December 1, 2017

Remember when the UNC Board of Governors was taking incoming fire and insults from the radical left at UNC because the BOG wanted to close the lawsuit factory known as the Civil Rights Center at the UNC law school?

Well, they were completely justified.

A State Bar ruling that the UNC Law School’s Civil Rights Center isn’t authorized to practice law shows the Board of Governors made the right call closing the center, which has spent years using its university status to sue individual taxpayers and local governments.

But why was UNC General Counsel Mark Merritt letting the law school grind out lawsuits like sausage?

WRAL said: “David Johnson, deputy counsel of the State Bar’s Authorized Practice Committee, argued that, as a unit of UNC-Chapel Hill, the center doesn’t qualify under state law as a nonprofit organization that can provide indigent legal services. Johnson also argued that the center’s director isn’t licensed to practice law in North Carolina, so the center doesn’t meet the statutory definition of a legal clinic, where “law students [have] an opportunity to provide direct legal services to indigent clients under the supervision of a North Carolina lawyer.”

“The training offered to law students by the Center is instead focused on drafting pleadings and other materials for use by the lawyer employees in the Center’s litigation and advocacy efforts,” Johnson wrote in a Sept. 6 letter to UNC Law School Dean Martin Brinkley.”

Cut and dry. The law school was not authorized to sue the people they sued.

The Bar ruled so definitively that the Civil Rights Center was improperly practicing law. And UNC General Counsel Mark Merritt happens to be President of the Bar Association. Hmm. So why did he back the center anyway?

We have already noted how Merritt allegedly used public service for his law firm’s private gain and his well-documented allegiance to Democrats.

It seems Merritt put his liberal ideology ahead of legal ethics, or he would have shutdown the Civil Right Center long ago instead of letting the Board of Governors draw the ire of media and liberal activists for doing the right thing.

Bravo to the Board of Governors for doing it. Now, they need to investigate when Bar President Merritt knew the Civil Rights Center was under investigation by the Bar. And investigate why he allowed the illegal practice of law to go on at the law school.

It’s perfectly obvious the UNC bureaucracy knew the Civil Rights Center was suing people when they did not have the legal power to do so. All these lawsuits should be null and void. Why doesn’t Attorney General Josh Stein – and local media – look into who knew what about illegal lawsuits by a law school that wasn’t supposed to be practicing law?