About the Author

Joseph M. Getty

Joseph M. Getty

Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who engaged in a pattern of mismanaging client funds, failed to appear in court on behalf of several clients, failed to communicate with his clients, failed to respond to requests by both Bar Counsel, and urged a former client to provide Bar Counsel with misinformation?

Holding:  Considering the lawyer's misconduct in making cash withdrawals from his IOLTA account, depositing funds from his operating account to his attorney trust account, failing to timely deliver settlement proceeds, failed to maintain IOLTA records, failing to appear on behalf of clients with whom he did not communicate, and efforts to interfere with Bar Counsel's investigation, the appropriate sanction was disbarment.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") Rule (i) MLRPC 1.1 (Competency); (ii) MLRPC 1.2 (Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Attorney); (iii) MLRPC 1.3 (Diligence); (iv) MLRPC 1.4 (Communication); (v) MLRPC 1.5 (Fees); (vi) MLRPC 3.4 (Fairness to Opposing Party and Attorney); (vii) MLRPC 8.1 (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters); and (viii) MLRPC 8.4 (Misconduct). The Petition also alleged several violations of the provisions regulating attorney trust accounts including: (i) Maryland Rule 19-407; (ii) Maryland Rule 19-408; (iii) Maryland Rule 19- 410; and (iv) Md. Code (1984, 2014 Repl. Vol.), Business Occupations and Professions (“BOP”) § 10-306. .

Citation 465 Md. 1 

  • 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.