Friday, February 19, 2010
We recently reported that the North Carolina State Bar had filed a complaint alleging that a former Assistant United States attorney had practiced while suspended. The attorney recently filed an answer to the complaint that admits the allegations and contends that he "was deeply despondent and profoundly depressed" during the time set forth in the complaint. Further:
Defendant was aware that he was allowing his relationship with the North Carolina State Bar to deteriorate but he avoided the issue and could not bring himself to even open letters from the State Bar or take measures which could easily have preserved his license to practice in North Carolina. Defendant taught CLE courses as a federal prosecutor and taught seminars which easily could have provided most of the CLE requirements that were necessary to enable him to keep his license current; but, he was too despondent to make the bar aware of his work.
The answer alleges that he treated his depression with alcohol and "as a consequence" made false certifications to the Bar, that he was truthful in a deposition conducted by OPR and lost his marriage as a result. Further, he is now remarried and in treatment such that a recurrence is unlikely.
The attorney is represented by prominent lawyer Wade Smith in the bar matter. (Mike Frisch)