Robert F. Orr

Robert F. Orr

Feb. 8, 2016

“Bob Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice, says it’s time for a comprehensive outside review of the state agency that oversees lawyers.

“Orr… is part of a committee looking at legal professionalism as part of Chief Justice Mark Martin’s recently launched review of the state justice system….

“The call for evaluation comes amid questions about the bar’s aggressive prosecution of three defense attorneys who have worked on Racial Justice Act (text cache) and innocence inquiry cases….”

– From “Former NC Supreme Court justice calls for review of state bar” by Anne Blythe in the News & Observer (Feb. 6)  (text cache)

Right on, Justice Orr. And thanks to the N&O for its continuing attention to the flagrant self-dealing of the Prosecutors Club, most recently this account (text cache) by Joseph Neff contrasting the bar’s two sets of ethical standards:

“For most of 2015, the North Carolina State Bar vigorously and publicly pressed ethics charges against two anti-death penalty lawyers for what were eventually judged to be unimportant inaccuracies in two sworn affidavits.

“During the same time, the bar privately dismissed complaints that three prominent prosecutors – one running for attorney general, another now a Superior Court judge – used a false affidavit in a racially divisive case that has roiled Winston-Salem for more than a decade….”

I’ve even seen it suggested that the situation demands a separate panel specializing in prosecutorial misconduct (text cache).