Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Disbarment For Post-Suspension Practice

The Maryland Court of Appeals held that disbarment was the appropriate sanction where an attorney had engaged in unauthorized practice after suspension: "...the Court, as the promulgator and guardian of the proper standards for the practice of law, must act decisively where, as here, a suspended lawyer continues to practice law in violation of the order of this Court. Thus, under the circumstances, the only reaonable sanction is disbarment."

The attorney had handled a foreclosure action and appeared in court on behalf of a client. The court overturned the legal conclusion of the hearing judge that the conduct did not violate Maryland Rule 8.4 (b) & (c). Unauthorized practice is a criminal violation that adversely reflects on fitness to practice and thus violates both subsections of the Rule. (Mike Frisch)

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