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Lawyers Helping Lawyers Avoid the Perils of Professional Discipline

Judging Judges

How far will justices of the Supreme Court of Maryland go to protect their colleagues from the criticism of lawyers appearing before them?

Scenario: Disturbed by a judicial ruling that trampled upon his client's Sixth Amendment right to counsel, a zealous criminal defense lawyer criticized the presiding judge as a "liar" who broke her oath to obey the Constitution, refused to follow the law and "stepped into the shoes" of the prosecutor to derail the defense of a woman falsely accused of armed robbery.

Charged with violating a rule forbidding lawyers from making false statements about judges, or statements with reckless disregard as to their truth, this lawyer questioned whether his own constitutional rights were violated. Interestingly, while the Rules of Professional Conduct may punish lawyers for such criticism, the comments to these rules state that "attorneys are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts."

Is this an appropriate way to promote public confidence in the judicial system, or textbook content discrimination which runs afoul of the First Amendment?

Issue: To what extent may lawyers criticize the performance of the judges they appear before?

Alleged Violations: Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct 19-301.2(d), 303.3, 308.2(a) and 8.4 (a, c, d).

Argued: May 5, 2023

Decision Pending

Oral Argument

Law Firm "Audits"
Purging Perjury

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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.