About the Author

Mary Ellen  Barbera

Mary Ellen Barbera

Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to represent a client competently and diligently in two civil actions and who exhibited dishonest conduct toward his client and Bar Counsel?

Holding: Beyond the lack of mitigating factors, the lawyer engaged in a pattern of misconduct by failing repeatedly to act in his client's best interest over the course of years, making numerous misrepresentations to the client and to Bar Counsel, submitting false evidence to Bar Counsel in the form of an amended complaint that lacked the court's cross out of the time/date stamp, by falsely stating to Bar Counsel that an amended complaint had been filed as opposed to being rejected, and by showing indifference to this misconduct and the need for restitution by failing to participate in the disciplinary proceedings.  Taken together, this misconduct warranted the sanction of disbarment.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MLRPC") 1.1 (competence); 1.2 (scope of representation and allocation of authority between client and lawyer); 1.3 (diligence); 1.4 (communication); 3.2 (expediting litigation); 8.1 (bar admission and disciplinary matters); and 8.4 (misconduct).

Citation: 445 Md. 241, 126 A.3d 72 (2015)

  • 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.