COLOMBIA — Alex Murdaugh has waived his right to challenge the SC Supreme Court’s decision to revoke his law license in the latest development in the once prominent trial attorney’s downfall.
Murdaugh and his defense attorney, Jim Griffin, said in a June 21 affidavit that they would not challenge the court’s “authority and decision” when deciding whether the County man Hampton will practice law again. The court canceled a hearing scheduled for June 22, at his request.
Although the court has not yet formally disbarred him, “for all intents and purposes, he is a disbarred attorney,” Griffin told the Post and Courier.
Murdaugh’s confession to attempted insurance fraud and theft of money from clients fueled a court decision on June 16 to end his nearly 10-month investigation early.
His “gross ethical misconduct subjects him to the most significant penalty available – disbarment,” the court said in its June 16 order.
Because Murdaugh has nearly 80 criminal charges and nearly a dozen civil lawsuits against him, defending his law license would have been difficult, Griffin said.
“The Supreme Court’s decision was very timely, given the conflict between a person’s constitutional rights to defend themselves in a criminal case and administrative hearings,” Griffin said.
Although the Murdaugh family ruled Hampton County for nearly a century, the family’s legacy began to crumble when Murdaugh found his wife and son shot dead in their family home last summer. Still an unsolved case, Murdaugh became the center of international attention.
Since then, Murdaugh has admitted to participating in an assisted suicide program to raise $10 million in insurance for his remaining son and confessed to stealing millions from a wrongful death settlement intended for the sons of his late governess as well as at his great-grandfather’s law firm.
But it’s a waiting game to sift through the remaining criminal charges and civil lawsuits that could keep him behind bars for decades and run any cash deposits he left dry.
Although Murdaugh has a positive attitude, it’s been “very, very difficult” for him since April, Griffin said. His two sons’ birthdays were in April, Mother’s Day was in May and the first anniversary of the double homicide of Murdaugh’s son, Paul, and his wife, Maggie, was June 7.
“He’s looking to the future one day, once he has these legal issues behind him,” Griffin said.
Follow Kailey Cota on Twitter @kaileycota.