About the Author

Joseph M. Getty

Joseph M. Getty

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to competently and diligently represent two clients, misrepresented the status of their cases, failed to return their unearned fees, submitted falsified evidence to Bar Counsel, and failed to respond to numerous requests for information during Bar Counsel's investigation?

Holding: Absent strong mitigating factors, when an attorney engages in numerous intentional acts of dishonesty, including a failure to participate in the disciplinary proceedings, misrepresentations to clients and the falsification of evidence, the sanction of disbarment is commensurate with the nature and gravity of these violations.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence); 1.3 (Diligence); 1.4(a)and (b) (Communication); 1.5(a) and (b) (Fees); 1.15(a), (c), and (e) (Safekeeping Property); 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation); 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admissions and Disciplinary Matters); and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct).

Citation: Misc. Docket AG No. 54