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Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals

Per Curiam [No Specific Judge]

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. COSTANZO

Issue: What sanction should be imposed upon a lawyer who abandoned his clients, failed to communicate with his clients, failed to return unearned fees, failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel's lawful demands for information and misused his client's funds?

Holding: Where attorney abandoned his clients, failed to communicate with his clients, failed to return unearned fees, failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel and misused his client funds, disbarment was the appropriate sanction.

Alleged Violations: MLRPC 1.4(a)(2), 1.15(a), 1.16(d), and 8.4(b) and (c); Md. Rule 16-609; Md. Code, Bus. Occ. & Prof. Art., § 10-306; as well as MLRPC 1.16(d), MLRPC 8.4(b) and Md. Code, Crim. Law Art., § 7-104, which were found to have been violated by the circuit court judge even though they were not alleged in Bar Counsel's petition.  Hence, these three violations were vacated by the Court of Appeals.

Citation: 432 Md. 233, 68 A.3d 808 (2013)

  • 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