Disciplinary Actions Search
You can click here to search orders of the State Bar's Grievance Committee, the Disciplinary Hearing Commission, and state and federal courts in discipline and disabilty cases.
Most Recent Actions
From the Winter 2023 Journal
NOTE: More than 30,500 people are licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some share the same or similar names. All discipline reports may be checked on the State Bar’s website at ncbar.gov/dhcorders.
Jack W. Daly of St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 for engaging in conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to make false statements to an agency of the federal government (the Federal Elections Commission). He surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court.
Kathie Willard of Raleigh fabricated emails to support her denial of self-dealing in litigation wherein she was accused of improperly redirecting assets of a nonprofit for which she served as a Board member. She surrendered her license to the DHC and was disbarred.
Suspensions & Stayed Suspensions
Lonnie W. Carraway of Snow Hill drove a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance on two occasions between June 2019 and June 2020. In October 2020, Carraway pled guilty to two counts of driving while impaired. Carraway had previously been convicted of driving while impaired in February 2012. The DHC suspended his law license for one year. The suspension is stayed for one year on enumerated conditions.
Suzanne Nelson of Raleigh neglected her clients, collected excessive fees, failed to protect her clients’ interests upon termination of the representation, made misrepresentations, did not fully respond to notices of mandatory fee dispute resolution, and did not timely respond to the Grievance Committee. The DHC suspended her license for five years. Nelson will be eligible to apply for a stay of the balance of the suspension after six months if she complies with enumerated conditions.
The State Bar’s complaint against Matthew S. Schrum of Elkin was dismissed by the DHC.
Completed Disciplinary Review Panels
One disciplinary review panel met on October 27. At the January 2024 meeting, the Grievance Committee will consider any recommendation of that review panel for a disposition that differs from the discipline that was issued by the Grievance Committee.
David A. Perez of Thomasville was censured by the Grievance Committee. After a district court judge entered an ex parte order temporarily granting child custody to Perez’s ex-wife, Perez confronted the judge during a criminal session of court. His intemperate and inappropriate confrontation with the judge resulted in revocation of his courthouse security credentials. The motion to modify child custody was heard by a different judge. Perez repeatedly interrupted that hearing, talked over the judge, and continued to argue with the judge after she sustained opposing counsel’s objections. Perez filed a motion to disqualify the judge who heard the motion to modify. During the hearing on his motion to disqualify before a third judge, Perez interrupted the judge. While the motion to modify child custody was pending, Perez also filed a Judicial Standards Commission (JSC) complaint against the judge who heard the motion. Perez frequently referenced his JSC complaint during the litigation and inaccurately characterized an upcoming JSC meeting as a “hearing” even though JSC counsel had informed him that no hearing was taking place.
Frederick Hadley of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Hadley attempted to solicit professional employment by engaging in communications with a potential client via Facebook Messenger. Several of Hadley’s communications to the potential client contained material misrepresentations of fact and/or omitted facts necessary to make the communications as a whole not materially misleading.
Philip William Paine of Apex was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Paine failed to file a complaint before his client’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations and failed to respond to multiple calls and emails from the client. While representing a different client, Paine repeatedly misrepresented the status of the matter to the client, failed to explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make an informed decision regarding the representation, and stopped responding to the client’s phone calls.
Completed Petitions for Reinstatement/Stay – Contested
Phillip Entzminger of Greenville engaged in undignified and discourteous conduct that was degrading to the court and made misrepresentations to the court. In 2021, the Pitt County Superior Court suspended Entzminger’s law license for two years. Entzminger was eligible to apply for a stay of the balance of the suspension after six months if he complied with enumerated conditions. After an August 2023 hearing, the court concluded that Entzminger had substantially complied with the conditions and entered an order staying the balance of the suspension.
In 2011, Gregory Bartko (formerly of Atlanta, Georgia) submitted an affidavit of surrender and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court following his conviction in federal court of one count of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud, and one count of sale of unregistered securities. In May 2023 Bartko, who is currently incarcerated, filed a petition for reinstatement in the DHC accompanied by motions under Rules 59 and 60 to set aside the prior order of disbarment. The DHC dismissed the petition and denied his motions. Bartko gave notice of appeal to the court of appeals.
David Shawn Clark of Hickory was disbarred by the DHC in 2013 for, among other things, having a sexual relationship with a client, filing a frivolous lawsuit alleging that the client’s true statements about their relationship were defamatory, coercing the client to sign a false affidavit denying the relationship, threatening to kill his employee if she told the truth about the relationship, and making false statements to the Grievance Committee. Clark was convicted of communicating threats and obstruction of justice in connection with this misconduct. Clark unsuccessfully petitioned for reinstatement in 2019. After a two-day hearing on his second petition for reinstatement, the DHC again recommended that Clark should not be reinstated. At its October meeting, the State Bar Council denied Clark’s petition for reinstatement.
Notices of Intent to Seek Reinstatement
In the Matter of Douglas T. Simons
Notice is hereby given that Douglas T. Simons of Charlotte, NC, intends to file a petition for reinstatement before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar. Simons was disbarred in 2005 pursuant to an Order of Disbarment dated April 15, 2005, upon an affidavit of tender of surrender of license by Simons admitting to misappropriation of at least $300,000 in client funds from his trust account, using the misappropriated funds for his own personal use over a period of three years, and presenting false documentation to investigators for the State Bar.
Individuals who wish to note their concurrence with or opposition to these petitions should file written notice with the secretary of the State Bar, PO Box 25908, Raleigh, NC, before February 1, 2024.