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MD Bar

How will you respond to the Attorney Grievance Commission?

You've got mail ... from the Attorney Grievance Commission.

What should you say in response to a grievance filed against you?

How should you say it?

And, perhaps even more important, who should write it?

In Bar Counsel's view, lawyers facing attorney grievances "should certainly consider retaining counsel experienced in disciplinary matters." Experienced counsel "can be invaluable in assessing the attorney's disciplinary exposure and can assist in composing a response that addresses the complaint squarely and objectively." Grossman, The Client Grievance, Maryland Bar Journal at 62 (May 2011).  Lacking experience with disciplinary investigations, attorneys who fail to take this advice may ultimately regret the consequences. Without the benefit of objective counsel, otherwise outstanding lawyers may drop subtle hints of evasion or righteous indignation that raise more questions than they resolve—unwittingly prompting further proceedings and, in some instances, harsher sanctions.

Rather than place their law licenses at greater risk, my colleagues have retained me to compose responses which satisfy their duty to cooperate with disciplinary investigations—without inviting greater scrutiny. By ghost-writing these letters for their signatures, I am able to counter contentions of professional misconduct with articulate responses that exemplify the professionalism of my clients.

If successful in addressing Bar Counsel's concerns, my clients are able to avoid protracted investigations, more formal proceedings and sanctions. But even if the matter goes beyond an initial inquiry, my involvement at the earliest stage of an investigation lays a positive foundation for responding to more formal charges, peer reviews and adversarial hearings.

In this way, I strive to minimize the disruption of the attorney grievance process so that my colleagues may do what they do best—represent their clients rather than respond to their grievances.

  Irwin R. Kramer
Attorney At Law


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.