November 12, 2007
A Matter Of Timing
An attorney who had been placed on indefinite suspension in Maryland was charged with a series of fresh violations. The cases were heard by two different circuit court judges and consolidated by the Maryland Court of Appeals. One judge found no misconduct in two matters. The other made findings regarding post-suspension conduct that led the court to find two instances of misconduct.
The lawyer had entered an appearence in a criminal case on December 14, was suspended on December 22 and appeared at a motions hearing on December 30. The judge was aware of the suspension, which was effective on the date it was issued. The suspended lawyer mistakenly believed he was permitted a wind-up period prior to the effective date of the suspension. The court noted that this was the first reported case that interpreted rule changes that made suspension immediate and felt that leniency was appropriate on that basis. The other post-suspension practice was deemed more serious. Indefinite suspension was continued in place. (Mike Frisch)
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