Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eight Ball, Disbarred Pocket

The Maryland Court of Appeals has disbarred an attorney well-known for his television advertising.

Danny Jacobs of The Daily Record had the story of the bar proceedings.

If you’re a Baltimore native of a certain age, you might recognize the ball and pool table pictured above.

Give up? That’s the “legal rights eight ball” that opens a commercial featuring personal injury lawyer Neil Lewis, who says in the spot he does not want you to get stuck behind it.

I have never met Neil Lewis but I have not forgotten that commercial. Which is why, on Thursday, when I saw a lawsuit filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court against Neil Lewis, my first thought was, “The Lewis Law Line?”

I watched that commercial a few times Thursday as I was writing about the Attorney Grievance Commission seeking to halt Lewis from practicing law.

...The juxtaposition between the AGC’s allegations and Lewis’ commercial is jarring. Lewis says he has recovered “millions of dollars” in damages for his clients; the AGC alleges Lewis deposited settlement checks on behalf of clients and used the money for unauthorized purposes. Lewis says, “I receive no fee, nor is there any cost to you unless we win”; the AGC counters some of Lewis’ clients were hit with collection lawsuits from medical services providers that Lewis was supposed to pay with money from a settlement or verdict.

I’ll keep tabs on the city lawsuit and AGC disciplinary petitions as they move forward.

In the meantime, one aspect of my story left me wondering. A hearing judge wrote in her findings that Lewis had approximately 800 open files in the year he was being investigated. To any personal injury lawyers out there: Is that a lot of files for a lawyer to have open at once?

The disbarment was based on a joint consent petition filed by the attorney and the Attorney Grievance Commision. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2014/08/the-maryland-court-of-appeals-has-disbarred-an-attorney-well-known-for-his-televion-advertising-the-daily-record-had-the-st.html

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