State News

Nifong Complains About State Bar's Handling of Ethics Case

Posted August 14, 2007
Updated August 15, 2007

— When former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong mailed in his law license last week, he also included a note bemoaning "the fundamental unfairness" of the North Carolina State Bar's handling of his ethics case.

Nifong was disbarred for his handling of rape charges against three Duke University men's lacrosse players. State prosecutors later dismissed the charges and declared the players innocent.

The State Bar in June found that Nifong violated several ethics rules in his handling of the case, including withholding evidence from defense attorneys and making inflammatory comments to media.

Nifong resigned as district attorney last month when a judge was about to conduct a hearing into removing the disbarred prosecutor from office.

In the Aug. 7 letter, Nifong complained about a revision the State Bar issued to its written ruling, which had omitted one of the counts included in an oral ruling.

Robert Mosteller, a Duke law professor, noticed the missing count.

"Am I just missing this reference, is there an explanation, or just an apparent oversight?" he wrote in an e-mail to the State Bar.

The count was added in an amended order by F. Lane Williamson, a Charlotte lawyer who headed the disciplinary panel.

"Mr. Williamson's e-mail assertion that the addition of a new conclusion of law based on the request of a Duke University law professor is merely a 'clerical correction' is preposterous beyond belief, and is further evidence of the fundamental unfairness with which this entire procedure has been conducted," Nifong wrote.

Nifong's letter contradicts statements his lawyer made during the disciplinary hearing. Attorney David Freedman told the panel that Nifong "believes this has been a fair and full hearing of the facts, that he believes disbarment is the appropriate punishment in this case."

Nifong also noted in his letter that his middle name was misspelled on his law license and that a puppy had chewed on part of the document. "Consequently, it has never been framed or displayed," he wrote.

142 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • duster 340 Aug 16, 2007

    I bet he had DNA for the puppy that chewed on part of the law license.

  • Its me again Aug 16, 2007

    Let's not forget who appointed this man and those who sat on the sidelines while his abuse of power prevailed in all of our lives.How could they have been fooled by Nifong disturbs me.

  • whatusay Aug 15, 2007

    lockinlady...you should get past your racism...Maybe if you listened to Barry Manilow music for 8-10 hours you might mellow out.

  • peacebee Aug 15, 2007

    Whatever Nifong's motivations were, they were wrong. He hurt people, families, communities, and our city with his dogged determination to win a vote. Moving forward, past race and riches, no matter how hard people like Nifong work to pit people against each other, the strongest individuals are those who look past the pigment of one's skin, past their wallet, and into their hearts. Contributing more to the diatribe of hate and predjudice should not be the norm. He should pay for his contribution to the storm, but we each need to be responsible for our own issues as well. Everyone who is rich is not a jerk, everyone who is poor is not uneducated or ignorant. Everyone with a particular skin color should not be stereotyped, whether that color be black, white, green or orange. We can all be better than Nifong, and all of the people who have clattered along behind him in his wake spouting about one side or the other deserving bad things. Start now making a difference.

  • Outlaw Subdivision 4-wheelers Aug 15, 2007

    Amen! Someone call Whine One One! We need a Waaaambulance!

  • threewakecountyboys Aug 15, 2007

    Maybe he should call 1-800-whaaahhh-whaaaah-whaaaah

    I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read the story. . . . .

  • whatusay Aug 15, 2007

    So let's see if I have this right....Nifong claims that he was treated unfairly? What about the 3 innocent men he persecuted for a year with no evidence, did he treat them fairly? He got most of what he deserved.

  • alx Aug 15, 2007

    i hope the good people of durham will remember that they got what they wanted when they elected this guy.

  • oneday8035 Aug 15, 2007

    Crickets...do I hear crickets? No, that must be those who think that Nifong is right or those that give a !@#$! See, even I have learned from Nascar not to say the s... word.

  • NC_VET Aug 15, 2007

    What a loser and a major whinner. Yea I would complain to if
    my middle name was "FOOL"

More...