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Fed Bar suspends solo who was sued for client’s death

A Pikesville solo practitioner who once was accused of legal malpractice with lethal consequences has been indefinitely suspended from the Federal Bar.

Larry J. Feldman consented to the suspension, according to the order signed Thursday by Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow of the U.S. District Court for Maryland.

The reason for his suspension is unknown; all documents related to the disciplinary case have been under seal since the matter was opened in February and will remain under seal, according to Chasanow’s order closing the case.

Neither Feldman nor his lawyer, Alvin I. Frederick of Eccleston & Wolf P.C. in Hanover, responded to multiple requests for comment.

In a civil suit filed in May, the family of Isaiah Callaway identified Feldman, his former attorney, as “L.F.” — described in a December 2011 indictment as a Baltimore County lawyer who advised another client to silence Callaway before he could talk to federal investigators.

In that indictment, prosecutors claimed that “L.F.” alerted Tavon Davis that the investigators wanted to question Callaway about a bank fraud scheme Davis was running.

Callaway, 19, was killed in April 2011, days after Feldman and Davis spoke, according to court records. Callaway had been working for Davis, and Davis referred Callaway to Feldman in January 2011 after Callaway was arrested, according to the indictment.

“When we follow the rules and disclose to private lawyers that someone may be cooperating with law enforcement, we rely on them as officers of the court to keep the information from getting into the wrong hands,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement accompanying the indictment.

Davis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire and conspiracy to murder a witness and was sentenced last year to 35 years in jail.

Feldman has not been charged with any crime in connection to the case. Press officials in Rosenstein’s office did not respond to a call seeking comment Thursday.

In their lawsuit filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court, Callaway’s family claimed Feldman told Davis his case would be lost if Callaway cooperated with federal investigators.

“Feldman suggested to Davis two ways to prevent such an outcome: (1) send Callaway to Costa Rica; or (2) use the ‘Sicilian option,’” according to the complaint.

The action was dismissed in October, according to court records.

“The case was resolved to my client’s satisfaction,” the family’s lawyer, Steven D. Silverman of Silverman | Thompson | Slutkin | White LLC in Baltimore, said Thursday.

According to the civil complaint, Davis believed Feldman made the situation seem worse than it was. Davis later consulted another lawyer who told Davis he would likely spend only three to four years in prison for the fraud scheme.

Davis later called himself a “schmuck” for listening to Feldman, according to the complaint.

Feldman is still admitted to practice law in state courts in Maryland, according to the Attorney Grievance Commission’s website.

In an affidavit accompanying the Federal Bar suspension, Feldman said he is not an active member of that bar, “having allowed my registration with the Clerk’s Office to lapse.”

Feldman does not have any cases currently pending in federal court in Maryland, according to online court records.