(a) Recommendation by Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panel. Bar Counsel, upon completion of an investigation, or a Peer Review Panel, after a meeting of the Panel, may recommend to the Commission that:

(1) a complaint be dismissed because the evidence fails to show that the attorney has engaged in professional misconduct or is incapacitated; or

(2) a disciplinary or remedial proceeding be (A) terminated, with or without a warning, because any professional misconduct on the part of the attorney was not sufficiently serious to warrant discipline and is not likely to be repeated, or (B) terminated, without a warning, because any incapacity on the part of the attorney is not sufficiently serious or long-lasting to warrant remedial action or, if resolved, is not likely to recur.

(b) Action by Commission. If satisfied with the recommendation of Bar Counsel or the Peer Review Panel, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint or terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding, as appropriate. If the recommendation includes a warning, the matter shall proceed as provided in section (c) of this Rule.

(c) Termination Accompanied by Warning.

(1) Recommendation by Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panel. Bar Counsel or the Peer Review Panel may recommend to the Commission that the termination of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding be accompanied by a warning upon their respective conclusion that such a warning would be helpful to ensure that the conduct that led to the proceeding is not repeated.

(2) Action by Commission.

(A) If satisfied that termination of the disciplinary or remedial proceeding should be accompanied by a warning, the Commission shall mail to the attorney a notice that states (i) that on or after 30 days from the date of the notice, the Commission intends to terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding and accompany the termination with a warning, (ii) the content of the proposed warning, and (iii) that the attorney may reject the proposed warning by filing a written rejection with the Commission no later than 25 days after the date of the notice.

(B) If the warning is not timely rejected, the Commission shall issue the warning when it dismisses the disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(C) If the warning is timely rejected, the warning shall not be issued, but Bar Counsel or the Commission may take any other action permitted under this Chapter.

(3) Nature and Effect of Warning. A warning does not constitute discipline.

(d) Disclosure of Termination or Warning.

(1) Disclosure of Dismissal or Termination.

(A) Except as provided in subsection (d)(2) of this Rule, a dismissal or a termination under this Rule, with or without a warning, shall not be disclosed by the Commission or Bar Counsel in response to any request for information as to whether an attorney has been the subject of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(B) The nature and existence of a proceeding terminated under this Rule, including any investigation by Bar Counsel that led to the proceeding, need not be disclosed by an attorney in response to a request for information as to whether the attorney has been the subject of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(2) Disclosure of Warning.

(A) The fact that a warning was issued in conjunction with the termination of a complaint shall be disclosed to the complainant.

(B) The fact that a warning was issued and the facts underlying the warning may be disclosed in a subsequent proceeding against the attorney when relevant to a complaint alleging similar conduct by the attorney.

(C) Neither the fact that a warning was proposed or rejected nor the contents of a warning that was not issued is admissible into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

Attorney Grievance defense attorney specializes in defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility involving professional misconduct, legal ethics, disbarment, suspensions of law licenses, petitions for disciplinary action, reprimands and sanctions for unethical conduct. If you receive a letter from Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless, Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, or from any attorney disciplinary board in Maryland or the District of Columbia, retain experienced attorneys with expertise in lawyer discipline and breach of ethics cases to avoid sanctions for professional misconduct. We help lawyers avoid disbarment, suspension, reprimands, censure and informal admonitions by drafting responses to client grievances and ethical complaints; representing lawyers in peer reviews, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments before the BPR and the Court of Appeals; filing petitions to reinstate an attorney's license to practice law; conducting law firm ethical compliance audits; and drafting legal ethics opinions to protect lawyers from ethics charges. In many cases, disciplinary proceedings may be dismissed, dismissed with a warning, or result in a conditional diversion agreement with Bar Counsel to rectify misconduct. Lawyers may need help in managing their law firm attorney escrow IOLTA trust account and complying with attorney trust accounting rules to avoid charges of ethical misconduct. Do not represent yourself in responding to an attorney grievance, law firm client complaint, or other allegation of ethical impropriety. Attorney grievance defense counsel may help you comply with legal ethics rules, avoid sanctions like suspension or disbarment, and avoid future attorney grievances.

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By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and  who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.
 

NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND
OR THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE D.C. BAR