About the Author

Shirley M. Watts

Shirley M. Watts

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. ALLENBAUGH

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to competently represent clients in two separate matters by failing to file a brief in an appeal and failing to obtain visas for a client and family in an immigration case, failed to communicate with a client, failed to perform work for which he had been paid, failed to keep a client's funds in an attorney trust account, delayed proceedings in an appeal, knowingly failed to respond to Bar Counsel, and engaged in conduct that would negatively impact the perception of the legal profession of a reasonable member of the public?

Holding: Having failed to file an answer to the Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action or to present any mitigating evidence whatsoever, the lawyer failed to link a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety to his misconduct in the cases before the Court. Taken together, his flagrant misconduct, combined with a multitude of aggravating factors, warrant disbarment.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a)(2) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Reasonable Fees), 1.15(a), 1.15(c) (Safekeeping Property), 3.2 (Expediting Litigation), 3.4(c) (Fairness to Parties and Opposing Counsel), 8.1(b) (Disciplinary Matters), 8.4(d) (Conduct That is Prejudicial to Administration of Justice) and 8.4(a) (Violating the MLRPC).

Citation 450 Md. 250 (2016)

  • 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 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.
 

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