December 4, 2009
Unwarranted Professional Courtesy
An attorney who had been appointed as trustee to conduct a sale of real property failed to distribute the proceeds in a timely manner. One of the parties retained counsel and directed the attorney to distribute the proceeds in care of his lawyer, indicating that a bar complaint would be filed if he failed to do so by a stated date. The lawyer/trustee responded by email, asking for "professional courtesy and indulgence until the end of the month" and advising that he was relocating his practice to Dubai. Despite further efforts and promises (and waiting until the end of the month), the funds were not distributed. The bar complaint was filed and the lawyer failed to participate in the hearing.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ordered disbarment, concluding that this result was appropriate in a default proceeding (as here) for violations involving intentional misappropriation. (Mike Frisch)
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