(a) Grounds. An attorney may be placed summarily on inactive status for an indefinite period if the attorney has been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent or to require a guardian of the person for any of the reasons stated in Code, Estates and Trusts Article, § 13-705 (b), or, in accordance with law, has been involuntarily admitted to a facility for inpatient care treatment of a mental disorder.

(b) Procedure.

(1) Petition for Summary Placement; Confidentiality. With the approval of the Commission, Bar Counsel may file a petition to summarily place an attorney on inactive status in accordance with Rule 19-721. The petition shall be supported by a certified copy of the judicial determination or involuntary admission. The petition and all other papers filed in the Court of Appeals shall be sealed and stamped “confidential” in accordance with Rule 19-707 (b)(2)(H).

(2) Service. The petition and all papers filed with the petition shall be served upon the attorney in accordance with Rule 19-723 and, in addition, upon any guardian of the person of the attorney and the director of any facility to which the attorney has been admitted. Proof of service shall be made in accordance with Rule 2-126.

(c) Order of the Court of Appeals. Upon consideration of the petition and any answer, the Court of Appeals may: (1) immediately place the attorney on inactive status for an indefinite period pending further order of the Court; (2) enter an order designating a judge in accordance with Rule 19-722 to hold a hearing in accordance with Rule 19-727; or (3) enter any other appropriate order. The provisions of Rule 19-744 apply to an order that places an attorney on inactive status. Copies of the order shall be served upon Bar Counsel and each person named in the proof of service of the petition.

(d) Effect on Disciplinary or Remedial Proceeding. If a disciplinary or remedial proceeding for alleged misconduct is pending against the attorney, the entry of an order under this section shall stay the proceeding until the further order of the Court.

(e) Termination of Inactive Status. When an attorney who has been placed on inactive status under section (c) of this Rule is judicially determined to be competent or is judicially released after involuntary admission, the Court of Appeals shall terminate the inactive status and either dismiss the petition or enter an order designating a judge in accordance with Rule 19-722 to hold a hearing in accordance with Rule 19-727.

(f) Duties of Clerk of Court of Appeals. The applicable provisions of Rule 19-761 apply when an order is entered under this Rule.

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.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer 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.