. See In re Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules, supra. 3. Doe cites to In re Easier, 275 S.C. 400, 272 S.E.2d 32 (1980) (holding that the preparation of a deed for another constitutes the unauthorized practice of law); State v. Despain, 319 S......
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