July 21, 2009
The Power Of Bar Counsel
An attorney was the subject of a bar investigation initiated as a result of an trust account overdraft. The attorney provided an explanation of the overdraft to Bar Counsel. Bar Counsel investigated the operation of the trust account and found a discrepancy. As a result, Bar Counsel issued a subpoena for the attorney's trust account records. The attorney moved to quash, which was denied without a hearing. The attorney then appealed.
The Maryland Court of Appeals rejected the attorney's claim that the subpoena was overbroad. The subpoena sought records for a two-year period that was "not remotely unreasonable." Bar Counsel is not obligated to prove an ethical violation as a condition precedent to the issuance of an investigative subpoena. (Mike Frisch)
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