(a) In general. - Except as otherwise provided by law, before an individual may practice law in the State, the individual shall:

(1) be admitted to the Bar; and

(2) meet any requirement that the Court of Appeals may set by rule.

(b) Exceptions - In general. - This section does not apply to:

(1) a person while representing a landlord in a summary ejectment or a rent escrow proceeding in the District Court of Maryland;

(2) a person while representing a tenant in a summary ejectment or a rent escrow proceeding in the District Court of Maryland if the person is:

(i) a law student practicing in a clinical law program at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association with the in-court supervision of a faculty member; or

(ii) employed by a nonprofit organization receiving grants from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation and:

1. the person has training and experience;

2. the person is supervised by a lawyer; and

3. the supervising lawyer's appearance is entered in the proceeding;

(3) an insurance company while defending an insured through staff counsel;

(4) an officer of a corporation, an employee designated by an officer of a corporation, a partner in a business operated as a partnership or an employee designated by a partner, a member of a limited liability company or an employee designated by a member of a limited liability company, or an employee designated by the owner of a business operated as a sole proprietorship while the officer, partner, member, or employee is appearing on behalf of the corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or business in a civil action in the District Court of Maryland if:

(i) the action:

1. is based on a claim that does not exceed the amount set under § 4-405 of the Courts Article for a small claim action; and

2. is not based on an assignment, to the corporation, partnership, or business, of the claim of another;

(ii) in the case of a designated employee, the employee:

1. is not assigned on a full-time basis to appear in the District Court on behalf of the corporation, partnership, or business;

2. provides the court a power of attorney sworn to by the employer that certifies that the designated employee is an authorized agent of the corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship and may bind the corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship on matters pending before the court; and

3. is not an individual who is disbarred or suspended as a lawyer in any state; and

(iii) the corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or business does not contract, hire, or employ another business entity to provide appearance services;

(5) an individual who is authorized by a county employee to represent the employee at any step of the county's grievance procedure; or

(6) a director or an officer of a common ownership community while representing the common ownership community in a dispute, hearing, or other matter before a board or commission established to oversee one or more of the following common ownership communities:

(i) a development subject to a declaration enforced by a homeowners association as defined in § 11B-101 of the Real Property Article;

(ii) a residential condominium as defined in - 11-101 of the Real Property Article; or

(iii) a cooperative housing corporation as defined in - 5-6B-01 of the Corporations and Associations Article.

(c) Exceptions - Patent lawyers.

(1) In this subsection, "practice patent law":

(i) means to perform professional services that the Patent and Trademark Office requires to be performed by an individual registered to practice before that Office; and

(ii) includes preparing a copyright application or assignment and submitting it to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.

(2) While there is a Patent and Trademark Office in the State, an individual may practice patent law in the State if the individual is:

(i) authorized to practice law in any other state; and

(ii) registered to practice patent law before the Patent and Trademark Office.

(3) Unless otherwise authorized under this title, an individual who practices patent law under this subsection may not:

(i) appear as an attorney at law in a court; or

(ii) practice law generally in the State.

(d) Exceptions - House counsel.

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, this section does not apply to an individual while giving legal advice to a corporation in this State if the individual is:

(i) employed by the corporation; and

(ii) admitted to the bar of any other state.

(2) An individual who gives legal advice under this subsection:

(i) is subject to disciplinary proceedings as the Maryland Rules provide; and

(ii) may not appear before a unit of the State government or of a political subdivision unless a court grants the individual a special admission in accordance with § 10-215 of this subtitle.

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.