Disciplinary Actions Search
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Most Recent Actions
From the Summer 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.
Sean Thomas Dillenbeck of Gastonia acknowledged that he misappropriated entrusted funds totaling at least $38,500. He surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the State Bar Council at its April meeting.
Kenneth A. Free Jr. of Greensboro acknowledged that he misappropriated funds he received in trust as an escrow agent. He surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.
Charles M. Kunz of Durham acknowledged that he misappropriated entrusted funds totaling approximately $85,000. He surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the State Bar Council at its April meeting.
Christi A. Misocky of Monroe acknowledged that she misappropriated entrusted funds, provided false information to the Grievance Committee, did not provide information requested by the Grievance Committee, abandoned client files, and pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit fraud by using confidential client information to create and cash fraudulent checks. She submitted an affidavit of surrender of her law license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court.
Omowunmi Odedere of Thomasville acknowledged that she assisted a suspended lawyer in engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and made misrepresentations to the Grievance Committee. She surrendered her law license and was disbarred by the State Bar Council at its April meeting.
Suspensions & Stayed Suspensions
Valerie Bennett Queen of Raleigh did not act with diligence or communicate with two clients, did not respond when both clients filed fee disputes with the State Bar, and did not respond to the Grievance Committee. The DHC suspended Queen’s law license for five years. Queen will be eligible to apply for a stay of the balance of the suspension after 18 months upon satisfaction of enumerated conditions.
Andre Hogan of Fayetteville did not reconcile his trust account, improperly disbursed entrusted funds, and did not respond to the Grievance Committee. The DHC suspended his license for one year. The suspension is stayed for two years upon enumerated conditions, including the requirement that his trust account activity must be monitored.
Robert A. Hedrick of Raleigh continued to represent a client by recording a correction deed after the client asserted that Hedrick had prepared a deed incorrectly, thereby creating a potential claim for malpractice and a conflict of interest; advised the client that he could file a correction deed when there was no basis for doing so; and recorded the correction deed, knowing that it would create a cloud on title. The DHC suspended his license for five years.
Completed Grievance Noncompliance Actions before the DHC
Earnest N. Bailey of Winston-Salem did not respond fully and timely to the Grievance Committee in multiple files and did not respond to an order issued by the chair of the DHC to show cause why his license should not be suspended for noncompliance with the grievance process. The chair of the DHC determined that Bailey was noncompliant and suspended his law license.
Completed Disciplinary Review Panels
The first four disciplinary review panels met on February 10. One review was continued.
At its April 2023 meeting, the Grievance Committee considered any recommendations of the February 10 review panels for dispositions that differed from the discipline issued by the Grievance Committee.
Four more disciplinary review panels met on April 21. One review was continued. At its July 2023 meeting, the Grievance Committee will consider any recommendations of the April 21 review panels for dispositions that differ from the discipline issued by the Grievance Committee.
Jeremy Clayton King of Greenville was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. King initiated a wire transfer of entrusted funds without verifying the instructions with the lending institution. The wiring instructions he followed were fraudulent. King did not supervise his nonlawyer staff in connection with the wire transfer. As a result of the wire transfer, $124,160.43 was wired to a fraudster. King had to replenish all those funds.
Richard M. Morgan of Wilmington was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee for initiating multiple wire transfers of seller proceeds in real estate transactions without verifying with the sellers the authenticity of the wiring instructions. In each instance, the instructions Morgan followed were fraudulent. As a result of the wire transfers, $573,451.48 was wired to fraudsters. Morgan had to replenish all funds.
William H. Morgan Jr. of Elizabethtown was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee for initiating a wire transfer of seller proceeds in a real estate transaction without verifying the instructions with the seller. The wiring instructions Morgan followed were fraudulent. Morgan did not supervise his nonlawyer staff in connection with the wire transfer and did not immediately self-report the misappropriation to the State Bar. As a result of the wire transfer, $100,150.30 was wired to a fraudster. The entire amount was eventually recovered.
Completed Petitions for Reinstatement/Stay – Contested
David Shawn Clark of Hickory was disbarred by the DHC in 2013 for having a sexual relationship with a client, filing a frivolous lawsuit to deter the client from revealing the relationship, coercing the client to sign a false affidavit denying the relationship, and engaging in three counts of obstruction of justice by, among other things, threatening his employee not to tell the truth about the relationship. Clark unsuccessfully petitioned for reinstatement in 2019. After a two-day hearing on his second petition for reinstatement, the DHC announced its conclusion that Clark should not be reinstated. The order has not yet been entered.
In 2009, Demetrius G. Rainer of Charlotte surrendered her law license to the Wake County Superior Court and was disbarred following her guilty plea in federal court to conspiracy to engage in bank fraud, conspiracy to launder monetary proceeds of fraudulent real estate transactions, and conspiracy to launder monetary proceeds of the unlawful distribution of controlled substances. After a two-day hearing, the DHC entered an order recommending denial of Rainer’s petition for reinstatement.
Completed Petitions for Reinstatement/Stay – Uncontested
In November 2021, Christopher C. Peace of Charlotte was transferred to disability inactive status by the Grievance Committee. The DHC reinstated Peace to active status upon enumerated conditions.
Transfers to Disability Inactive Status
Richard Dail of Thomasville and Robert Lewis Jr. of Raleigh were transferred to disability inactive status.