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Shirley M. Watts

Shirley M. Watts

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMM'N v. MARKEY

Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon two federal government lawyers who exchanged e-mails with other government lawyers over a seven year period that included offensive statements demonstrative prejudice on the basis of race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status?

Holding: Wishing to set a precedent to deter similar misconduct in the future, the Court distinguished this longstanding pattern of offensive remarks from cases involving a stray offensive comment and found the lawyers' series of emails to be sufficiently egregious to warrant an indefinite suspension.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MARPC") 8.4(d) (Conduct That Is Prejudicial to Administration of Justice), 8.4(e) (Bias or Prejudice), and 8.4(a) (Violating MLRPC).

Citation: Misc. Docket AG No. 5

  • 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