About the Author

Clayton Greene, Jr.

Clayton Greene, Jr.

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. EDWARD SMITH, JR.

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an Attorney’s incompetence, lack of diligence in handling his clients’ matters, failure to communicate with his clients, failure to keep client funds in his trust account before they were earned, failure to create and maintain records of received and disbursed client funds, failure to properly terminate representation, his commingling of funds, his prohibited use of his trust account, and his misrepresentations to Bar Counsel and his clients?

Holding: The Court of Appeals disbarred a veteran Baltimore attorney for violating several Rules of Professional Conduct, including mishandling client funds, taking money from his trust account that was not earned and submitting false evidence to Bar Counsel.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") 19-301.1 (Competence), 19-301.2 (Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Attorney), 19-301.3 (Diligence), 19-301.4 (Communication), 19-301.5 (Fees), 19-301.15 (Safekeeping Property), 19-301.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation), 19-305.3 (Responsibilities Regarding Non-Attorney Assistants), 19-308.1 (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), 19-308.4 (Misconduct), 19-404 (Trust Account - Required Deposits), 19-407 (Attorney Trust Account Record-Keeping), 19-408 (Commingling of Funds) and 19-410 (Prohibited Transactions).

Citation 457 Md. 159 (2018)

  • Decided on .
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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By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and  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.
 

NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND
OR THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE D.C. BAR