Local News

Disbarred Lawyer Appears in Court to Answer Charges

Posted March 7, 2007 12:39 p.m. EST

— A lawyer who was disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar appeared in court Wednesday after being accused of practicing law without a license and stealing money from clients.

Randy Meares is charged with six counts of obtaining propety by false pretenses. Investigators said Meares helped settle insurance claims for clients for the last three years and pocketed nearly $60,000 in settlement money himself.

The North Carolina State Bar disbarred Meares in 1998. At the time, he was accused of taking more than $34,000 from his clients.

Despite being disbarred, Root Edmonson, deputy counsel with the North Carolina State Bar, the state agency that regulates the practice of law in Noth Carolina, told WRAL it was likely Meares continued to practice by settling cases with insurance companies out of court.

If convicted, Meares could face up to 30 months in prison for each count. He is currently out on bond, and he is scheduled to be back in court at the end of the month.