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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

On November 12-13, 2020, the Disciplinary Hearing Commission held a disciplinary hearing to decide whether Gregory Newman engaged in professional misconduct. As in all cases brought before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission, the North Carolina State Bar was the plaintiff, occupying a role similar to the role of the prosecutor in a criminal case. The Disciplinary Hearing Commission is an independent board, occupying a role similar to the role of the court in a criminal case.

The State Bar alleged that Mr. Newman violated the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct as follows:

a) By falsely informing the court that the victim had been notified of the plea and did not wish to be heard, Defendant knowingly made a false statement of material fact to a tribunal in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1), engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness as a lawyer in violation of Rule 8.4(c), and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d);

b) By failing to inform [a victim] of the scheduled guilty plea before resolving the case despite her request to be heard, Defendant engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d);

c) By failing to inform the court that his statement that the victim had been notified of the plea and did not wish to be heard was false, Defendant knowingly failed to correct a false statement of material fact previously made to the tribunal in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d); and

d) By making false statements about the Sapp case to the State Bar during the grievance investigation, Defendant knowingly made false statements of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter in violation of Rule 8.1(a), engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness as a lawyer in violation of Rule 8.4(c), and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d).

The Disciplinary Hearing Commission found that the State Bar proved these allegations by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. In the discipline phase of the hearing, the State Bar argued that Mr. Newman’s conduct warranted disbarment and asked the Disciplinary Hearing Commission to disbar Mr. Newman or to impose a lengthy active suspension of his law license. The Disciplinary Hearing Commission suspended Mr. Newman’s license for three years but stayed the suspension as long as Mr. Newman meets certain conditions.

The Order of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission is available here. Audio recordings of the hearing are available on the State Bar’s Facebook page.

For State Bar media inquiries, please contact Katherine Jean, State Bar Counsel, at kjean@ncbar.gov.

Filed Under: General News

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