On the Record

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Court of Appeals chides Robin Ficker – again

Robin Ficker (file photo)

Robin Ficker (file photo)

Robin Ficker, a Montgomery County lawyer and perennial political candidate, has been reprimanded by the Court of Appeals for showing up late to Howard County District Court for a scheduled hearing in December 2015.

Ficker’s tardiness “disrupted the docket of the tribunal” and forced his client to address the court without representation, the court said in an unusually detailed one-page order filed June 30. Ficker also was ordered to write apologies to his client and Judge Marc Rasinsky.

Ficker, who is running for Montgomery County executive, is no stranger to the Attorney Grievance Commission, having been suspended and reprimanded several times by the Court of Appeals.

In an interview with The Daily Record on Friday about the most recent disciplinary action, Ficker said he was coming from handling another matter in court in Rockville at 8 a.m. that started late. He was supposed to be in Ellicott City at 8:45 a.m. but didn’t arrive until 10:15. When he knew he wouldn’t be able to get to Howard County time, Ficker said he had his firm’s office manager call the courthouse but the judge never got the message.

“I apologized to the judge… I don’t like to be late,” he said.

The client did not have any problems with his representation and was offered a plea deal, Ficker said.

“The client wasn’t complaining about the result of the case,” he said, adding he submitted the written apologies.

Ficker was surprised, however, the Court of Appeals order also stated he violated the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct in 2013 by hiring a disbarred lawyer in a non-lawyer capacity without alerting bar counsel.
“I did not know about that rule. There was not a single Maryland case which had ever mentioned that rule or any ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals,” Ficker said, adding that he stays up to date on developments in the state’s highest court.
The criminal defense attorney previously was indefinitely suspended in 2007 for “carelessness” in running his law office and attending to client matters. The suspension stemmed for three complaints from Ficker’s former clients. He was reinstated the following year.

After successfully running a ballot measure for term limits for Montgomery County county executive last year, Ficker filed paperwork in March to run for the Republican nomination for county executive, The Washington Post reported.

Ficker has run for public office at the local, state and federal levels more than a dozen times since 1972. He also won a term in the House of Delegates in 1978.

Outside of the law and politics, Ficker is perhaps better known for his heckling of opposing players at Washington Bullets (now Wizards) games, including Michael Jordan. Ficker told the Post he stopped going to games after the Wizards moved downtown in 1998 because the two seats behind the opposing team’s bench Ficker occupied for 12 years were relocated.

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