Monday, June 11, 2018
An answer has been filed to a two-count complaint filed by the North Carolina State Bar.
Count One alleges that the attorney had filed a Designation of Secured Leave for a time period that covered an October 11, 2013 trial date in a criminal matter.
The notice provides
I hereby certify that the secure leave period designated below is not being designated for the purpose of delaying, hindering or interfering with the timely disposition of any matter in any pending action or proceeding.
I further certify that no action or proceeding in which I have entered an appearance has been scheduled, peremptorily set or noticed for trial, hearing, deposition or other proceeding during the designated secure leave period.
He had a trial scheduled in the designated leave period.
He moved for a continuance on October 11 and the State Bar alleged that the designation was false.
Count Two alleges that he acted without authority of a purported client who had been subject to a bail forfeiture after the bail company referred the matter to him.
Bail companies are prohibited by statute from such referrals.
His answer is interesting.
His reason for the designation and continuance was an inadvertent error made without intent to deceive
every year since 1982, [defendant] and a group of friends have taken a Thursday-Sunday golf trip to Myrtle Beach on, usually, the second or third weekend of October...the existence and timing of this annual event are well known to attorneys in the District Attorney's Office, even to the extent that individual ADAs have on occasion reminded him of it when they calendar cases with him.
He alleges that the continuance motion was "so commonplace" that his secretary created it and affixed his rubber stamp signature. He would have stated "annual golf trip" if he had created it himself.
As to Count Two, he states that he spoke with a client representative that he believed was authorized to speak for the client and did not know the referral was improper. (Mike Frisch)