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In re Braun

Supreme Court of North Carolina
531 S.E.2d 213 (2000)


Facts

Nancy Braun (plaintiff), an attorney admitted in both New York and the District of Columbia, applied on December 5, 1996 for admission to the North Carolina Bar by comity. The North Carolina Board of Law Examiners (defendant) denied Braun’s application, finding that Braun failed to prove that she had been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law for at least four out of the six years preceding her application, as required by Section .0502(3) of the Rules Governing Admission to Practice Law in the State of North Carolina. Between November 1991 and November 1996, Braun owned and operated Harvest Moon Café and Catering. Braun maintained that, in addition to operating the restaurant, she performed law-related activities for the cafe, including obtaining a business loan, resolving landlord disputes, and negotiating contracts, and provided other legal services for employees and vendors, such as traffic-court appearances. During this time, however, Braun did not operate a legal office separate from the restaurant, nor did she maintain billing records, advertise for services, or attend continuing legal education. The Board concluded that Braun displayed a lack of candor and provided misleading responses to questions in attempting to prove that her work at the restaurant constituted the active and substantial practice of law. The Superior Court of Wake County affirmed the Board’s decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Freeman, J.)

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