About the Author

Mary Ellen  Barbera

Mary Ellen Barbera

Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to represent a client competently and diligently in two civil actions and who exhibited dishonest conduct toward his client and Bar Counsel?

Holding: Beyond the lack of mitigating factors, the lawyer engaged in a pattern of misconduct by failing repeatedly to act in his client's best interest over the course of years, making numerous misrepresentations to the client and to Bar Counsel, submitting false evidence to Bar Counsel in the form of an amended complaint that lacked the court's cross out of the time/date stamp, by falsely stating to Bar Counsel that an amended complaint had been filed as opposed to being rejected, and by showing indifference to this misconduct and the need for restitution by failing to participate in the disciplinary proceedings.  Taken together, this misconduct warranted the sanction of disbarment.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MLRPC") 1.1 (competence); 1.2 (scope of representation and allocation of authority between client and lawyer); 1.3 (diligence); 1.4 (communication); 3.2 (expediting litigation); 8.1 (bar admission and disciplinary matters); and 8.4 (misconduct).

Citation: 445 Md. 241, 126 A.3d 72