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

William Britt of Lumberton misappropriated entrusted funds totaling at least $175,000. He was disbarred by the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.

Kia Scott of Concord embezzled entrusted funds, violated the rules for trust account management, altered official court documents, made false representations to the court, and committed a criminal offense showing professional unfitness. She was disbarred by the DHC.

Mark Kevin Seifert, formerly of Cary, pled guilty to nine felony counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court.

Suspensions & Stayed Suspensions

Gregory Bullard of Lumberton did not perform monthly and quarterly trust account reconciliations, did not comply with his Trust Account Compliance Program contract, and did not timely correct deficiencies in his trust accounting practices. The DHC suspended him for two years. The suspension is stayed for five years upon compliance with numerous conditions.

Steven Cheuvront of Morganton forged the initials of a prosecutor on two dismissals and filed the dismissals with the clerk. The DHC suspended him for two years. After serving one year active suspension, Cheuvront may petition for a stay of the balance upon showing compliance with numerous conditions. The DHC found several mitigating factors.

The DHC suspended Allan De Laine of Clayton for two years. De Laine forged a client's name on a civil complaint, dismissed the action without the client's knowledge or authorization, and neglected the cases of two clients, causing their claims to be time-barred. After serving one year active suspension, he may petition for a stay of the balance upon showing compliance with numerous conditions.

Ronna Dawn Gibbs of Gibsonville, formerly of Havelock, was suspended by the DHC for three years. The suspension was stayed for three years upon Gibbs' compliance with certain conditions. During 2004 and 2005, Gibbs neglected the cases of numerous clients, did not promptly comply with orders of the bankruptcy court, and did not participate in the State Bar's fee dispute program. The DHC concluded that Gibbs' misconduct was substantially the result of a disability from which she has now recovered. She was recently reinstated from disability inactive status.

Michael Griffin of Shelby did not maintain accurate client ledgers, did not provide annual written accountings to clients, did not promptly disburse entrusted funds to clients, did not identify the client against whose funds he drafted an item payable to himself, did not reconcile his trust account, and disbursed funds for the benefit of clients who did not have funds in the trust account. The DHC suspended Griffin for two years. The suspension is stayed for three years upon compliance with numerous conditions.

The DHC suspended former assistant district attorney Elaine Kelley of Linden for four years. She and the elected district attorney who employed her agreed to increase her compensation by submitting false travel claims to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Kelley received reimbursement for 63 mileage claims totaling over $14,000 for mileage she did not incur. After serving two years active suspension, Kelly may apply for a stay of the balance upon showing compliance with numerous conditions.

William Shilling of Franklin was convicted of child abuse and communicating threats. Shilling also made false statements to investigating officers and to the State Bar. The DHC suspended him for two years. After serving one year active suspension, Shilling may petition for a stay of the balance upon showing compliance with numerous conditions.

Interim Suspensions

The DHC entered a consent order imposing an interim suspension of the law license of George Rexford ("Rex") Gore of Shallotte. Gore, the former elected district attorney, pled guilty in Brunswick County Superior Court to the misdemeanor of Willful Failure to Discharge Duties.

Censures

Robert Lee Scott of Greensboro was censured by the DHC. Scott did not timely obtain title insurance, did not timely pay the title insurance premium, and did not adequately communicate with his client about unpaid property taxes in a real estate closing.

Reprimands

Winston-Salem lawyer Shiloh A. Daum was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Daum associated himself with two out-of-state law firms. Both firms violated the Rules of Professional Conduct in advertising on their websites and in direct mail.

The Wake County Superior Court reprimanded David Kirkbride of Raleigh for making a false statement under oath to the court.

John J. Peck of Wilmington was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Peck engaged in a conflict of interest and did not consistently indicate on the face of items payable to him from his trust account the client balance from which the item was drawn.

The Grievance Committee reprimanded Jacksonville lawyer Stephanie Lynne Villaver. Villaver violated several Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyer advertising.

Charlotte lawyer Melvin L. Wall Jr. was reprimanded by the Grievance Committee. Wall served as a surety on a bond and co-mingled his personal funds with entrusted funds.

Transfers to Disability Inactive Status

The chair of the Grievance Committee transferred Stephen L. Snyder of Spruce Pine, James M. Gaither Jr. of Hickory, Mark Waple of Fayetteville, and Reid G. Brown of Waynesville to disability inactive status.

Reinstatements

The DHC reinstated R. Dawn Gibbs, formerly of Havelock and now of Burlington, from disability inactive status.

Douglas T. Simons of Durham surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the State Bar Council in 2005. Simons admitted that he misappropriated at least $300,000. In February 2014 the DHC recommended denial of his petition for reinstatement. Simons has not indicated whether he will appeal to the council.

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