Justia Legal Ethics Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Maryland Court of Appeals

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After an investigation, the Commission on Judicial Disabilities found by clear and convincing evidence that Judge Pamela J. White had committed sanctionable conduct and that a public reprimand was the appropriate disposition under the circumstances. Judge white filed with the Court of Appeals an appeal and, in the alternative, a petition for writ of certiorari, seeking to have the Court review whether the Commission had denied her procedural due process and whether the Commission had erred in finding sanctionable conduct and reprimanding her. The Commission filed a motion to dismiss. The Court ordered that the matter be set for a show cause hearing for the limited purpose of addressing whether the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to decide whether Judge White was denied procedural due process during the Commission proceedings. The Court of Appeals entered an order holding (1) this Court has authority to consider Judge White’s arguments as to whether the Commission proceeding accorded her with the due process required by the State Constitution and the Maryland Rules; but (2) the Court was not able at this time to conduct that review. View "In re Judge Pamela J. White" on Justia Law

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White, a member of the Bar of Maryland, represented Fleming and Sewell, while under a Conditional Diversion Agreement (CDA) with Bar Counsel for prior misconduct involving mismanagement of her attorney trust account. The CDA was amended, then subsequently revoked due to non-compliance. The Attorney Grievance Commission filed a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action, based upon White’s representation of Fleming and Sewell, non-compliance with the CDA, and the mishandling of her trust account. Bar Counsel alleged that White violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1 (Competence), Rule 1.3 (Diligence), Rule 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), Rule 1.15(a) and (d) (Safekeeping Property); 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation); 8.1(a) and (b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters); and Rule 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (Misconduct). Bar Counsel also alleged that she violated Maryland Rules 16-606.1 (Attorney Trust Account Record-Keeping), 16-607 (Commingling of Funds), 16-609 (Prohibited Transactions), and Md. Code 10-306 of the Business Occupations & Professions Article (Misuse of Trust Money). White attributed her actions to illness, recuperation after surgery, and difficulties experienced as caretaker of her mother until her death. A hearing judge found multiple violations. Bar Counsel requested indefinite suspension with the right to apply for readmission after six months. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed. View "Attorney Grievance Comm'n of Md. v. White" on Justia Law