North Carolina State Bar accuses Betsy Wolfenden of "posing the gravest of threats."

In a hysteria-inducing diatribe, the North Carolina State Bar accuses Betsy Wolfenden of "posing the gravest of threats" because, according to the State Bar, "her goal is to convince the public that our legal system is corrupt." Actually, Wolfenden only accused two judges and three attorneys in 15-B District Court, and the North Carolina State Bar of being corrupt, and the NC Court of Appeals recently confirmed her allegations in two strongly worded opinions:

Bohannon v. McManaway

McManaway v. LDS Family Services et al.

Coincidentally, the same day the State Bar filed its Response to Wolfenden's Petition for Writ of Supersedeas in the North Carolina Supreme Court, Wolfenden filed a brief in the North Carolina Court of Appeals arguing that the court orders entered by 15-B District Court Judge Beverly Scarlett must be vacated when Judge Scarlett violated the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct and obstructed justice by concealing her bias against Wolfenden from Wolfenden's clients after Wolfenden ran a campaign ad during the 2008 judicial election referring to the "good ol' boy network," which Judge Scarlett, an Easley appointee, found personally offensive.

Harrington v. Wall Brief

While there are many fine judges and attorneys in North Carolina, in Orange County District Court, it is the good-old-boy system that rules supreme in the courtroom. Law and legal procedure are routinely ignored and any attorney or litigant who speaks out against the lawlessness is punished with unfavorable rulings. It's a frightening experience for an attorney let alone a citizen who may be encountering the legal system for the first time.

Comments

In the abstract

"the gravest of threats" would appear to be a corrupt judiciary itself, not an assertion that it is so.

Is this kind of hyperbole business as usual for the Bar?

Hyperbole and the State Bar

It's the type of hyperbole a litigant uses when he's being sued and he knows the other side has a valid claim.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

State Bar

I love this line:

State Bar is no ordinary plaintiff.

I don't know the facts in this matter, but I do recognize the arrogance of power when I see it.

with all due respect, James

and you know I hold you in the highest regard, but when commenting on a legal matter, your sentence probably should stop at the end of the first phrase.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Really?

In the American system of jurisprudence, does the status of the plaintiff have any bearing on how the law should be interpreted?

I wasn't commenting on the facts, as I specifically stated. I was commenting on the Bar's assertion of special standing. As I see it, "standing" is a legal matter, you either have it or you don't.

But perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps we have a legal system in America wherein the position/power/influence/role of those on one side of a case gives them special privilege in comparison to the position/power/influence/role of those on the other side.

If that's true, then I would be wrong in declaring this the "arrogance of power." It would be more properly labeled "the privilege of power."

Either way, I find it offensive.

The State Bar is no ordinary plaintiff

It's a state agency, tasked with protecting the public from the dishonest,the unethical, the poorly trained and those no longer capable of practicing.

I have no knowledge of Ms. Wolfenden's case and will not comment on it. But I think your characterization of what is nothing more than a truthful statement made with a little rhetorical flair is a bit off kilter.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

They might be relevant

to something, but they're not relevant to the point I'm making.

Superb appellate work

Great brief by the Bar. Your meager appellate skills are no match for those evil Bar lawyers, with all their concise, effective arguments and all that sticking to the issues stuff. Looks like your goose is cooked, at least on the stay issue. When your Writ is denied, will you petition the SCOTUS for redress?

Dumb luck

How I ever won a single appeal, like State v. Biber, decided today in the Court of Appeals, is beyond me. Must have been dumb luck.

Of course I'm going to the SCOTUS. What a thrill.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

dumb luck indeed...

...in the interest of full disclosure, in 2010, you won Biber (actually didn't someone else take over? you only wrote the brief according to the opinion) and maybe one other case.

In 2010, these cases were decided against you and/or your clients:
In Re: KOL
In the Matter of TDW;
In the Matter of HD, DD, MD...;
In the Matter of GMH;
In the Matter of WQK;
In the Matter of KQR;
State v. Deberry;
In the Matter of TWO;
State v. Burns;
State v. Reel;
State v. Long.

You are, sort of, correct. Of your 12 or so appeals this year, you "...won a single appeal..."

a man or woman...

....who is his own counsel will often have a fool for a client.

Just a thought, but 'dumb' seems like a term that you might not want to use when describing your behavior. It may reinforce a preconceived belief of the reader.

this is the best read...

You are using this as support for your WRIT and your complaint against Judge Scarlett? You are in the hallway and didn't realize your client's hearing had started until 1/2 way through? And then complained that the Judge didn't personally call you on your cellphone? Wow, don't you want some special treatment!

Maybe we can all complain about that and just sit at home or work and wait for the Judge to personally call us in for our traffic ticket hearing. That way we don't have to waste our 'precious' time being bothered to sit in a court room. Maybe do it like Chili's...."Call Ahead Seating" would be awesome!!! I'd like some cheese(fries) with your whine!!!

Attached to your Motion/Response:
BANNON: So Ms. Wolfenden was not able to cite to a specific provision of the constitution which requires judges to contact lawyers on their cell phones before commencing a scheduled hearing?
JUDGE SCARLETT: No.