About the Author

Robert N. McDonald

Robert N. McDonald

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: When a lawyer takes funds from a client trust account, disregards a judge's order to enter an appearance in a case, and submits an unreasonable bill to retaliate against a client who filed a grievance against him, should he be disbarred?

Holding: Whether these violations were purposeful or simply irresponsible, disbarment is required for the protection of the public.

Alleged Violations: MLRPC 1.1 (duty to provide competent representation); 1.2(a) (duty to abide by client decisions regarding objectives of representation); 1.3 (duty to act with reasonable diligence and promptness); 1.4(a),(b) (duty to inform and consult with client); 1.5(a),(d) (prohibition against unreasonable fees); 1.15(a),(d) (duty to keep safe funds of client or third parties); 1.16(d) (duty to protect client interests after termination of representation); 3.4(c) (duty to obey an obligation under rules of a tribunal); 8.1(b) (duty to respond to lawful demand from disciplinary authority); 8.4(b) (prohibition against commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on fitness); 8.4(c) (prohibition against conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation); and 8.4(d) (prohibition against conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice)

Citation: 425 Md. 417, 42 A.3d 1 (2012)

  • 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.