About the Author

Michele D. Hotten

Michele D. Hotten

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: What sanction should the Court impose upon an attorney who admitted ignorance of trust account rules; failed to remediate her misconduct or adhere to the protocols under consecutive Conditional Diversion Agreements with Bar Counsel for prior misconduct concerning her trust account; failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel while under investigation; and failed to implement law practice safeguards during an illness or otherwise protect her clients' interests in conformance with the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Holding: The Court ordered indefinite suspension with the right to apply for readmission after six months. Although this attorney had taken ill during the period in question, the Court did not excuse her admitted ignorance of trust account rules; her failure to remediate her misconduct or adhere to the protocols under consecutive conditional diversion agreements; her lack of cooperation with Bar Counsel while under investigation; or her failure to implement safeguards during an illness or otherwise protect her clients' interests.

Alleged Violations: Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MLRPC") 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), 1.15(a) and (d) (Safekeeping Property); 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation); 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters); and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct).

Citation:  448 Md. 33 (2016)

  • 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.