Talking legal ethics over dinner
The atmosphere of legal practice is rightfully infused with ethical rules and aspirations. The Rules of Professional Conduct for Maryland lawyers are contained in Chapter 300 of the Maryland Rules. Some rules are broader than one might think and require affirmative action by attorneys, while others are amplified by case law. Let us consider the […]
Editorial Advisory Board: Prosecutors should speak with actions, not words
In the criminal justice system, prosecutors serve a unique role with special duties quite different from other lawyers. While a private lawyer’s duty is to provide zealous representation of a client, the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct impose upon the prosecutor “the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an […]
Ordered to turn over client names, lawyer vows to appeal
A Towson lawyer said Wednesday he will appeal a judge's ruling that he must turn over names of his loan-modification clients to the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division.
Being a lawyer means being the boss
Being a lawyer means being the boss. When I was in law school I remember always hearing the comment that, law school teaches you the law but it does not teach you how to be a lawyer. I still hear that comment from time to time, and obviously there is truth to the statement. I mean for better or for worse there is no class on billing hours.
The inability to unwind
Lawyers are generally strung pretty tight. The edicts of our profession require us to perform different roles depending on our audience. According to the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct's Preamble, "A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice." Add [...]
Gitomer consents to his disbarment
Longtime appellate advocate Mark L. Gitomer has consented to disbarment amid “multiple” complaints of ethical lapses filed with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, according to court documents.
A Mann for all seasons
Earlier this month, I attended the Red Mass of the St. Thomas More Society at St. Thomas More Church in Baltimore. The ceremony began with Maryland judges processing down the aisle in their robes, followed by clergymen, including the archbishop, several bishops, monsignors, priests and deacons. The Mass is held to bestow a special blessing […]
It’s almost November…do you know where your pro bono hours are?
Those annual pro bono legal service reports will be showing up in your mailbox soon, and as December quickly approaches, now is a good time to evaluate the number of pro bono hours you’ve completed this year. As a Maryland lawyer, you have a professional responsibility to render pro bono legal services — and according […]
Going with your gut instinct
As young lawyers, we are often expected to push our comfort zone, which can mean taking on new matters to gain experience and advance in our profession. We all have our “firsts”– our first business transaction, our first trial, our first motions hearing and our first administrative proceeding, to name a few. So, where, as […]
Md. disbars estate-planning lawyer over forgeries
The state’s top court has disbarred a Virginia lawyer also admitted to practice in Maryland after he allowed a woman to forge her terminally ill mother’s signature on estate documents. In a Friday opinion, the Court of Appeals disbarred John Michael Coppola after finding that he violated the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, despite mitigating […]
Lawyer disbarred for client neglect, unearned $1,000 fee
Maryland’s top court has unanimously disbarred an attorney who solicited business from a defendant in a civil suit and did absolutely nothing to represent him, even after collecting a $1,000 fee. Andrew Gregory De La Paz — who had offices in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties — also failed to open an estate despite […]
Dishonest Eastern Shore lawyer disbarred
Maryland’s top court on Tuesday unanimously disbarred an Eastern Shore lawyer who had surreptitiously and repeatedly transferred funds from a client escrow account to his law firm’s general fund, telling partners he had earned the money. Christopher A. Palmer also told partners he had filed lawsuits on behalf of firm clients when he had not, […]