08.21.2014 Consent Order of Discipline [Davie County]

Photo Courtesy of the North Carolina State Bar

Entered on August 21, 2014, the North Carolina State Bar suspended Lynne Hicks, for two years with a stay of three years as long as she complies with the order. Hicks was suspended from practicing law for two years for misappropriating funds in the trust accounts she maintained for clients in violation of Rules 1.15-2 and 1.15-3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Hicks was disciplined in 2006 for improper trust account management. Hicks was subject to a random audit again in 2012. Hicks maintained two trust accounts. Both accounts showed deficiencies in the trust accounts. The audit showed that Hicks failed to provide accountings at least annually to clients for whom she held funds in the trust accounts for longer than twelve months, failed to always maintain accurate client ledgers, failed to identify clients on deposit slips, failed to indicate on the face of checks made payable to her the client balance from which the items were drawn, disbursed funds from the trust accounts that were more than what the client had paid into the account, and failed to properly reimburse the trust account for the excess disbursements.

The Hearing Panel suspended Hicks from the practice of law for two years with stay for a period of three years so long as she complies with the conditions set forth by the State Bar. To be reinstated after active suspension, Hicks must establish by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that she complied with the provisions of her suspension and did not violate other rules during her time suspended.

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