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(a) Appointment. Subject to approval by the Supreme Court, the Commission shall appoint an attorney as Bar Counsel. Before appointing Bar Counsel, the Commission shall notify bar associations and the general public of the vacancy and consider any recommendations that are timely submitted. Bar Counsel shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission and shall receive the compensation set forth in the budget of the Commission.

(b) Powers and Duties. Subject to the supervision and approval, if required, of the Commission, Bar Counsel has the powers and duties to:

(1) investigate professional misconduct or incapacity on the part of an attorney;

(2) issue subpoenas as provided by Rule 19-712;

(3) enter into and implement Conditional Diversion Agreements, issue notices, recommend letters of cautionary advice or letters of admonition, and propose reprimands;

(4) file statements of charges, participate in proceedings before Peer Review Panels, and prosecute all disciplinary and remedial proceedings;

(5) file and prosecute petitions for disciplinary and remedial actions in the name of the Commission;

(6) monitor and enforce compliance with all disciplinary and remedial orders of the Supreme Court;

(7) investigate petitions for reinstatement and applications for resignation from the practice of law and represent the Commission in those proceedings;

(8) initiate, intervene in, and prosecute actions to enjoin the unauthorized practice of law;

(9) employ attorneys, investigators, and staff personnel as authorized by the Commission at the compensation set forth in the Commission's budget;

(10) discharge any employee;

(11) maintain dockets and records of all papers filed in disciplinary or remedial proceedings;

(12) make reports to the Commission;

(13) consult with the State and local bar associations, public and private support groups, and other appropriate persons in an effort to identify programs or services that can (A) serve as a resource to assist attorneys who may come before Bar Counsel, the Commission, or the Supreme Court, and (B) be considered when recommending or determining an appropriate disposition of complaints or charges against those attorneys. Those resources may include (A) treatment for emotional distress, mental disorders or disability, or dependence on alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants, (B) assistance in law office management, including mentoring, accounting, bookkeeping, financial, and other professional assistance relevant to the handling of client or third-party funds, calendaring events and time deadlines, and other professional or business requirements related to the practice of law, and (C) monitoring services when required by Bar Counsel, the Commission, or the Supreme Court; and

Committee Note: Subsection (b)(13) does not require Bar Counsel or the Commission to create or fund any of these programs or services or to require or recommend their use in any particular case. The Rules Committee is advised that programs and services of this kind do exist or can be created. The Committee believes that identifying those that are reliable and available may permit a more effective disposition in particular cases by Bar Counsel, the Commission, and the Supreme Court.

(14) perform other duties prescribed by the Commission, this Chapter, and the Rules in Title 19, Chapter 400 (Attorney Trust Accounts).

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.