The Lawyer's Lawyer
Rejecting Bar Counsel's demand for disbarment, the Court found that the lawyer's misguided attempt to respect the last wishes of her client merited leniency in a case which proves that even the best of us make mistakes.
Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who knowingly submitted a falsely attested will to the Register of Wills for the purpose of preserving her client's last wishes, was the beneficiary of life insurance proceeds which she applied in accordance with his wishes, placed these assets in trust and did not act for personal gain?
Holding: Without excusing her misconduct in signing as a witness to a Will following the testator's death, the Court recognized that her motivation to preserve the last wishes of her client and selfless acts to carry them out without seeking personal gain justified an indefinite suspension with a right to reapply after six months.
Alleged Violations: Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MARPC") 19-303.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal) and 19-308.4 (Misconduct).
Argued: October 2, 2020
Decided: December 23, 2020
License Reinstated: February 25, 2022