The Lawyer's Lawyer

Lawyers Helping Lawyers Avoid the Perils of Professional Discipline

Friendly Conflicts

Q. I've been approached to represent the husband in a messy custody case. His wife is using an old law school classmate and fellow golfer who serves with me on a bar association committee. Would that present a conflict?

Are You Covered?

Q. Beyond an occasional accident case, I'm a criminal defense lawyer. In 25 years of practice, I've never been sued, but have spent thousands for malpractice insurance. Can I cancel this unnecessary expense?

Driving into a Conflict?

Q. An engaged couple wants to retain me in an accident case. The boyfriend drove through an intersection when a truck ran a red light and crashed into them. May I represent both?

Pursuing Happiness

Q. When I started practicing, I was excited to represent clients, try cases, and resolve serious problems. Now I feel like I've lost my "mojo," lack the energy I once had, and dread going to the office. Any advice?

Ex-Lawyers Wanted

Q. Unable to practice law since her suspension a few years ago, my old law school classmate asked whether I could use her as a paralegal at my own firm. Would I get in trouble if I hire her?

The Ills of Medical Bills

Q. Wishing to handle it herself, my client has asked me not to pay one of her doctors from the proceeds of her settlement. I never signed anything to guarantee such payment, but I'm afraid that the doctor will claim a lien on the proceeds and come after me. What should I do?

Buying Out of a Grievance

Q. My client has threatened me with a lawsuit and an ethics complaint unless I refund her legal fees. Should I pay her to release these claims?

Billing for Billing

Q. Whenever my client gets a bill, he calls to question each of my time entries, keeping me on the phone for 30-45 minutes each time. May I bill him for this time?

The Power of "No"

Q. After two other lawyers let her down, a sexual harassment victim approached me to fight for fair compensation. I haven't done these cases before, but she thinks the case is worth millions in light of the #MeToo movement. Should I take the case?

Law-Man on the Totem Pole

Q. Before leaving, our Chief Legal Officer reported directly to our CEO. Rather than keep counsel in upper management, may we eliminate the position and have our next lawyer report to a manager who works beneath our COO?

Lexting: Instant Legal Advice

Q. My criminal defense client texted me that he really wants to testify. He's got loads of priors, and the prosecutor will eat him alive. How can I get my point across so that he stays far away from the witness stand?

Malware: The Other Virus

Q. Using ransomware, hackers recently locked our firm's data and demanded bitcoins to release it. It cost us around $10,000 to get our data back. But if our clients find out, we'll lose a lot more. Must we tell them?

Avoiding Trust

Q. If my clients agree to it in writing, can I avoid the need for a trust account and put their money elsewhere?

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?

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