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Facebook Posts Get SC Lawyer a 6-Month Suspension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's highest court suspended the law license of an attorney for six months for Facebook posts the justices said used foul language and could incite racial conflict.

The state Supreme Court also ordered lawyer David Paul Traywick to take a diversity class and have an anger management assessment with a licensed therapist before he gets his license back.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel received complaints from 46 different people about Traywick's Facebook posts, which identified himself as an attorney and referenced his law firm, The State newspaper reported.

Traywick's posts "tended to bring the legal profession into disrepute” and violated the Lawyer’s Oath, which requires lawyers to “maintain the dignity of the legal system,” the state Supreme Court opinion said.

Traywick admitted to misconduct with the posts and agreed to the six-month suspension of his law license, according to the opinion. The newspaper could not reach him for comment.

One post mentioned in the opinion came days after a police officer killed Black man George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in Minnesota.

Traywick posted: "Here’s how much that (expletive) life actually mattered: Stock futures up. Markets moved higher Monday and Tuesday. (Expletive) you. Unfriend me,” according to the opinion.

The justices said the incendiary post could have intensified racial conflict not just among his Facebook friends but in all of Charleston and beyond.

Traywick's posts were “intended to incite and had the effect of inciting, gender and race-based conflict beyond the scope of the conversation Respondent would otherwise have with his Facebook ‘friends,'" the justices wrote in their unanimous opinion.