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U.S. Attorney's Office outlines reasons for barring Joe Neal Jr. from practicing law

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 9:00 AM
Last updated 7:01 PM
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A detailed list of the actions that led two judges to bar lawyer Joe Neal Jr. from practicing in federal court was filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Savannah.

Joe Neal Jr.  Augusta Chronicle file
Augusta Chronicle file
Joe Neal Jr.


Neal’s attorney, Tom Withers, requested a summary of the facts two weeks ago at a hearing to contest the decision by U.S. District Judges Dudley Bowen Jr. and Randal Hall. Withers said his client was not given due process or a list of the allegations that would prompt the action by the judges.

The judges disagreed, but to maintain fairness they ordered the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prepare a list of allegations on behalf of the bar of U.S. Southern District of Georgia. The document outlines the criminal case against Neal and his ex-wife, Caroline Neal, which resulted in charges of rape and furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

In December, an 18-year-old woman who had been a baby sitter for the Neals was invited to their home on Kings Way by Caroline Neal. After drinking and smoking marijuana, Neal “began to importune her to engage in a sexual menage a trois” with him and his wife, the document said.

Her inebriated state “compromised her judgement and significantly impaired her capacity to appraise the nature of the acts you were insisting upon,” the document stated.

The document calls Neal’s actions “predatory” and describes his conduct as “base, depraved, vile, and contrary to the societal norms of decency and honor.”

The rape charge was reduced in June to possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct. Neal also pleaded guilty to the marijuana charge and received three years’ probation. Caroline Neal pleaded guilty to the alcohol charge and was sentenced to one year of probation.

The document states that the crimes involved moral turpitude and as such are “diametrically in opposition to the good character required for continued membership in this Bar.”

To bolster its argument, the document lifts the words of Richmond County Superior Court Judge James Blanchard at sentencing: “It appears that your moral compass is broken.”

At the previous hearing, Bowen said he wanted a second hearing scheduled as soon as possible after the supporting document was filed.

Comments (7) Add comment
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Little Lamb
49118
Points
Little Lamb 09/05/12 - 08:36 am
4
3
Woman

Reporter Kyle Martin wrote in paragraph 4:

In December, the 18-year-old girl, who had been a babysitter for the Neals, was invited to their home. . . .

An 18-year-old is no girl. She is considered an adult in Georgia and most everywhere else. I'm not big on political correctness, but calling a woman a girl is demeaning the woman.

Little Lamb
49118
Points
Little Lamb 09/05/12 - 08:39 am
4
1
Good Response

I'm glad the U.S. Attorney's office called Neal down on this. Now it time for the Georgia Bar to ban Neal from practicing in Georgia courts.

Riverman1
93832
Points
Riverman1 09/05/12 - 09:06 am
6
1
I bet the judges didn't

I bet the judges didn't deliberate 30 seconds on this matter.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 09/05/12 - 09:12 am
0
1
Wow, client attorney priviledge
Unpublished

How does that work with yourself?
Self --"Tell me the truth".
Other self --"You can't handle the truth".
Self --"Your honor, my client refuses to aid in his own defense".
Other self -- "Your honor my attorney is incompetent to represent me."

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 09/05/12 - 10:03 am
6
0
Bar him. He isn't fit to

Bar him. He isn't fit to represent the law.

kiwiinamerica
982
Points
kiwiinamerica 09/05/12 - 02:09 pm
0
1
So Neal's behavior was
Unpublished

So Neal's behavior was described as “base, depraved, vile, and contrary to the societal norms of decency and honor"??

Wouldn't applying this standard across the board disqualify most lawyers currently practicing? I'm looking at you, Mr. Ambulance Chaser.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 09/05/12 - 06:30 pm
1
2
If they only prosecuted all

If they only prosecuted all the attorneys who have extramarital sex with a client, and pointed them out as sexual deviants, the unemployment roles would increase greatly in Augusta. As I said in a post a while back, this is a classic example of "wrong headed" thinking.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 09/05/12 - 06:43 pm
1
0
local attorney george bush was caught with a half ounce of cocai
Unpublished

local attorney goerge bush was caught downtown with a half ounce of cocaine and was arrested by dea agents and richmond county it was a felony amount with intent to distribute did he get barred from practicing law

Little Lamb
49118
Points
Little Lamb 09/05/12 - 09:19 pm
1
0
Wrong Headed

I get the double entendre about the "double headed," rmwardsr, but I don't get what you are talking about. What is wrong headed:

Joe Neal's lawyer asking for a list of reasons why the judges decreed Neal cannot argue in front of the federal court in the southeastern jurisdiction?

The U.S. Attorney's office drawing up such a list?

Attorney's working out plea bargain deals with other attorneys?

Us posters wasting our time on this thread?
:-)

Little Lamb
49118
Points
Little Lamb 09/06/12 - 06:46 am
1
0
Editor

Hey, I see the night-time editor changed "girl" to "woman" in paragraph 4. At least the editors are reading the comments.

Little Lamb
49118
Points
Little Lamb 09/06/12 - 08:04 am
2
0
The List

Okay, so Joe Neal's attorney petitioned the court for a "list of allegations" why Neal should not be allowed to practice law in federal court. The judges agreed to draw up said list.

Here are some things on the list:

Neal “began to importune her to engage in a sexual menage a trois.”

Neal’s actions [are] “predatory.”

Neal’s conduct is “base, depraved, vile, and contrary to the societal norms of decency and honor.”

Neal’s crimes involved moral turpitude and as such are “diametrically in opposition to the good character required for continued membership in this Bar.”

Neal’s “moral compass is broken.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So now that Joe Neal has his list, what possible benefit can it be to him? Is he proud of it?

Neal's attorney reminds me of the boys in elementary school who taped little signs on the backs of schoolmates saying, “Kick Me.” Is Joe Neal still wearing his sign?

corgimom
38486
Points
corgimom 09/06/12 - 07:37 pm
1
0
Listen, his head is still

Listen, his head is still blown up over all of this. He thought he was golden, he never expected any of this to happen. I think he still doesn't get it, how serious this was.

I think that this time, the court got it exactly right.

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