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Summaries of Disciplinary Orders will be published below on a timely basis following their release from the State Bar in order to provide the North Carolina legal community with an accessible way to stay abreast of ongoing challenges faced by the legal profession.
Karla W. Simon, Duke Law alum of 1972, filed an affidavit of surrender of license in April 2016. Simon was convicted on November 3, 2014, of felony stalking in Massachusetts. A little over a month later, Simon was also convicted of 29 counts of misdemeanor Violation of Harassment Prevention ...[Continue Reading]
Jack B. Styles filed an affidavit of surrender of license in April 2016. Based on the affidavit, Styles misappropriated funds entrusted to him in violation of Rule 8.4(b) (criminal act reflecting dishonesty), Rule 8.4(c) (conduct of fraud), and Rule 1.15-2(j) (using entrusted client property for ...[Continue Reading]
Hugh McManus, a Wilmington lawyer, was disbarred on April 12, 2016, for professional misconduct. The Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the NC State Bar found that McManus committed misconduct for failing to make disbursements to/on behalf of his clients’ estates (violating Rule 1.15-2(m)), ...[Continue Reading]
Tiffany Ashhurst has been a licensed lawyer in Durham since March of 1999. Over the course of time, Ashhurst has violated the NC Rules of Professional Conduct because she failed to disburse entrusted client funds to the necessary parties, failed to respond to client requests for information of ...[Continue Reading]
The Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of the 30B Judicial District transferred Brad Harrison Ferguson to disability inactive status and thereby preventing him from practicing law in North Carolina until reinstated by the Court. Ferguson was transferred under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-28(g) & ...[Continue Reading]
Thomas S. Hicks was suspended for five years with the possibility of stay after eighteen months of the suspension. Hicks, a Wilmington lawyer, was found in violation of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. Hicks failed to get signed written informed consent from clients he ...[Continue Reading]
Devin F. Thomas maintained law offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Raleigh. Between 2014 and 2015, Thomas failed to perform any substantive work on behalf of a paying client, violating Rule 1.3 (due diligence). Thomas also, during that period, failed to properly communicate with his ...[Continue Reading]
Christine Mumma was the Executive Director and legal counsel for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence (NCCAI) in Durham County. In 2004, NCCAI looked into the Davis crime case on behalf of Joseph Sledge, who was convicted for the murders of Josephine and Aileen Davis in 1978. When ...[Continue Reading]
On March 7, 2016, Robert E. Griffin was disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar. Griffin was a practicing lawyer in Fuquay-Varina when he was suspended by the Bar on August 22, 2014 for three years. He was originally suspended for failing to communicate with clients, failing to act with due ...[Continue Reading]
Joanne M. Denison was suspended from the practice of law in North Carolina for three years on February 8, 2016. Denison was suspended in Illinois for a period of three years or until further order of the Court. The Supreme Court of Illinois determined that Denison had engaged in professional ...[Continue Reading]
Christopher J. Seufert was reprimanded from the practice of law in North Carolina on February 8, 2016. In 2015, The Professional Conduct Committee of the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an order reprimanding Seufert for failing to competently represent his client’s interests and for failing to ...[Continue Reading]
The State Bar filed separate complaints against Cassandra Stubbs and Gretchen Engel alleging violations of Rule 1.3 and 8.4(d). The hearing panel entered summary judgment in favor of the State Bar against Stubbs and dismissed the complaint against Engel. Subsequently, Stubbs filed a Motion for ...[Continue Reading]
Joseph Lee Levinson was suspended from the practice of law on January 29, 2016. Levinson was charged with two felonies. He pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to obtain money in the custody of a bank by false pretenses. The State Bar found that the offense for which Levinson pled guilty was a ...[Continue Reading]
On January 21, 2016 Kevin Byrnes was suspended from the practice of law. In connection with his law practice, Byrnes maintained multiple trust accounts. While holding these trusts, Byrnes failed to perform quarterly reconciliations, failed to distribute funds to those entitled, failed to keep ...[Continue Reading]
Dan Merrell of Dare County, North Carolina, was suspended from the practice of law on January 11, 2016, effective thirty days from that date. While working as the attorney for the Town of Kill Devil Hills, he was involved in a scandal surrounding a local judge and police department. Once he was ...[Continue Reading]