(a) Creation and Composition. There is an Attorney Grievance Commission which shall consist of 12 members appointed by the Supreme Court. Nine members shall be attorneys and three members shall not be attorneys.

(b) Term. Subject to section (f) of this Rule, the term of each member is three years. The terms of the members shall be staggered so that the terms of three attorney members and one non-attorney member expire each year.

(c) Compensation. A member of the Commission may not receive compensation for serving in that capacity but is entitled to reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of official duties in accordance with standard State travel regulations.

(d) Chair and Vice Chair. The Supreme Court shall designate one attorney member as the Chair of the Commission and one attorney member as the Vice Chair. In the absence or disability of the Chair or upon an express delegation of authority by the Chair, the Vice Chair shall have the authority and perform the duties of the Chair.

(e) Executive Counsel and Director. The Commission may select an attorney as Executive Counsel and Director. The Executive Counsel and Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission and receive the compensation set forth in the budget of the Commission. As directed by the Commission, the Executive Counsel and Director shall (1) receive documents that are filed with the Commission and maintain the records of the Commission, (2) prepare the agenda of meetings of the Commission and before each meeting send to each Commission member a copy of the agenda and meeting materials, (3) serve as in-house attorney to the Commission, (4) serve as liaison to the Chair of the Peer Review Committee, and (5) have such other administrative powers and duties assigned by the Commission.

(f) Removal of Commission Members. The Supreme Court may remove a member of the Commission at any time.

(g) Quorum. The presence of seven members of the Commission constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. The concurrence of seven members is required for all actions taken by the Commission other than adjournment of a meeting for lack of a quorum.

(h) Powers and Duties. The Commission has the powers and duties to:

(1) recommend to the Supreme Court the adoption of procedural and administrative guidelines and policies consistent with these Rules;

(2) employ and prescribe the compensation of the Executive Counsel and Director;

(3) with the approval of the Supreme Court, appoint Bar Counsel;

(4) supervise the activities of Bar Counsel;

(5) authorize Bar Counsel to employ attorneys, investigators, and staff personnel and to prescribe their compensation;

(6) appoint special counsel as the need arises, in a particular matter, or delegate to the Chair of the Commission the authority to appoint special counsel;

(7) appoint members of the Peer Review Committee, designate the Chair and one or more Vice Chairs, and remove any member at any time;

(8) employ and prescribe the compensation of personnel to assist the Chair of the Peer Review Committee;

(9) exercise the authority granted in the Rules in this Chapter with respect to the approval or disapproval of (A) the dismissal of a complaint or Statement of Charges, (B) the termination of a complaint with or without a letter of cautionary advice or a letter of admonition, (C) a Conditional Diversion Agreement, (D) a reprimand, or (E) the filing of a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action;

(10) grant or deny any requests for extensions of time permitted under the Rules of this Chapter or delegate to the Chair of the Commission the authority to grant or deny such requests;

(11) authorize the issuance of subpoenas in accordance with these Rules or delegate to the Chair of the Commission the authority to grant or deny such authorizations;

(12) perform the duties required by Title 19, Chapter 400 (Attorney Trust Accounts);

(13) administer the Disciplinary Fund;

(14) submit not later than October 15 of each year a report to the Supreme Court accounting for the Disciplinary Fund, evaluating the effectiveness of the disciplinary system, and recommending any changes; and

(15) submit annually to the State Court Administrator for review and approval by the Supreme Court a proposed budget for the disciplinary system.

(i) Effect of Chair's Decisions. When a request for action under this Chapter is subject to the approval of the Chair of the Commission, the Chair's approval of the request is final and shall be reported to the Commission. If the Chair denies the request or refers it to the Commission for action, the Commission shall act upon the request at its next meeting.

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.