About the Author

Michele D. Hotten

Michele D. Hotten

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. AITA

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon a lawyer who failed to represent clients competently and diligently, failed to communicate with them about the status of their cases, failed to appear in court with them, failed to safeguard their funds, charged the client an unreasonable fee, failed to refund unused immigration filing fees to the client, and misrepresented material facts to an immigration judge?

Holding: Disbarment is the appropriate sanction to address an  attorney's failure to represent clients competently and diligently, failure to communicate with them about the status of their cases, failure to appear in court, charging unreasonable fees without refunding unused funds, and misrepresentations to an immigration judge. 

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.5 (Fees), 1.15 (Safekeeping property), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 3.3(a)(1) (Candor Towards the Tribunal), and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct). Petitioner further averred violations of former Maryland Rules 16-604 (Trust Account-Required Deposits) and 16-606.1 (Attorney Trust Account Record-Keeping).

Citation 458 Md. 101 (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.

410.581.0070

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