North Carolina Attorney License Defense Lawyer
North State Law Firm assists North Carolina licensed lawyers when they receive a grievance from the North Carolina State Bar.
The North Carolina State Bar is tasked with the responsibility of investigating allegations of misconduct and unethical behavior by attorneys licensed within the state. When the State Bar receives a complaint about potential misconduct or unethical actions by one of its members, it issues a notice of grievance to the attorney in question. The attorney then has 15 days to respond to these allegations.
As a licensed attorney in North Carolina himself, Managing Partner Nick Dowgul understands the importance of maintaining an active and good standing status with the North Carolina State Bar. An active license is central to one’s livelihood and ability to provide for their family, making its protection crucial.
Dowgul and North State Law are proud to represent North Carolina attorneys before the North Carolina State Bar.
What happens after I receive a Notice of Grievance from the North Carolina State Bar?
If you have received a Notice of Grievance from the North Carolina State Bar, served by certified mail, it indicates that an attorney within the NC State Bar’s Office of Counsel has likely reviewed the grievance.
This review is conducted under the assumption that the allegations are true, unless evidence proves otherwise. If, based on this assumption, the behavior is found to potentially violate the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys in North Carolina, a notice is issued.
As previously mentioned, attorneys have 15 days to respond upon receiving a Notice of Grievance.
27 NCAC 01B.0112 (c) specifies that the response to the notice should offer a “full and fair disclosure of all facts and circumstances” relevant to the alleged misconduct. This response must be written and signed by the recipient of the notice.
Once the NC State Bar Office of Counsel receives the response, they might request additional information or even use investigators to gather more details.
When the NC State Bar Office of Counsel believes they have compiled sufficient information, they will draft a report for the Grievance Committee. This report not only presents the gathered information but also recommends subsequent actions.
The Office of Counsel may recommend the dismissal of the grievance or propose that the Rules of Professional Conduct have been breached. If the latter is suggested, the Grievance Committee will review the report and determine the appropriate course of action. Potential disciplinary measures include:
- Dismissal with a Letter of Caution
- Dismissal with a Letter of Warning
- Imposing Discipline (Admonition, Reprimand, Censure, Referral to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission)
What happens if my matter is referred to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission?
The North Carolina State Bar Grievance Committee does not have the authority to suspend or disbar lawyers in North Carolina.
If they deem a case to be of significant gravity that might warrant such discipline, they will forward the matter to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission for further evaluation.
I'm a lawyer myself; why should I obtain a lawyer to represent me in matters before the North Carolina State Bar?
We’ve all heard the adage: “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
As we often emphasize across our website, licensed professionals in North Carolina stand out as some of the brightest and most dedicated individuals in the workforce. Their journey is dotted with challenges they’ve surmounted, and they’ve tackled many obstacles to reach their current positions. To many, the idea of facing their respective State Agency or Licensing Board might seem like just another hurdle to leap over solo.
The legal community, given its deep understanding of the law, often feels empowered to take on challenges directly, especially when considering self-representation in matters before the NC State Bar.
However, every lawyer knows the value of a focus in a particular practice area. An attorney practicing in a specific niche can offer invaluable and, crucially, objective insights on your case before the NC State Bar. While your knowledge and skills are vast, having someone on the sidelines can provide you with a fresh perspective.
Even if you’re leaning strongly towards handling your case pro se, we’d recommend at least consulting with an attorney experienced in representing matters before North Carolina Licensing Boards and State Agencies, like the NC State Bar.
At what point should I contact a North Carolina Attorney Licensing Lawyer regarding my Notice of Grievance?
Ideally, you should reach out as soon as you receive the notice.
As you’re well aware from your own practice, when potential clients approach late or midway through their case, it can complicate matters.
Should you quickly draft a response to the notice, assuming a prompt dismissal, you might find yourself unprepared when faced with further inquiries or even an unexpected visit from an investigator. Engaging a North Carolina Attorney Licensing Defense Lawyer after such events may limit their strategic options. A seemingly minor oversight in your response might have been easily addressed with prior legal guidance.
While our firm supports North Carolina professionals at every stage of proceedings before Licensing Boards and State Agencies, early consultation offers the best chance to navigate towards a favorable outcome.
What are the most common reasons for disciplinary action taken by the North Carolina State Bar?
There are numerous circumstances that can result in the North Carolina State Bar taking public disciplinary actions, such as issuing an admonition, censure, reprimand, suspension, or even disbarment. At North State Law, we most frequently encounter the following situations:
- Client Fund Misappropriation
- Criminal Acts involving Moral Turpitude
- Lack of Attention / Communication with Clients
- Habitual Violations of Professional Rules
- Failure to Answer Formal Inquiry
Contact North State Law Today
If you’ve received a Notice of Grievance from the North Carolina State Bar, reach out to North State Law. Discuss your situation with our attorneys who have extensive experience representing clients before North Carolina Licensing Boards and State Agencies.
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North Carolina State Bar Information
North Carolina State Bar
217 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
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