Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Top 5: ‘We don’t want that power usurped from us’

Delays continue in Maryland’s top court, and the Student Bar Association president at the University of Baltimore School of Law is trying to keep students updated on the search for a new dean. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. Baltimore lead-paint lawyer disbarred after pilfering clients for personal gain – by Ben Mook

The state’s top court has disbarred a Baltimore lawyer for altering client files to make them less attractive to the firm he was working for so he could pick up the clients when he opened his own solo practice.

In a split 4-3 decision, the Court of Appeals disbarred Gregory R. Keiner for violating the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct despite the centerpiece of his argument that alcoholism and depression drove his actions.

2. Delays in Court of Appeals continue – by Steve Lash

Acting with more deliberation than speed, Maryland’s top court on Friday ruled against a would-be developer in Columbia and against the estate of Catonsville woman — well over two years after hearing arguments in the two cases.

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals said Renaissance Centro Columbia LLC failed to exhaust administrative remedies before going to court to block nearby resident Joel Broida’s challenge to the developer’s plan to build a 22-story retail and condominium building.

3. Restraining order against Baltimore school board denied – by Ben Mook

A federal judge has denied a temporary restraining order that would have prevented the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners from moving forward on a $25 million school construction project.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett denied on Thursday the request made by CAM Construction Co. Inc. when it was learned that the disputed building project contract would not go into effect until Sept. 22. A hearing on a preliminary injunction in the case was set for Sept. 8.

4. Court of Appeals: Lawyer’s ignorance was a partial excuse – by Barbara Grzincic

A lawyer who deposited his retainer into an operating account was not being intentionally dishonest, the Court of Appeals held.

Attorney Joseph Tauber said he was unaware he needed a client trust account because he had never received funds “up front” before taking on Jill Lee’s divorce action in 2007. He created a trust account after hearing from Bar Counsel but said he has not used it because he moved to Delaware and no longer practices in Maryland.

5. SBA president reaches out to UB classmates – by Danielle Ulman

The president of the Student Bar Association at the University of Baltimore School of Law is reaching out to fellow students to keep them updated on the school’s dean search and its financial relationship with the university.

Since the former law school Dean Phillip J. Closius resigned in July because of longstanding differences with university President Robert L. Bogomolny over the amount of law school revenue the university keeps for itself, students have been looking for an outlet to express their feelings about his dismissal.