About the Author

Sally D. Adkins

Sally D. Adkins

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Samuel Sperling Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to safeguard client funds and did not adequately supervise his brother, Jonathan's post-suspension conduct?

Holding: Despite the fact that his father and brother were suspended from the practice of law, this attorney failed to pay sufficient attention to safeguard client funds, enabling suspended lawyers to draw checks on a trust account that he failed to monitor, that he failed to reconcile on a monthly basis, and that he failed to restrict access to. Considering the fact that Samuel Sperling had no prior instances of disciplinary violations, performed charitable work in his community, expressed remorse and fully cooperated with Bar Counsel, the Court imposed a 90-day suspension.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") for Samuel Sperling: (1) MLRPC 1.15(a) (Safekeeping Property); MLRPC 5.3(b), (d)(2)(F), and (d)(3) (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants) as to Jonathan; (3) MLRPC 5.4(d)(1) (Professional Independence of a Lawyer); and MLRPC 8.4(a) (Misconduct)

Jonathan Sperling Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who failed to comply with his obligations as a suspended lawyer working in a law firm and made misrepresentations during his suspension and in his efforts to gain readmission to the Bar?

Holding Although he had already been suspended indefinitely from the practice of law, the Court imposed another indefinite suspension upon Jonathan Sperling for an additional instance of neglect of a client matter and for several misrepresentations in his efforts to gain readmission to the Bar following his previous suspension.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") for Jonathan Daniel Sperling:(1) MLRPC 5.3(d)(3) (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants); (2) MLRPC 8.1(a) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters); and (3) MLRPC 8.4 (a), (c) and (d) (Misconduct)

Citation: 459 Md. 194 (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.


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.