(a) Evidence and Procedure Generally. Except as otherwise provided by the Rules in this Chapter, the hearing of a disciplinary or remedial action is governed by the rules of evidence and procedure applicable to a non-jury trial in a civil action in a circuit court.

(b) Certain Evidence Allowed.

(1) Before the conclusion of the hearing, the judge may permit any complainant to testify, subject to cross-examination, regarding the effect of the alleged misconduct or incapacity.

(2) The attorney may offer, or the judge may inquire regarding, evidence otherwise admissible of any remedial action undertaken by the attorney relevant to the allegations of misconduct or incapacity. Bar Counsel may respond to any evidence of remedial action.

(c) Burdens of Proof. Bar Counsel has the burden of proving the averments of the petition by clear and convincing evidence. If the attorney asserts an affirmative defense or a matter of mitigation or extenuation, the attorney has the burden of proving the defense or matter by a preponderance of the evidence.

(d) Time for Completion. Unless extended by the Supreme Court, the hearing shall be completed within 120 days after service on the attorney of the order entered under Rule 19-722.

(e) Findings and Conclusions. The judge shall prepare and file a written statement which shall contain: (1) findings of fact and conclusions of law as to each charge; (2) findings as to any remedial action taken by the attorney; and (3) findings as to any aggravating or mitigating circumstances that exist. Unless the time is extended by the Supreme Court, the statement shall be filed with the clerk responsible for the record no later than 45 days after the conclusion of the hearing. The clerk shall mail a copy of the statement to each party.

(f) Transcript. Bar Counsel shall cause a transcript of the hearing to be prepared and included in the record and provide an electronic copy of the transcript of the hearing to the attorney.

(g) Transmittal of Record. Unless a different time is ordered by the Supreme Court, the clerk shall transmit the record to the Supreme Court within 15 days after the statement of findings and conclusions is filed.

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.