About the Author

Robert N. McDonald

Robert N. McDonald

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to communicate with the client regarding the status of her case, ignored her many attempts to contact him, failed to respond to or oppose motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants in the case, failed to appear on behalf of his client at two hearings, failed to inform the client that her case was dismissed, failed to inform her that the defendants were seeking punitive sanctions, and failed to participate in the attorney grievance proceeding?

Holding: By demonstrating a continuing disrespect for the attorney grievance process and his client, the lawyer's repeatedly ignoring phone calls and messages from his client, abandonment of that client shortly before a hearing and similar failure to respond to Bar Counsel's numerous letters, emails, phone calls, and in-person visits warrants the ultimate sanction of disbarment.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MARPC") Rule 19-301.1 (Competence), 19-301.2 (Scope of Representation), 19-301.3 (Diligence), 19-301.4 (Communication), 19- 301.5 (Fees), 19-301.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation), 19-308.1 (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 19-308.4 (Misconduct) in his representation of a former client.

Citation: Misc. Docket AG No. 42

  • 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.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer 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.