Entered on June 12, 2014, the North Carolina State Bar suspended Roydera Hackworth for five years for the unauthorized practice of law in violation of Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, making a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter in violation of Rule 8.1, engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4, and for violating the conditions of her suspension.
In 2011, Hackworth began representing a client in Alabama, where she was not licensed to practice. Hackworth was suspended from the practice of law in 2012 for mismanagement of entrusted funds. After her suspension, she continued to represent her client in Alabama without informing the insurance company of her suspension, and continued to hold herself out to parties involved as being an actively licensed attorney. She resolved the case through settlement, and a grievance was filed against her by the North Carolina State Bar. She responded to the grievance, but lied by stating she had contacted the Alabama State Bar about her representation before continuing.
The State Bar found that Hackworth’s conduct constituted grounds for discipline for unauthorized practice of law by representing an Alabama client, holding herself out as a licensed attorney and continuing to represent her client after being suspended, portraying herself to the opposing party’s insurance company as a licensed attorney, and falsely claiming in her response to the North Carolina State Bar’s Letter of Notice that she had contacted the Alabama State Bar about her ability to represent her Alabama client.
As a result of Hackworth’s misrepresentation and her unauthorized practice of law in Alabama as well as due to her suspension in North Carolina, the Panel suspended her license for five years and ordered her to pay costs and administrative fees of the proceeding.