Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Concurrent Sanction In Bar Discipline Case

An attorney indefinitely suspended earlier this year with the right to seek reinstatement after 90 days was the subject of additional charges addressed today by the Maryland Court of Appeals. The court held that the findings of misconduct were "substantially similar to those in [the attorney's] previous case and to a certain extent the time periods involved in the two actions overlap...it is appropriate to consider [the attorney's] present violations as a continuation of his previously improper conduct." A concurrent suspension of 90 days was imposed and the attorney may seek reinstatement after six months.

A dissent, joined by two judges, would impose disbarment: "it is not the overlap of the prosecution and pendency of these cases that should be the focus of the sanctions analysis, but rather the actual dates of the misconduct...[t]he seperation becomes even more meaningful in light of the external efforts made to get Respondent to conform to the ethical norms and his continued refusal and failure to do so...Respondent remains resolutely oblivious to the ethical expectations and requirements for the safekeeping and accounting of trust monies...I would disbar..." (Mike Frisch)


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