Skip to main content

(a) Scope. This Rule does not apply to a reprimand that is to be issued upon successful termination of a Conditional Diversion Agreement.

(b) Offer.

(1) Service on Attorney. If Bar Counsel determines after completion of an investigation, or the Peer Review Panel determines after a Panel meeting, that an attorney has engaged in professional misconduct and that the appropriate sanction for the misconduct is a reprimand, Bar Counsel or the Panel shall serve on the attorney a written offer of a reprimand and a waiver of further disciplinary or remedial proceedings that is contingent upon acceptance of the reprimand by the attorney and approval of the reprimand by the Commission.

(2) Content. The offer shall include the text of the proposed reprimand, the date when the offer will expire, a contingent waiver of further disciplinary or remedial proceedings, and advice that the offer, if accepted, is subject to approval by the Commission. The text of the proposed reprimand shall summarize the misconduct for which the reprimand is to be imposed and include a reference to any rule, statute, or other law allegedly violated by the attorney.

(c) Response. The attorney may accept the offer by signing the stipulation, endorsing the proposed reprimand, and delivering both documents to Bar Counsel or the Panel within the time stated in the notice or otherwise agreed to by Bar Counsel or the Panel. The attorney may (1) reject the offer expressly or by declining to return the documents timely, or (2) propose amendments to the proposed reprimand, which Bar Counsel or the Panel may accept, reject, or negotiate.

(d) Submission to Commission. If the attorney agrees to the proposed reprimand, Bar Counsel or the Panel shall submit the proposed reprimand to the Commission for approval, together with any explanatory material that the attorney or Bar Counsel believes relevant and any further information that the Commission requests.

(e) Action by Commission.

(1) Generally. After consideration, the Commission may:

(A) approve the reprimand, if satisfied that it is appropriate under the circumstances, in which event the Commission shall promptly serve the reprimand on the attorney in accordance with Rule 19-708 and terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding;

(B) disapprove the reprimand, if not satisfied that it is appropriate under the circumstances and direct Bar Counsel to proceed in another manner; or

(C) recommend amendments to the reprimand as a condition of approval.

(2) Upon Commission Recommendations. The parties may accept or reject the Commission's proposed amendments. If the parties accept the amendments, they shall notify the Commission of the acceptance, and the Commission shall then approve the reprimand. If either party rejects a proposed amendment, the Commission may disapprove the reprimand.

(f) Effect of Rejection or Disapproval. If a reprimand is proposed and rejected or if a reprimand to which the parties have stipulated is not approved by the Commission, the proceeding shall resume as if no reprimand had been proposed, and neither the fact that a reprimand was proposed, rejected, or not approved nor the contents of the reprimand or stipulation may be admitted into evidence.

(g) Effect of Reprimand. A reprimand constitutes discipline.

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.