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One attorney disbarred, one suspended in separate joint petitions

The state’s top court has sanctioned two attorneys by consent this month.

Latosha J. Cooper was disbarred by consent Monday and Matthew Evan Fox was indefinitely suspended by consent Dec. 4 by the Court of Appeals.

Bar Counsel Glenn M. Grossman declined to comment on both cases.

Cooper, who practiced at The Law Office of Latosha J. Cooper LLC in Baltimore, had eight complaints filed against her, claiming she abandoned clients’ cases shortly after taking them on, according to the joint petition for disciplinary action she filed with the Attorney Grievance Commission.

She also failed to maintain her clients’ unearned legal fees in her trust account. As of Dec. 3, 2012, the account’s balance was $3.55.

Cooper did not respond to Bar Counsel’s requests for information about the situations surrounding the complaints filed against her, according to the joint petition filed in her case.

Cooper was previously suspended, in March, for not paying her annual fee to the Client Protection Fund of Maryland.

Indefinite suspension

Fox, who was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December 2006, practiced at a Pikesville firm until July 2013, according to the Attorney Grievance Commission’s joint petition for disciplinary action with Fox.

According to the petition for disciplinary action, several of Fox’s clients and some opposing counsel complained that they were unable to reach him despite repeated attempts, starting in late 2010. Bar counsel said Fox took little to no action on the cases. This resulted in summary judgment being entered against one client this March because Fox had failed to respond to the motion. Another client was held in contempt, then had her case dismissed, after Fox failed to appear for successive show-cause hearings.

The petition also says that a psychiatrist who has been seeing Fox since May has diagnosed him with major depression and anxiety disorder, which causes him to postpone stressful activities and renders him almost incapable of handling several tasks at once.

Though Fox is undergoing treatment and has made progress, he is still working on the disorder and consented to indefinite suspension, according to the joint petition for disciplinary action.

The Court of Appeals stipulated that Fox has to undergo a mental health evaluation “and obtain an opinion from said practitioner that [he] is fit to practice law” if he should decide to seek reinstatement.