State House

Supreme Court Drops The Hammer On Marvin Pendarvis

Lawyer-legislator’s license to practice law in South Carolina is suspended …

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South Carolina’s supreme court has suspended the license of state representative Marvin Pendarvis to practice law in the Palmetto State indefinitely.

According to an order (.pdf) issued by the court on Friday afternoon (May 17, 2024), Pendarvis’ “license to practice law in this state is suspended until further order of this court.”

The court ordered attorney Peyre T. Lumpkin to “assume responsibility for (Pendarvis)’ client files, trust account(s), escrow account(s), operating account(s), and any other law office accounts.”

Pendarvis, 34, of North Charleston, S.C., is a Democratic lawyer-legislator. Last month, he was accused in a bombshell civil lawsuit of defrauding his former client Adrian Lewis of Charleston, S.C. by settling a case without his consent – and then attempting to bribe Lewis into keeping silent about Pendarvis’ duplicitous behavior.

Text messages included in the civil suit (.pdf) documented the attempted shakedown.

“How much you need the check for?” Pendarvis wrote in one text message to Lewis. “Answer the question, man. How much?”

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“Let’s handle this shit,” Pendarvis wrote in another text message. “You’re not telling me what you need.”

When Lewis refused to respond to these entreaties, Pendarvis allegedly showed up at his home claiming he had $50,000 “in cash” in a black bag – money which he could give him right then and there. He added he could secure another $25,000 and would write him a check to pay his mortgage – all if Lewis would agree not sue him.

Not long after the lawsuit was filed, agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed it was investigating Pendarvis for possible criminal activity based on a referral from the office of S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe.

Shortly after this referral was made, our media outlet reported SLED was investigating “several other alleged victims” of Pendarvis – as well as the potential involvement of another lawyer-legislator in his attempted blackmail.

Pendarvis has not been charged criminally as of this writing – nor has anyone else been identified publicly as a person of interest in connection with SLED’s investigation. The lawsuit against Pendarvis was filed by Lexington, S.C.-based attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter.

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THE ORDER …

(S.C. Supreme Court)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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7 comments

Sheriff Buford T. Justice Top fan May 18, 2024 at 8:26 am

Marvin looks like the shit has hit the fan. Hope you get all that’s headed your way you Sum Bitch!

Reply
River Top fan May 18, 2024 at 4:21 pm

Put the evidence in the cah Jr.

Reply
Rebecca Shields Top fan May 18, 2024 at 8:33 am

Why hasn’t he been thrown out of the Legislature?? They ok with criminals??

Reply
AC Top fan May 18, 2024 at 8:43 am

Preemptive move by the Supreme Court, looks like SLED may have wrapped up their investigation and charges are forthcoming. I’m sure crooked Todd will represent him so he gets a slap on the wrist.

Reply
River Top fan May 18, 2024 at 4:24 pm

Good. Lawyer can be a noble profession, but most decide to be sleaze balls. Either cheat people, chase ambulances for money while knowing the client wasn’t hurt, or perverting justice for monetary gain.

Reply
Anonymous May 20, 2024 at 4:43 pm

One lawyer-legislator down and how many more to go?

Reply
SubZeroIQ May 20, 2024 at 7:20 pm

As usual, I am the contrarian and shedder of light on unexplored aspects.
That client of Marvin Pendarvis’ wanted to hold out for more money than $10K in a case where there was no personal injury.
Does that client have ANY IDEA how difficult it is to win ANY case against a law-enforcement officer (“LEO”)?
For starters, there is the formidable hurdle of qualified immunity (which I think should be abolished or severely limited) whereby a so-called LEO would testify to something race-neutral but in reality racist like people who part their hair the wrong way are “in [that LEO’s] experience likely to commit the crime [that LEO] suspected.”
The plaintiff has to prove absence of probable cause.
Then, the county or South Carolina’s Insurance Reserve Fund, or whoever has a defense contract for that LEO would hire a private lawyer, usually a judge’s relative or friend or paramour, to defend the case to the hilt.
Then there are the non-sympathetic juries, specially if influenced by the likes of Becky Hill.
I heard, for example, that former Columbia Police Officer (later-promoted to Investigator) Pugh broke a man’s tooth; and all the City settled for was $5K.
Yes, the SAME City settled McCoy’s case for $300K, again no personal injury, only having witnessed a suicide in the neighboring cell in the fearsome Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center during the false incarceration of one day.
But McCoy was himself a lawyer and the case had gotten huge publicity, in addition, the other City officers were caught red-handed tampering with the dashcam video of McCoy’s arrest and destroying it.
And even after a case is valiantly-fought and a jury returns a verdict for the plaintiff after two or three years of litigation, the defendant can tie the case for three to five more years on appeals before the plaintiff sees a penny of the verdict.
I personally think Eric Bland is out to terrorize all lawyers and to destroy the careers of all black lawyers who do not worship him.
A $10K settlement was probably a reasonable one for Marvin Pendarvis’ client’s case; but the client was greedy, probably dreaming of a George-Floyd-type settlement. Marvin Pendarvis’ first mistake was to fail to set REALISTIC expectations for that client, indeed in taking that case at all in the first place.
Marvin Pendarvis’ second mistake was trying to appease that client with money.
Are those mistakes worth disbarment? I think the cases of “anonymous member of the bar” who, for example engage in sexual relationships with clients’ spouse are much worse.
But then, I am no longer surprised at the degrees of hypocrisy.

Reply

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