Local News

Missing Chapel Hill Attorney Disbarred for Violating Ethics

Posted March 30, 2007

— A North Carolina State Bar disciplinary hearing commission has disbarred a missing Chapel Hill attorney who they violated rules of professional conduct.

John McCormick, who has not been seen since July, is accused of taking more than $1 million belonging to his clients. He did not appear at Friday's hearing.

State Bar prosecutor Katherine Jean argued before the commission, stating that McCormick's actions were premeditated and that he brought the entire legal profession into disrepute.

In July, authorities found McCormick's car abandoned at the Orange County entrance to Duke Forest.

Investigators have since searched airline logs and checked McCormick's bank accounts and credit cards in efforts to locate him.His name and face are also in a national criminal database, but his whereabouts remain unknown.

During Friday's hearing, a witness said he heard rumors that McCormick might be in Central America or South America.

McCormick was also the attorney for Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, a job he held for 20 years. The school board terminated his contract after he vanished. Authorities said there was not any money missing from the school system's accounts.

Last October, leaders from the Chapel-Hill Carrboro school board decided a Raleigh law firm would represent the district. The school system selected Tharrington Smith to replace McCormick.


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  • Windmill Tilter Mar 30, 2007

    Thialand. He is there. I will bet a dollar or two.

  • Get a clue Mar 30, 2007

    Is that Nifongs lost lost brother?

  • absolute Mar 30, 2007

    Where the hell is this fool? The state Bar should have been disbarred him as soon as they heard about the embezzlement and him bailing town.

  • lilybell Mar 30, 2007

    None of y'all have said anything near to what the rumor mill says about why this guy took off, or more directly who this guy may have left the country with. I'm guessing he's not dead, that he's in some country with no extradition to the U.S.

  • papa jim Mar 30, 2007

    Maybe if we're lucky he's dead

  • shep8851 Mar 30, 2007

    Mexico??? this guy isn't that dumb--he's a lawyer. We have extradition treatys with Mexico, so if he was found down there alive, he could be sent back here for trial. He's gone to one of those very few places where the U.S. does not have an extradition set-up. Is he worried?? with a million or so in your pocket, and in a place where the U.S. authorities can't touch you, would you be worried????

  • Gnathostomata Mar 30, 2007

    If we start sending lawyers across the border, do you think THEY will start building a fence???

  • mslisac363 Mar 30, 2007

    I don't think this attorney cares, this was just a waste of time. He's either dead or somewhere enjoying himself. Why don't these people send their time doing more productive things with people they can find.

  • 1Raleigh native Mar 30, 2007

    interesting more that he wasnt there to defend himself... how silly are they going to feel if they find his body in a ditch somewhere in a year or so...

  • retChief Mar 30, 2007

    Good thing he is not here to represent the DWI subject...........who said the trooper roughed him up..imagine that.lawyer disbarred