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Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland
Attorney Grievance Commission
  Appointed by the Supreme Court of Maryland, the Commission oversees the attorney grievance process. Beyond general oversight, the Commission has the power to approve or disapprove the dismissal of a complaint or Statement of Charges, the termination of a complaint with or without a warning, a Conditional Diversion Agreement, a "commission reprimand," or the filing of a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action.
Maryland Bar Counsel is Maryland's Top Lawyer CopBar Counsel

Bar Counsel is Maryland's "top lawyer cop." Appointed by the Attorney Grievance Commission, Bar Counsel investigates allegations of professional misconduct, prosecutes disciplinary proceedings, reviews escrow account overdrafts, investigates the unauthorized practice of law and reviews petitions for reinstatement. Bar Counsel makes recommendations to the Commission on the disposition of grievances and, in appropriate cases, files Statements of Charges with the Commission to initiate peer reviews of lawyers' conduct, or files Petitions for Disciplinary or Remedial Action in the Supreme Court of Maryland.

Peer Review Panels Review Maryland Lawyers' Conduct Peer Review Panel

If Bar Counsel files a Statement of Charges against an attorney, the attorney's conduct is subjected to "peer review." Consisting of at least three members, including a non-lawyer, these panels conduct informal meetings with Bar Counsel, the complainant and the attorney to determine whether the lawyer committed professional misconduct or is incapacitated. After this meeting, the panel recommends action to the Commission, which it may approve or disapprove.

Circuit Court Judges Examine Attorney MisconductCircuit Court Judge

Unless the grievance is dismissed, or otherwise resolved by agreement of the parties, Bar Counsel institutes more formal proceedings by petitioning the Supreme Court of Maryland for disciplinary or remedial action. Although the Supreme Court of Maryland has "original jurisdiction" over disciplinary matters, it appoints a circuit court judge to manage the discovery process, hold an evidentiary hearing, render factual findings, and recommend that the Court take certain action.

Sanctions are Imposed by the Supreme Court of MarylandSupreme Court The final authority over attorney disciplinary matters, the Supreme Court of Maryland reviews the legal conclusions and factual findings of the circuit court judge presiding over the evidentiary hearing, provides Bar Counsel and the responding attorney's counsel with an opportunity to take exception to the lower courts rulings and recommendations, and ultimately determines what sanction, if any, should be imposed.
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.