On January 23, 2014, Christopher D. Lane received a reprimand from the Grievance Committee of the North Carolina State Bar for violates of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In September 2010, Lane entered into an agreement with a California and Illinois law firm, Krohn and Moss, Ltd. (Krohn and Moss), to serve “Of Counsel.” Under this agreement, Krohn and Moss established a continuous presence in North Carolina with Lane’s office as its physical address. None of the attorneys at Krohn and Moss were licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Krohn and Moss maintained a website on which they advertised the firm could provide legal services in North Carolina, with specialization of consumer automobile “lemon law” claims.
Krohn and Moss were retained by North Carolina residents to represent them with problems arising from a car purchase. During this representation, a Kohn and Moss attorney sent correspondence to the clients bearing Lane’s electronic signature. However, Lane admitted to never being physically involved in this representation.
Since the representation of these clients constituted the practice of law in North Carolina, and no attorney from Kohn and Moss was authorized to practice in North Carolina, Lane assisted in the unauthorized practice of law. This is a violated of Rule 5.5(a) and 8.4(a). In addition, an October 23, 2012 letter sent to these North Carolina clients stated that Lane was employed in Krohn and Moss’s Chicago office, which is a false or misleading communication in violation of Rule 7.1(a).
View the full disciplinary order below.