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Lawyers Helping Lawyers Avoid the Perils of Professional Discipline

Suspending an "Extreme" Sanction

Finding Bar Counsel's call for an indefinite suspension too "extreme," the Court imposed a more modest moratorium on a lawyer with an unblemished record in close to 50 years of practice.

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney whose violations arose from his delegation of significant responsibilities in personal injury matters to an independent paralegal firm; his lack of supervision over that paralegal firm and his clients' cases; his sharing of fees with that firm; and his failure to properly manage his attorney trust account?

Holding: Although the lawyer to maintain the proper records and reconciliations, failed to promptly remove earned attorney's fees from his trust account, failed to properly supervise his paralegal staff, and split fees with a nonlawyer, the lack of dishonesty or self-interest in this case helped to persuade the Court to suspend him for six months and one day, on the condition that he engage a practice monitor for three months after reinstatement.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MARPC")1.4, 1.15, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 8.4, along with Maryland Rules 19-407 and 19-408.

Argued: February 1, 2021

Decided: April 26, 2021

Read Opinion by Chief Judge Barbera

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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.