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Home / Bar Disciplinary Actions / Wake County attorney reprimanded

Wake County attorney reprimanded

Attorney: Deborrah L. Newton 

Location: Wake County 

Disciplinary action: Reprimand  

Background:  

Defendant was found guilty of submitting fee applications that contained inaccurate and excessive billing entries. Defendant engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d). In 2021 the defendant was appointed by The Office of the Capital Defender to represent eight indigent clients charged with murder. In May, June, and July 2021 she submitted fee applications for those eight cases. In September 2021, the Office of the Capital Defender informed the defendant that an audit conducted by The Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) showed that the defendant overbilled her clients, including duplicate billing for travel time, mileage and client meetings. At the time the defendant submitted her eight fee applications, she was failing to keep accurate client-specific timesheets for her indigent murder cases. At the time of the audit, the defendant had already been paid for three of her eight fee applications. As a result, the defendant received a total of $6,520.40 in unearned funds. By submitting fee applications that contained inaccurate overbilling to The IDS and accepting payment for three of the eight fee applications, the defendant charged and collected a clearly excessive fee in violation of Rule 1.5(a). 

 


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