About the Author

Robert N. McDonald

Robert N. McDonald

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. WOOLERY

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who, as personal representative of an estate, mistakenly sold a $10,000 tractor for a fraction of its value without first ascertaining its ownership or value, and who failed to correct this mistaken and retrieve the tractor for its rightful owner?

Holding: A reprimand is the appropriate sanction when an attorney appointed as the personal representative of an estate impulsively sold for $500 a tractor worth $10,000 stored by one of the beneficiaries of the estate on property owned by the estate without first ascertaining the ownership or approximate value of the tractor and, even though promptly informed of the tractor's ownership and value, failed to rectify his error because of the attorney's antipathy to the tractor's owner.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence); 1.3 (Diligence); 1.7 (Conflict of Interest); 3.3 (Candor toward the Tribunal); and 8.4(a)-(d) (Misconduct).

Citation 456 Md. 483 (2017)

  • 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