The Lawyer's Lawyer

Lawyers Helping Lawyers Avoid the Perils of Professional Discipline

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What's In Your Wallet?

Q. Unable to take payments in person these days, I may let clients use apps like Paypal and Venmo to pay fees and retainers online. Are such payments allowed?

Fighting for Unicorns

Q. My client, Unicorny Products, wants an immediate restraining order against a counterfeiter that's currently flooding the market with cheap knock-offs. With all that's going on in the world, is it wrong for me to seek emergency relief?

Why We're Essential

Q. Exempting us from stay-at-home orders designed to keep people healthy, some states let lawyers go to the office to provide "essential" services. Are we really essential or are they just trying to kill us?

Learning to Trust

Q. Since business has slowed, I finally have time to reconcile my trust account. But I haven't a clue on where to begin. Can you help me?

Protecting Your Paycheck

Q. I'm applying for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. I can probably survive without it, but if I use the funds to pay my staff, the feds will forgive the loan entirely and subsidize my payroll. Are you doing it too?

Endorsing at a Distance

Q. Hit by the wave of COVID-19 layoffs, my client is desperate for money and calls often to see if her settlement check arrived. It just came in today's mail, jointly payable to us both. Since I can't have her visit to endorse it herself, may I sign it for her?

COVID-19: The Virtual Reality

Q. I haven't been infected with COVID-19, but I'm already sick of this virus. My firm isn't set up for remote work, courts are closed, and I feel paralyzed. Any advice?

Taxation of Representation

​​Q. Licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia, I find it challenging to represent consumers and small businesses that can't afford the legal fees of my competitors. If Maryland puts a tax on legal services, how would that impact my clients and my practice?

Drama on Contingency

Q. After a rear-end crash and two years of treatment, the victim retained me on contingency. Within a week, I sent the liability carrier a strong settlement demand along with $175,000 in medical bills. After getting $300,000 in policy limits, my client says I didn't do "enough work" to earn a third of it. A deal's a deal, right?

"It's All Greek to Me!"

Q. My client from Athens doesn't speak English. I don't speak Greek. But her son speaks both languages and, until recently, served as my "liaison." Now, they're no longer on speaking terms, and I feel "lost in translation." What should I do now?

The Unbundled Ghost

Q. Unable to pay a significant retainer in a divorce case, a client asked if I could help him "behind the scenes" and ghostwrite certain pleadings without entering an appearance. Is that allowed?

Affording Justice

Q. Every week, consumers and business owners call me with cases that aren't large enough to justify my fees. I hate turning them away. But what's the alternative?

Dollars & Sense

Q. After ordering numerous revisions to her will, my client changed her mind yet again, claimed that my latest draft misstated her wishes, and demanded all of her money back. If I give in, can my refund be used against me?

Threatening Grievances

​​Q. In reviewing Plaintiff's medical records, I discovered that her counsel altered certain reports to conceal a preexisting injury. Should I report her to Bar Counsel if she doesn't drop the case?

The Ethics of Intimidation

Q. Representing a large manufacturer, I sent a demand letter threatening to sue its competitor and promising a nasty discovery process that would be the "legal equivalent of a proctology exam." Did I go too far?

Selling Out

Q. After 40 years as a general practitioner, I'm tired of going to court. So I'd like to sell my litigation cases and scale back to transactional work only. How can I sell out?

Fortunate Errors

Q. Following an audit in which we acknowledged $48,000 in excess tax liability, the IRS provided a report which miscalculated my client's income and proposed an adjustment of only $13,000. Must I call this error to the auditor's attention?

A Loan to Bemoan

Q. Disabled after her accident, my client can't pay her mortgage, her medical bills, or even her utility bill. Desperate to survive, she wants to settle her case for a fraction of its value. May I advance her living expenses until after we resolve the case?​

New Year's Resolutions

Q. Like everything else, I'm behind in formulating my New Year's resolutions. What should I resolve to do in the year ahead?

'Tis the Season ...

Q. My tech client had a huge gift basket delivered to me, with an envelope containing first class tickets for a luxury vacation in Spain. May I accept these?

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.

410.581.0070

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.
 

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