Retired Goldsboro attorney and former N.C. Superior Court judge Jerry Braswell’s law license has been suspended for a five-year period for the second time in less than two years.
“I retired two years ago, so I am not practicing law,” Braswell said. “There are some fees that have been assessed against me by the state bar. I have agreed to pay those. So the additional suspension doesn’t concern me one way or the other.
“I mean I am not practicing, have not practiced in over two or three years, retired. So, it is history with me now. I appreciate your call.”
The N.C. State Bar filed an order of discipline Aug. 7, 2017, suspending Braswell from the practice of law for five years.
The second suspension is part of a consent order of discipline the state bar filed June 24.
According to documents on the state bar website, Braswell waived a formal hearing before the bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission in that case.
The documents add that the parties in the case “stipulate and agree to the findings of fact and conclusions of law recited in this consent order. The parties consent to the discipline imposed by this order. By consenting to this order, defendant knowingly, freely, and voluntarily waives his right to appeal this consent order or to challenge in any way the sufficiency of the findings.”
The order stipulates that the second five-year suspension is an independent order from the first one and that it is to run consecutively to the first one.
That means that Braswell is ineligible to petition for reinstatement for 10 years from the effective date of the first suspension — Sept. 18, 2017.
The second suspension relates to Braswell representing a church that had been sued in U.S. District Court in Illinois where he “was not admitted to practice.”
According to the documents, Braswell submitted an application to practice in that jurisdiction that falsely represented his disciplinary history by answering no to a question as to whether he had ever been censured, suspended, disbarred, or otherwise disciplined by any court.
At the time Braswell submitted the application, he had been censured by the N.C. Supreme Court on Aug. 12, 2004, for his conduct while serving as a Superior Court judge and suspended by the Disciplinary Hearing Commission on Oct. 30, 2014, stayed for two years, for violation of Rules of Professional Conduct, according to the consent order.
Braswell also answered no to a question as to whether he was currently the subject of an investigation of his professional conduct, according to the consent order.
However, Braswell was the subject of a disciplinary matter pending before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission at the time he filed the application, and he knew that he was the subject of the disciplinary action, according to the state bar.
It adds that Braswell failed to inform the church of his suspension from the practice of law as required by the rules and that by failing to withdraw from his representation of the church before the effective date of his suspension, he engaged in representation of a client that would result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Also, by continuing to represent the church after his law license was suspended in September 2017, and without a law license from any other jurisdiction, Braswell had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, according to the consent order.