ROCKINGHAM — A Richmond County lawyer was disbarred last month for violating the N.C. Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct in a workers’ compensation case a decade ago.
According to court documents, attorney H. Bright Lindler, who had been licensed to practice law since 1987, took on a workers’ compensation case in or around June of 2008.
About a year later, Lindler negotiated a proposed $2,500 settlement with his client’s employer and insurance carrier. The client, referred to as A.M., initially agreed to the settlement, but soon after told Lindler that she didn’t want to accept it.
Despite a phone message from and conversation with the client, Lindler signed the agreement on behalf of his client to accept the $2,500.
The agreement was approved by the N.C. Industrial Commission on Sept. 30, 2009, awarding Lindler $625 to be taken from the settlement.
Lindler, court documents state, did not inform when the money came in.
However, on Nov. 2, Lindler sent his client a letter, asking her to make an appointment to discuss the $2,553.45 she owed his office and the final resolution of the case.
The client didn’t respond to Lindler’s letter and the attorney kept the entire $2,500 for himself, although, per the agreement, she was entitled to $1,875, according to court documents.
The client didn’t learn of the settlement until she contacted the Industrial Commission in June of 2010.
Documents show Lindler also failed to pay state or federal income taxes or withhold employment taxes for a number of years, with both the N.C. Department of Revenue and IRS placing liens on his property.
Lindler submitted an affidavit, signed Dec. 3, 2021, surrendering his law license and acknowledging “that the material facts upon which the pending complaint is predicated are true.”