Judges bar Joe Neal Jr. from federal court work

Joe Neal Jr. was suspended from practicing law in federal court Friday for the balance of his time on probation for charges stemming from a rape case.


U.S. District judges Dudley Bowen and Randal Hall said in the order that the public’s perception of an attorney under supervised probation and performing community service at a sewage treatment plant is “anathemic to the image and expectations of conduct for attorneys practicing in this

Neal accepted a plea bargain this month that reduced charges of rape to two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and
possession of marijuana.

He also pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a person younger than 21 for a sentence of three years’ probation.

The charges stemmed from a teenage babysitter’s accusations that Neal and his ex-wife, Caroline Caldwell Neal, forced her into a threesome in December at their home on Kings Way.

Caroline Neal was indicted on the same rape and alcohol charges; she has pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing July 2.

Friday’s order was issued without notice or a hearing “in order to immediately address the court’s concerns for the court’s expectations and the public’s perception of the conduct of attorneys at law.”

The order gives Neal a chance to challenge his suspension before the court and on the record. Records show he has no open cases in the Southern District of Georgia.

Caroline Neal takes plea deal in sexual assault case
Text messages lead to plea in Neal rape case
Augusta lawyer Joe Neal Jr. gets 3 years' probation
Opening statements at Neal trial show sides' approach