COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court has revoked the law license of prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh, whose wife and son were murdered last year and whose law firm has accused him of taking money.
"Based on his admitted reprehensible misconduct, we hereby disbar Respondent Richard Alexander Murdaugh from the practice of law in South Carolina," an order signed by all five court justices said.
The order comes after the court suspended Murdaugh last year amid several ongoing investigations. Since that suspension in September of 2021, Murdaugh has been indicted on more than eighty criminal charges arising from those investigations.
"Disbarment is among the most serious sanctions this Court can impose for unethical conduct committed by members of the legal profession," the order said. "The purpose of disbarring an attorney 'is to remove from the profession a person whose misconduct has proved him unfit to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging to the office of an attorney, and thus to protect the public and those charged with the administration of justice.'"
The move was anticipated. In June, attorneys for Murdaugh said that he would not argue against the punishment in a scheduled hearing, so the justices canceled the proceedings.
In June, the latest set of indictments of Murdaugh were unsealed, this time prosecutors saying his crimes extended to an eight-year money laundering and painkiller ring with a friend and former client charged with trying to help him commit suicide.
Murdaugh wrote 437 checks worth $2.4 million that Curtis “Eddie” Smith cashed over eight years, keeping some of the money for himself and giving the rest for wide-ranging illegal activities, according to indictments.
It was the 16th indictment against Murdaugh on charges ranging from lying to police and trying to arrange his own death to stealing money from clients to arranging a $4.3 million in wrongful death settlements for a housekeeper who died in a fall at his home, then not giving her family a dime.
Still unsolved are the shooting deaths of Murdaugh's wife and younger son outside their home in June 2021.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found shot several times outside a home on the family’s Colleton County land. Murdaugh claims to have been visiting his seriously ill father when they were shot.
Paul Murdaugh's death came as he was awaiting trial for boating under the influence and causing a 2019 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman, Mallory Beach. He had pleaded not guilty.