Disciplinary Actions from the Most Recent Journal

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Orders entered since publication of the last Journal can be found on the Disciplinary Orders page.


Most Recent Actions

Disbarments

The DHC disbarred Sir-Christopher Anderson of Wake Forest. Anderson misappropriated entrusted funds, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law during an administrative suspension, and made false representations to the State Bar.

Peter C. Capece of Lincolnton surrendered his license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court. Capece admitted that he misappropriated in excess of $1.5 million he held as trustee and guardian for a minor.

Marty S. McConchie, formerly of Chapel Hill, surrendered his license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court. McConchie misappropriated entrusted funds totaling at least $1,275.13.

The State Bar Council disbarred Stanley Mitchell of Winston-Salem. Mitchell acknowledged that he had sex with a client.

Suspensions & Stayed Suspensions

Robert J. Howell of Raleigh was suspended by the Wake County Superior Court following his arrest in South Carolina on charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary, and possession of cocaine.

The DHC suspended Tracey Cline of Durham for five years. Cline was the elected district attorney of Durham County until she was removed from office in 2012 pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §7A-66. The DHC stayed the disciplinary proceeding while she appealed her removal from office. Cline filed pleadings containing false and outrageous statements about a judge and made false representations in court filings in an attempt to obtain confidential prison visitation records. After two years of active suspension, including credit for the time she has not practiced law since her removal from office, Cline may petition for a stay of the balance of the suspension.

The DHC suspended Wallace Respess of Lenoir for two years. Respess had sex with a client, loaned money to the client, and communicated with an opposing party who was represented by counsel. After serving six months of the suspension, Respess may apply for a stay of the balance.

Thomasine E. Moore of Jacksonville was suspended by the DHC for three years. Moore did not properly deposit and maintain entrusted funds for a client, did not reconcile her trust account quarterly, disbursed entrusted funds on behalf of clients in amounts exceeding the amounts she had on deposit for them, did not maintain sufficient funds in her trust account for clients, and deposited mixed funds in her operating account instead of her trust account. The suspension is stayed for three years upon Moore's compliance with enumerated conditions.

John C. Johnston of Jefferson did not supervise an employee who stole entrusted funds and did not comply with trust accounting rules. The DHC suspended him for three years. The suspension is stayed for three years upon Johnston's compliance with enumerated conditions.

The DHC suspended Robert M. Gallant of Matthews for two years. Gallant did not timely file federal and state income tax returns from 2007 through 2013. The suspension is stayed for two years upon Gallant's compliance with enumerated conditions.

The DHC suspended Christopher R.S. Boothe of Charlotte for two years. Boothe did not timely file federal and state income tax returns for 2012 and 2013 and did not timely pay state income tax for 2012 and 2013. The suspension is stayed for two years upon Boothe's compliance with enumerated conditions.

Reprimands

The Grievance Committee reprimanded Antwoine Edwards of Sanford. Edwards falsified a document allowing Indigent Defense Services (IDS) to make direct deposits to pay a licensed counselor for case-related services. Edwards was also untruthful in his initial response to the Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee considered as mitigating factors that Edwards did not attempt to obtain any payment from IDS and that his conduct did not cause actual harm.

The Grievance Committee reprimanded Holly Dowd of Charlotte. Dowd assisted two out-of-state law firms in the unauthorized practice of law and made a false statement in her response to the grievance.

Nichole Greene of Cherryville was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Greene improperly implied to two prosecution witnesses that she was a disinterested party. She also told a witness who was present in court pursuant to a prosecution subpoena that he could leave and need not return.

The Grievance Committee reprimanded Douglas Hall of Morganton. Hall agreed to be a participating attorney in an unregistered prepaid legal services plan. By accepting fees to provide legal services to customers of the plan, he shared a fee with a nonlawyer and assisted in the unauthorized practice of law.

James Jorgensen of Raleigh was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Jorgensen did not communicate with his collection agency client, did not exercise diligence in his handling of one or more of his client's cases, and was slow in disbursing money he held in trust for a client.

The Grievance Committee reprimanded Bobby Khot of Raleigh. Knot agreed to be a participating attorney in an unregistered prepaid legal services plan. By accepting fees to provide legal services to customers of the plan, he shared a fee with a nonlawyer and assisted in the unauthorized practice of law.

The Grievance Committee reprimanded F. Grey Powell of Raleigh. Powell assisted an out-of-state law firm in the unauthorized practice of law.

Transfers to Disability Inactive Status

Katherine L. Jones of Raleigh and Jesse Rouse III of Fayetteville were transferred to disability inactive status by the chair of the Grievance Committee.

Mary Alexander Reed was transferred to disability inactive status by the DHC.

Reinstatements

On March 17, 2014, the DHC suspended Elaine S. Kelley of Fayetteville for four years for claiming travel expenses from the State of North Carolina that she did not incur. The order provided that after serving two years active suspension, including credit for time that she was suspended by the court beginning in May 2013, Kelley could petition for a stay of the balance. On June 16, 2015, the secretary signed an order staying the remaining period of suspension.

On March 3, 2014, the DHC suspended Steven M. Cheuvront of Morganton for two years. Cheuvront forged the initials of a prosecutor on two dismissals and filed the dismissals with the clerk of court. After serving one year of the suspension, he was eligible to petition for a stay of the balance upon showing compliance with enumerated conditions. The DHC allowed his petition for stay on April 30, 2015.

On December 18, 2009, the DHC disbarred Hilton Mitchell, who practiced law in Wilmington. Mitchell admitted that he misappropriated legal fees he should have delivered to his law firm employer. On June 15, 2015, a hearing panel of the DHC recommended denying Mitchell's petition for reinstatement.

On November 21, 2013, the DHC suspended Tripp McKeny of Salisbury for three years. The DHC found that McKeny committed gross trust account violations. The DHC order provides that, after serving one year of the suspension, McKeny would be eligible to petition for a stay of the balance upon demonstrating compliance with enumerated conditions. The DHC denied McKeny's petition for a stay, concluding that McKeny was ineligible because he did not properly wind down his law practice when he was suspended.

On August 22, 2014, the DHC suspended Robert E. Griffin of Fuquay-Varina for three years. The order provides that Griffin can petition for a stay after serving six months of the suspension upon demonstrating compliance with enumerated conditions. The DHC denied Griffin's petition for a stay, concluding that Griffin was not eligible because he did not properly wind down his law practice and did not provide an accurate three-way reconciliation of his trust account.

Notice of Intent to Seek Reinstatement

Individuals who wish to note their concurrence with or opposition to this petition should file written notice with the secretary of the State Bar, PO Box 25908, Raleigh, NC 27611, before November 1, 2015.

In the Matter of Michael L. Yopp

Notice is hereby given that Michael L. Yopp of Dunn, North Carolina, intends to file a petition for reinstatement before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar. Yopp surrendered his law license and was disbarred July 19, 2002, for misappropriating client funds for his own personal benefit, over-disbursing client funds, and failing to reconcile his trust account. Full restitution has been made by the petitioner.

 

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