Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has affirmed an order disbarring of an attorney who had embezzled entrusted funds.
Defendant was licensed to practice law by the North Carolina State Bar in 1977 and practiced law for over thirty years. Defendant’s career was, in many respects, a decorated one. After graduating from Duke University School of Law, Defendant worked for the General Assembly and in the administration of former Governor James B. Hunt. Defendant engaged in significant pro bono work during his career. In 1987, the North Carolina Bar Association named Defendant the Pro Bono Lawyer of the year. In 1990, Defendant was elected the first black President of the Wake County Bar Association and the Tenth Judicial District Bar. During his career, Defendant established a reputation for good character, veracity, and truthfulness in both social and legal communities.
The attorney ran a solo practice with a focus on criminal defense and personal injury matters.
His problems started with a complaint by a medical provider. The State Bar investigatuion revealed a pattern of misuse of funds set aside to pay medical bills.
The court rejected a series of contentions regarding the sufficiency of intent evidence, the absence of a criminal conviction and that a lesser sanction should have been imposed by the Discipluinary Hearing Commission. (Mike Frisch)