Friday, October 23, 2020

Temporary Suspension With Two Clients Remaining

The Maryland Court of Appeals has entered an order in a matter involving a high-profile attorney who is currently under federal indictment.

The summary of the criminal charges from the United States Attorneys Office for the District of Maryland is linked here. 

According to the eight-count indictment, between January and October 2018, Snyder attempted to obtain $25 million from the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) for himself, separate and apart from any claim by one of his clients, by using threats of economic and reputational harm to UMMS and its organ transplant program.  Specifically, the indictment alleges that Snyder threatened that if UMMS did not pay him $25 million, Snyder would launch a public relations campaign against UMMS that alleged, among other things, that UMMS transplanted diseased organs into unsophisticated patients without informing them of the quality of the organs they were receiving in order to generate revenue.  According to the indictment, Snyder told UMMS officials that the campaign would include: a front-page article in the Baltimore Sun; other national news stories; a press conference; advertisements on the Internet, including one that would run every time someone accessed the UMMS transplant site; and at least two videos Snyder produced and would air if his demand for a $25 million payment were not met.

Snyder allegedly demanded that UMMS disguise the $25 million payment as a sham consulting arrangement between Snyder and UMMS.  Snyder also allegedly threatened that a lawyer (Lawyer 1) working for the insurance program insuring UMMS and its faculty physician groups would lose her job and threatened to harm the professional reputation of a UMMS doctor (Doctor 1) if they did not aid Snyder in obtaining the $25 million payment.

...An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

The order imposes an agreed-upon temporary suspension who this proviso

Respondent shall enter into the monitor agreement, with a monitor acceptable to Bar Counsel, and that the monitor agreement shall remain in effect through March 31, 2021


within five (5) days of the date of this Order, the Respondent shall provide a copy of the Indictment, the Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action, the Joint Request, this Order, and the monitor agreement to Clients A and B and obtain their informed consent to his continued representation of those clients, confirmed in writing and submitted to Bar Counsel no later than ten (10) days after the date of this Order, and shall comply with the other conditions set forth in paragraph 10 of the Joint Request...

The order stays the discipline proceedings pending resolution of the criminal charges. (Mike Frisch)

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