About the Author

Shirley M. Watts

Shirley M. Watts

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who who served as both counsel and as a member of a limited liability company, engaged in unauthorized actions, including the filing of a complaint for partition of property against one of the company's members, drafted and executed a document assigning the company's property to a trust in which he would serve as the trustee, failed to provide the complaint and assignment to the company, failed to communicate changes to a fee agreement and to have a contingent fee agreement signed by a majority of the company's members, and failed to move to dismiss the partition case or to promptly surrender the company's papers upon the termination of his representation?

Holding: Considering the attorney's violations to result from a lapse of judgment, and considering his lack of any prior disciplinary violations, the Court suspended him from the practice of law in Maryland for thrity days.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MLRPC") 1.2(a) (Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer), 1.4(a)(2) (Communication Generally), 1.5(b), 1.5(c) (Communication of Fees), 1.16(a)(3), 1.16(d) (Terminating Representation), and 8.4(a) (Violating MLRPC).

Citation 458 Md. 237 (2018)

  • Decided on .
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