Local News

North Carolina State Bar Issues Disbarment Order for Nifong

Posted July 12, 2007

— The North Carolina State Bar on Thursday issued a formal order disbarring Mike Nifong for his handling of the discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.

Nifong must surrender his law license to the bar no later than 30 days from when he is served with the order. He must also pay costs associated with his weeklong ethics trial last month, including those incurred by the court reporter and witnesses.

A disciplinary hearing committee decided to disbar Nifong – who has resigned as Durham County's district attorney – after finding he had committed at least two dozen violations of the state's rules of professional conduct.

Among the violations: Nifong lied to the court and withheld DNA evidence that showed genetic material from several males – though none from a Duke lacrosse player – was found on and about the accuser.

In court documents and hearings in May, June and September, Nifong told two different judges that he had no more evidence that could be considered helpful to the defense.

He said he didn't realize until months later that the additional DNA information was missing.

"My first reaction was a variation of 'oh crap,'" Nifong said at the disciplinary hearing committee. "'I didn't give them this?'"

The woman had told police she was attacked by three men at a March 2006 lacrosse team party for which she was hired to perform as a stripper. Nifong secured indictments for rape, kidnapping and sexual offense against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans.

Nifong dropped the rape charges in December after the accuser changed a key detail of her story, and he gave the case to state prosecutors the following month amid the ethics allegations.

State prosecutors dropped the remaining charges in April. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper called the trio innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."

At the State Bar disciplinary hearing, when Nifong was asked if he still believed whether the accuser was attacked, Nifong said he could not say it was a sexual assault.

"Something happened to make everybody leave that scene very quickly," he said.

Nifong is scheduled to appear in court July 26 to face criminal contempt charges. That hearing has been scheduled by Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith, who oversaw the Duke lacrosse case.


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  • CauseTaker Jul 13, 2007

    "When will they ever be through with this?"
    shine July 12, 2007 5:53 p.m.

    The judicial fall-out from the Duke case fiasco may take as long as 2 or 3 years by the time all cases are heard along with appeals. I'd be surprised if Nifong doesn't appeal his criminal contempt penalty(s). In the aftermath of his Disbarment he's no doubt been working with attorneys to prepare his defense for criminal contempt. The charges being brought by the Duke Three against Nifong are still unannounced, but we know they are pending.

    I'd like to see Crystal Mangum charged for making a false report... that petition has yet to be filed, if ever. Since AG Roy Cooper declared the State will not seek criminal charges against her, does that exclude the City of Durham PD, its citizens, and the lacrosse players from seeking charges?

  • resjudicata Jul 13, 2007

    what the point of publishing the 88 names again?

  • 1Moms_View Jul 12, 2007

    Wonder how long it will take before "made for TV" movie is created on this whole mess. Who do you think should play Liefong? Somebody really shady looking...
    Anway, finally it's coming back to him. Glad he has to repay court costs for the review. Hope that cost him a pretty penny. NOw it's time for them to go after Mangum. She had just as much wrongdoing in all this as Liefong did...more so because of the harm she did for all REAL rape victims..many who will not come forward now because of Mangum's lies and the problems caused.

  • NC to GA Jul 12, 2007

    I wonder if next year "Nifonged" will be added to the dictionary, much like ginormous and super-size was. Hmmmm... what would the definition read? I can't wait to read some ideas RIGHT HERE!! Post on!

  • plain logic Jul 12, 2007

    "Nifonged" cite www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nifonged

  • jetset Jul 12, 2007

    I bet she is not REALLY mentally unstable. Maybe something else, like sleezeball, etc but not really mentally unstable. If she was THAT mentally unstable, she couldn't get into college and stay in college or get a job, even if was stripping. We should give her more credit than that. And, with credit, she should answer for what she did.

  • shine Jul 12, 2007

    When will they ever be through with this? He will be teaching children at UNC before long or on the lecture circuit.

  • gkirk08 Jul 12, 2007

    WHEN Nifong is sent to jail his work release should entail some erotic dancing at sorority parties! Seriously, when are we going to see a REAL apology by him and the rest of the Durham community who were so quick to march and protest?

  • Nancy Jul 12, 2007

    Next order of business are the DPD who did the "investigation" and lied to the GJ and lied in their depositions to the State Bar during their investigation of Nifong.

    Durham has set up a committee to investigate how the DPD handled the investigation, most expect that to be a whitewash based on who was chosen to be on the committee. We shall see.

    It may require the feds to come in and address civil rights violations by the DPD before it's really cleaned up.

  • JustanotherNCopinion Jul 12, 2007

    Just curious. Why doesn't this website have a place for posting comments on the Durham suspect "catfish"?????? Come on, are you afraid we'll tell it like it is?????