The North Carolina State Bar has suspended the license of a former Assistant U.S. Attorney this month for practicing law without an active license, according to an order from the bar’s disciplinary commission.
The North Carolina law license of David P. Folmar Jr., who represented the Justice Department from November 2003 to March 2009 without a valid license, is suspended for five years. But he can apply to have the suspension lifted after a year and a half, according to the order dated June 11, 2010.
Folmar’s license was initially suspended in November 2003 for failing to obey mandatory continuing legal education obligations. He also was licensed to practice law in Florida, but his Florida Bar license was retired before November 2003. An Assistant U.S. Attorney must have an active license from at least one state bar to practice law.
The ex-prosecutor did not notify his supervisors in the Middle District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney’s office about his suspension. Middle District U.S. Attorney Anna Mills Wagoner fired Folmar in March 2009. She then informed lawyers and judges who worked with Folmar on hundreds of cases. The DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility also disciplined him, according to the order.
The former Assistant U.S. Attorney was “having personal and family problems” and “suffering from depression and turned to alcohol” when he practiced law without a license, according the order.
Folmar was convicted in 2008 of driving while impaired. Police reports said he had almost three times the legal blood-alcohol content of 0.08.
He sought counseling and has shown “extreme remorse,” the order said. Folmar had an “unblemished” record and has a “professional reputation of being an honest lawyer,” according to the order.
Wade M. Smith, Folmar’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Main Justice.
Smith told Main Justice that it was a “serious, serious mistake” for Folmar to practice law without a valid license. But the lawyer said he thinks there is still a place for Folmar in the legal community.
“I see so much good in him and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him,” Smith said.