Saturday, June 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: L. Thomas Lunsford II
June 16, 2007
Executive Director, N.C. State Bar
N.C. STATE BAR STATEMENT ON DISCIPLINARY ACTION
AGAINST MICHAEL NIFONG
Steven D. Michael, the president of the N.C. State Bar, issued the following statement on the Disciplinary Hearing Commission’s action today disbarring Michael B. Nifong, the former prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case, for violations of the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct:
“I am satisfied that justice was done in the Nifong case and am proud to say that our system of self-regulation worked well. Mr. Nifong received a fair trial. All interested parties – but especially the citizens of North Carolina – were finally able to see all the evidence relating tothis extremely unfortunate case of professional misconduct.
“I was very impressed with the effective and thoroughly professional presentation made bythe State Bar’s lawyers, Katherine Jean, Doug Brocker and Carmen Hoyme. I also thought Mr. Nifong was well represented.
“The members of the DHC’s Hearing Committee deserve thanks and commendation as well. They presided over a very difficult case in a fair and extremely competent fashion.
“In my experience, misconduct of the sort Mr. Nifong engaged in is very rare and not at all typical of prosecutors in our state. We deeply regret the serious harm caused to these youngmen and their families. We hope the decision today will lessen the likelihood that anything like this will happen again.
“The Bar’s strong response to this situation made clear that the ethical rules restricting pretrial public comment and requiring prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence will be strictly enforced. Those rules are important because they ensure the fundamental right to a fair trial that every citizen is guaranteed in our constitution.”
The North Carolina State Bar
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
L. Thomas Lunsford II
208 Fayetteville Street Mall
Post Office Box 25908
Raleigh, North Carolina 27611-5908