This coming Tuesday, DA Mike Nifong heads to court to stand trial on ethics charges stemming from the Duke University Lacrosse Rape case scandal. Mike Nifong faces the NC State Bar this coming week to save his reputation and his ability to practice law. Nifong’s reputation has certainly been tarnished as we would later learn all of the mis-steps and ethically challenged decisions that he made as the Duke Lacrosse rape case crumpled before our very eyes. The question does remain though, will the NC State Bar just gloss over Nifong’s actions as State Bar’s have done all too often in the past? Will they protect one of their own and just give a slap on the wrist, if anything? Or will they actually serve the public and make an example out of Nifong and his actions? We shall see.
… the Durham County district attorney will stand trial on ethics charges ranging from lying to the court to withholding potentially exculpatory evidence.
“On one hand, he’s very anxious to go ahead and have the hearing so he can present the evidence about the allegations against him,” said David Freedman, one of Nifong’s two attorneys. “On the other hand, it’s an extremely stressful situation for any lawyer to go through, especially at this level and profile.”
If Nifong is acquitted, the case will have still taken a devastating toll on the career public servant who joined the Durham County prosecutor’s office as a volunteer in 1978 after graduating from law school. He is all but assured to be remembered for pursuing a deeply flawed case with unyielding vigor while portraying himself as a crusader against privilege and racism at an elite private university. (Winston-Salem Journal)
The trial of the disciplinary action brought by the NC State Bar against Michael B. Nifong relating to his conduct in the Duke lacrosse case will be held in the courtroom of the North Carolina Court of Appeals (One West Morgan Street, Raleigh, NC) beginning on Tuesday morning, June 12, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.
Hearing on Nifong a test for State Bar
The N.C. State Bar, the state agency that licenses and disciplines lawyers, will be on a symbolic trial for its own spotty history of effective oversight.
“I hope everybody is watching the State Bar,” said state Sen. Tony Rand, a lawyer and the Fayetteville Democrat who is the Senate majority leader. “It’s exceedingly important that they believe the agency that regulates the practicing bar is serious about ethical and misconduct cases.”
The State Bar has disbarred about 170 lawyers since 1996. But never has an N.C. prosecutor been deprived of the ability to practice law, even for a single day, because of prosecutorial misconduct. (The Charlotte Observer)