story is from the North Carolina News and Observer.com:
"Chad Lee and Lee Hatch, buddies for more than a decade, headed to prison for nearly four years. They were spared the 50 years their crimes could have brought them; both surrendered their law licenses. Jack McLamb and Vann Sauls will be forbidden to take criminal cases as they serve three years of probation. Portia Snead, a deputy Superior Court clerk who helped with the scam, lost her job and retirement pay; she, too, is on probation. Cindy Jaeger, a former prosecutor at the center of the plot, still faces charges. The pleas help close an investigation that rocked the Johnston County legal community. Prosecutors say that, with Jaeger's help, the lawyers and the clerk wiped away drunken driving charges for dozens of defendants. Court documents were treated like currency, traded after hours among friends, filed in daylight under the auspices of official court business.
'I cannot understand why anyone thought this was a good idea,' Superior Court Judge Henry Hight said moments before sentencing Lee. 'Detection was almost certain given the [pathetic condition of the] records and the number of people involved. I don't get it.'"
It is a mistake, to presume that lawyers are smart or competent. Everyday I have to dispell this notion, I try to start with the guy in the mirror.