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Michele D. Hotten

Michele D. Hotten

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. WHITE

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who admitted ignorance of trust account rules; failed to remediate her misconduct or adhere to the protocols under consecutive Conditional Diversion Agreements with Bar Counsel for prior misconduct concerning her trust account; failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel while under investigation; and failed to implement law practice safeguards during an illness or otherwise protect her clients' interests in conformance with the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Holding: The Court ordered indefinite suspension with the right to apply for readmission after six months. Although this attorney had taken ill during the period in question, the Court did not excuse her admitted ignorance of trust account rules; her failure to remediate her misconduct or adhere to the protocols under consecutive conditional diversion agreements; her lack of cooperation with Bar Counsel while under investigation; or her failure to implement safeguards during an illness or otherwise protect her clients' interests.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MLRPC") 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), 1.15(a) and (d) (Safekeeping Property); 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation); 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters); and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct).

Citation:  448 Md. 33 (2016)