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Mary Ellen  Barbera

Mary Ellen Barbera

Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. STEVEN ANTHONY LANG & OLAYEMI ISAAC FALUSI

Steven Lang Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who assisted and enabled an unadmitted attorney to practice law in Maryland, failed to maintain an attorney trust account, and made material misrepresentations to Bar Counsel?

Holding: For enabling the unauthorized practice of law, failing to properly maintain his trust account and making material misrepresentations to Bar Counsel, the Court indefinitely suspended the attorney.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") 1.1 (Competence), 1.2 (Scope of Representation), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.15(a) and (c) (Safekeeping Property), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), 5.5(a) (Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law), 7.1(a) (Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services), 7.5(a) (Firm Names and Letterheads), 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct). The Petition also alleged that Mr. Lang violated Maryland Rules 16-603 (Duty to maintain account), 16-604 (Trust account — Required deposits), and 16-606.1 (Attorney trust account record-keeping).

Olayemi Falusi Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Maryland by representing three clients in Maryland matters, failed to disclose the existence of his law practice on his application for admission to the Maryland Bar, and made material misrepresentations to Bar Counsel concerning his practice?

Holding: An indefinite suspension is the proper sanction to be imposed upon a lawyer who represented three clients in Maryland cases without a license, failed to disclose the existence of his law practice when applying for admission to the Maryland Bar, and lied to Bar Counsel about the nature of his practice.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") 1.1 (Competence), 1.2 (Scope of Representation), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.15(a) and (c) (Safekeeping Property), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), 5.5(a) (Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law), 7.1(a) (Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services), 7.5(a) and (b) (Firm Names and Letterheads), 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a), (b), (c), and (d) (Misconduct). The Petition also alleged that Mr. Lang violated Maryland Rules 16-603 (Duty to maintain account), 16-604 (Trust account — Required deposits), and 16-606.1 (Attorney trust account record-keeping). Finally, the Petition alleged that Mr. Falusi violated Maryland Code Annotated, Business Occupations & Professions (“BOP”) § 10-601 (Bar admission required to practice law in the State).

Citation 461 Md. 1 (2018)

  • 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