Why was a well-known attorney's law license suspended?

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - The Midlands legal community is buzzing about new developments involving a veteran Lexington defense attorney.

Richard Breibart has suddenly closed his office and his law license has been suspended by the state Supreme Court.

The circumstances leading up to the Supreme Court's order are somewhat unclear. What we do know is that one of the Midlands' better known and most highly accomplished lawyers is, for the time, out of business.

Breibart has been practicing law for more than 30 years. He has an office on East Main Street in Lexington where, according to his web site, he employed nine more attorneys.

We are told Breibart's office was shut down late last week and it remains closed.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the state Supreme Court issued an order placing Breibart on "interim suspension." The court also ordered appointment of a trustee to protect Breibart's clients and prohibited him from accessing any of the office's accounts.

The Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel, Lee Coggiola, says suspensions generally occur for one of several reasons: a criminal prosecution involving the attorney, misconduct, incapacity, such as a mental or physical condition, or failure to respond to the state judicial department. She says suspensions can last for months at minimum and sometimes years.

We've been told by multiple sources that Breibart has been hospitalized while recovering from head injuries sustained in a fall, but Coggiola says that alone would not be grounds for suspension.

She says Breibart could file a motion for reconsideration of the suspension. He will also have an opportunity to appear at a hearing.

No one has returned our message left with the law office's answering service.

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