About the Author

Robert N. McDonald

Robert N. McDonald

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who represented a married couple in obtaining permanent residency for one of the spouses, but later advised one spouse on bringing criminal charges against the other, failed to advise him of his options in removing conditions on his permanent resident status within sufficient time to do so, settled a fee dispute in return for a release without advising his client to seek independent counsel, and testified under oath that he usually complied with IOLTA rules when, in fact, he did not?

Holding: Having previously represented both spouses, the attorney's advice to one spouse on potential charges against another violated rules against conflicts of interest. While settlement of a fee dispute was also improper and he did give misleading testimony under oath, the lack of any evidence of misappropriation or harm to his clients led the Court to impose a 60-day suspension.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct Rules ("MLRPC") 19-301.3, 19-301.4, 19-301.7, 19- 301.8, 19-301.15, 19-308.1 & 19-308.4 (formerly Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.7, 1.8, 1.15, 8.1 & 8.4); Maryland Rule 19-404 (formerly Maryland Rule 16-604).

Citation: Misc. Docket AG No. 6

Reinstated: January 14, 2022

View Oral Argument on Reinstatement 

  • 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.