Local News

Johnston DA drops lawsuit over husband's affair

Posted October 20, 2011

— Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit against a longtime friend over an alleged affair the woman had with Doyle's husband.

Doyle and Christi Stem reached an out-of-court settlement in the case, but the terms weren't disclosed, according to a document filed in Johnston County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Doyle filed a criminal conversation suit in June, alleging that Stem and Michael Doyle had sex several times in 2010. According to court documents, Stems and the Doyles are neighbors, and Stem is godmother to the couple's two children.

Susan Doyle alleged in court documents that she confided to Stem, an attorney who specializes in family law, about her marital difficulties in recent years and that Stem agreed to mediate the problems.

Court documents also stated that Michael Doyle and Stem exchanged racy text messages and that Stem programmed her cellphone so calls and texts from him would appear under the heading "Office."


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  • cwood3 Oct 21, 2011

    Idarjohnson-have you ever thought how much these 2 beautiful children are hurting?? Any comment about them only makes it worse.

    What this family needs, more than every snide comment on this blog, is our prayers!!

  • wa4dou Oct 21, 2011

    Contrary to some opinion, lawyers are just imperfect people like everyone else, potentially subject to the same errors/lapses in judgement and temptations.

  • lawtalkin guy Oct 21, 2011

    "Yeah right, only in a few extreme cases. Look at those lawyers caught up in the DWI scandel, they're already back at work. What a joke."

    That's a fair enough point, but lawyer discpiline is public. There are just under thirty cases pending in the Bar right now dealing with attorney discipline (including some guy named Easley). Whether they are only "extreme" cases is a matter of definition. Of course only the most serious offenders are disbarred, and your point is absolutely correct that a lawyer who is disbarred can be reinstated once five years have passed. The discipline remains a matter of public record, however, and since that information is easily and readily accessible, there is some responsibility on the part of the public to check into the record, if any, of the lawyer they are thinking of retaining. Any lawyer who has been disciplined knows it is no joke.

  • psycho Oct 21, 2011

    I might agree with those that think she's being petty & vindictive in filing suit... EXCEPT this woman was operating as an attorney and a mediator for the couple, AND having an affair with the husband. This is clearly unethical and the Bar should investigate. If she were just a neighbor having an affair with the husband, then that's between the people involved. I would not want to have an attorney who would do this in her professional role as MY attorney!

  • Shelley Cooper Oct 21, 2011

    catfight should not be news

  • wa4dou Oct 21, 2011

    "Truth be known, a lot of marital infidelity is caused by the "offended" spouse abandoning the marriage, even while remaining in body."

    OK, maybe not clear enough! Maybe the DA was a sorry wife! Not an unusual precursor to infidelity, right or wrong!

  • norainonmyparade Oct 21, 2011

    "The NC State Bar does not support nothing or no one....but themselves...."

    I just wanted to point out that your first sentence means that the state bar supports everyone except themselves.

    "Does not" and "nothing" are both negatives. A double negative gives the same meaning as a positive. The same is true of "does not" and "no one". You need to say that the State Bar does not support ANYthing (as opposed to nothing) or ANYone (as opposed to no one). The other alternative would be to say the State Bar supports nothing or nobody but themselves.

    Grammar like yours is why many people in other part of the country have the misconception that everyone in the south is ignorant and inbred. Take thirty seconds to think about what you say and how you say it before you say or type it, and you will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 21, 2011

    Normally I am not one for the alienation of affection lawsuit stuff here in NC but I definitely see some course of action for the State Bar given Stem's huge conflict of interest and the fact that she used inside information as an attny to manipulate the situation concerning the affair to her advantage. That to me is grounds for disciplinary action by the Bar. Plus, I think there is a thing that you cannot have relations with a client or spouse of a client (except for cases where the client is your spouse and even then it is probably best to have representation outside the marriage for big stuff to have impartiality in viewing the situation).

  • YippiYiyoKiYay Oct 21, 2011

    My wife and I live our personal lives by the motto,"You can't be led where you don't want to go". He wanted to go. Now he has to be a man and take the consequences. Now you let him go Susan. There is someone out there who won't want to go. Find them and be happy.

  • zile1porkey Oct 21, 2011

    She should be disbarred not because she slept with the husband but because she didn't disqualify herself from mediation. It appears she didn't learn anything in her CLE Ethic class that is manidated by the bar. She had an agenda and it should not be tolerated by any attorney.She was sleeping with her client. NOT!