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Clayton Greene, Jr.

Clayton Greene, Jr.

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. MERKLE

Issue: Where a hearing judge's factual findings were not clearly erroneous and he did not abuse his discretion in concluding that the attorney complied with the Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct, should the Court impose any sanction?

Holding: The hearing judge determined that the attorney involved did not violate the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct. The findings of fact were not clearly erroneous and the hearing judge did not abuse his discretion in applying the law to the facts as he found them to be. Accordingly, where no rules of professional responsibility were violated, the appropriate outcome, under the circumstances, is dismissal of the Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence), 1.2 (Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.6 (Confidentiality of Information), 7.3 (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients), and 8.4 (Misconduct).

Citation: 440 Md. 609 (2014)