(a) An attorney shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the attorney's doing so is the attorney's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:

(1) is an attorney; or

(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the attorney.

(b) An attorney shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone, or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by section (a), if:

(1) the attorney knows or reasonably should know that the physical, emotional or mental state of the prospective client is such that the prospective client could not exercise reasonable judgment in employing an attorney;

(2) the prospective client has made known to the attorney a desire not to be solicited by the attorney; or

(3) the solicitation involves coercion, duress, or harassment.

(c) Every written, recorded, or electronic communication from an attorney soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the words “Advertising Material” on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in subsections (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this Rule.

(d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in section (a) of this Rule, an attorney may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the attorney that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.

Cross reference: For additional restrictions and requirements for certain communications, see Md. Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, §§ 10-605.1 and 10-605.2.

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.

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