11.2.15 Order Dismissing Complaint [Durham County]

North Carolina State Bar Building Photo Courtesy of the North Carolina State Bar

The complaint filed against Gretchen M. Engel alleging that she had engaged in intentional misconduct, willfulness, or bad faith, was dismissed on November 2, 2015.  Engel was employed as the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation (CDPL) in Durham.  During her employment there, she was responsible for reviewing information for comparative jury analysis, since there had been complaints of race being a factor in seeking or imposing the death penalty.  It was alleged that Engel knew of certain discrepancies in the affidavits of jurors but failed to correct or inquire into their validity.  The judge found that the North Carolina State Bar failed to meet its burden of proof by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that Engel, by her conduct in this matter, engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d) and failed to act with reasonable diligence in violation of Rule 1.3 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. Because the hearing panel’s findings of misconduct fail to meet its burden of proof, the complaint was dismissed.

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