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(a) Referral. The Commission promptly shall transmit to Bar Counsel a referral from the Child Support Administration pursuant to Code, Family Law Article, § 10-119.3 (e)(3) and direct Bar Counsel to investigate, and if the attorney has violated the law, file a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action in the Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 19-721 (a)(1). A copy of the Administration's referral shall be attached to the Petition, and a copy of the Petition and notice shall be served on the attorney in accordance with Rule 19-723.

(b) Show Cause Order. When a petition and notice of referral have been filed, the Supreme Court shall order that the attorney, within 15 days from the date of the order, show cause in writing why the attorney should not be suspended from the practice of law until the further order of the Court.

(c) Action by the Supreme Court. Upon consideration of the petition and any answer to the order to show cause, the Supreme Court may enter an order: (1) immediately suspending the attorney from the practice of law, pending further order of the Court, (2) designating a judge pursuant to Rule 19-722 to hold a hearing in accordance with Rule 19-727, or (3) containing any other appropriate provisions. The provisions of Rules 19-740 through 19-743, as applicable, apply to an order under this section that suspends an attorney.

(d) Presumptive Effect of Referral. A referral from the Child Support Administration to the Attorney Grievance Commission is presumptive evidence that the attorney falls within the criteria specified in Code, Family Law Article, § 10-119.3 (e)(1), but the introduction of such evidence does not preclude Bar Counsel or the attorney from introducing additional evidence or otherwise showing cause why no suspension should be imposed.

(e) Termination of Suspension.

(1) On Notification by the Child Support Administration. Upon notification by the Child Support Administration that the attorney has complied with the provisions of Code, Family Law Article, § 10-119.3 (j), the Supreme Court shall order the attorney reinstated to the practice of law, unless other grounds exist for the suspension to remain in effect.

(2) On Verified Petition by Attorney. In the absence of a notification by the Child Support Administration pursuant to subsection (e)(1) of this Rule, the attorney may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for reinstatement. The petition shall allege under oath that (A) the attorney is in compliance with the provisions of Code, Family Law Article, § 10-119.3 (j) and is not currently in arrears in the payment of child support, (B) at least 15 days prior to filing the verified petition, the attorney gave written notice of those facts to the Child Support Administration and requested that the Child Support Administration notify the Court, (C) the Child Support Administration has failed or refused to file such a notification, and (D) the attorney is entitled to be reinstated. All relevant documents shall be attached to the petition as exhibits. A copy of the petition and exhibits shall be served on Bar Counsel, who shall file an answer within 15 days after service. Upon consideration of the petition and answer, the Supreme Court may enter an order reinstating the attorney, an order denying the petition, or any other appropriate order.

(f) Other Disciplinary Proceedings. Proceedings under this Rule shall not preclude (1) the use of the facts underlying the referral from the Child Support Administration when relevant to a pending or subsequent disciplinary proceeding against the attorney or (2) prosecution of a disciplinary action based upon a pattern of conduct adverse to the administration of justice.

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.