Monday, November 19, 2012
In a 4-3 decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals declined to impose the identical reciprocal discipline of a six-month suspension that had been ordered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The underlying misconduct involved the attorney's conviction for willful failure to file Maryland state tax returns for two consecutive years.
The court majority noted that disciplinary action had already been taking by a number of federal courts, as well as in Virginia and the District of Columbia. (one court action is described as "[j]umping on the band wagon" of bar discipline). The majority imposed an indefinite suspension with the right to apply for reinstatement when the attorney secures the return of his license in the jurisidictions that have already sanctioned him.
The dissent expresses concern that the court knows very little about the offenses and would withhold discipline pending an evidentiary hearing. (Mike Frisch)