Licenses suspended for local attorneys

Published 12:33 pm Thursday, July 19, 2018

Two Mocksville attorneys have lost their license to practice law, according to a consent order from the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the N.C. State Bar.

Michael J. Parker and his wife, Julie A. Parker, agreed to the order.

Julie Parker’s license to practice law was suspended for five years. She will be eligible to apply for a stay of the suspension after 18 months.

Michael Parker’s license to practice law was also suspended for five years. He will be eligible to apply for a stay of the suspension after 30 months.

The order, filed last month in Wake County, said the Parkers withheld funds from employees for employment taxes but failed to remit those funds to the IRS. The incidents were from 2010 to 2012. Other problems with tax payments were listed.

Michael Parker also misused a trust account, gave legal advice at a time when his law license was suspended and gave false statements to the bar, according to the order. He had been censured by the bar in 2009 by making misrepresentations in a loan closing.

The consent order read, in part:

“Defendant (Michael) elevated his interest over his clients’ interests by failing to properly account for the funds he was receiving … and by providing legal advice while his license was administratively suspended.

“The privilege of licensure to practice law is accompanied by the fundamental requirement that an attorney practice law solely within the bounds of licensure. By giving … legal advice at a time when he was administratively suspended, defendant caused significant potential harm to his client and to the standing of the profession in the eyes of the public.

“Such erosion of public confidence in attorneys tends to sully the reputation of, and fosters disrespect for, the profession as a whole. Confidence in the legal profesion is a building block for public trust in the entire legal system.”