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Lawyer Suspended for Slapping in Deposition

(CN) - A South Carolina attorney who slapped a defendant in the face during a deposition was suspended for 30 days by the state Supreme Court.

Richard M. Lovelace Jr. had completed a deposition of a client he was representing in a civil lawsuit. Before he deposed the defendant, Lovelace asked if anyone wanted to take a break.

According to the Supreme Court opinion, the defendant "said something to the effect of 'No, let's get this crap over with.'"

Lovelace stood up and pointed at the defendant's face, warning him not to speak to Lovelace in that way.

The defendant then stood up and told Lovelace not to point at him. Lovelace responded by slapping him in the face.

The defendant pressed criminal charges, and Lovelace pleaded no contest to assault and battery. He was ordered to pay a fine.

Lovelace self-reported the incident to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel on the day it took place.

The state Supreme Court suspended Lovelace for 90 days and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

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