WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

«Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Erica S. White, Misc. Docket AG No. 80, September Term, 2014. Opinion by Hotten, J. ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Erica S. White, Misc. Docket AG No. 80,

September Term, 2014. Opinion by Hotten, J.

ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE — SANCTIONS — INDEFINITE SUSPENSION WITH

THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR READMISSION AFTER SIX MONTHS — Court of

Appeals ordered indefinite suspension with the right to apply for readmission after six months

for an attorney who admitted ignorance of trust account rules; failed to remediate her

misconduct or adhere to the protocols under consecutive Conditional Diversion Agreements with Bar Counsel for prior misconduct concerning her trust account; failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel while under investigation; and failed to implement law practice safeguards during an illness or otherwise protect her clients’ interests in conformance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Respondent engaged in conduct in violation of Maryland Lawyers’ Rule of Professional Conduct (“MLRPC”), 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a) and (b), 1.15(a), 1.16(d), 8.1(a) and (b), 8.4(a), (c), and (d), and Md. Rules 16.606.1(a)(1)-(3), 16-607, 16-609(b) and (c), and § 10-306 of the Business Occupations & Professions Article.

Circuit Court for Baltimore City

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS

Case No. 24-C-15-000156 Argued: February 9, 2016 OF MARYLAND Misc. Docket AG No. 80 September Term, 2014 _________________________________

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION

OF MARYLAND v.

ERICA S. WHITE ____________________________________

Barbera, C.J.

*Battaglia, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, Hotten, JJ.

______________________________________

Opinion by Hotten, J.

______________________________________

Filed: May 23, 2016 *Battaglia, J., now retired, participated in the hearing and conference of this case while an active member of this Court; after being recalled pursuant to the Constitution, Article IV, Section

–  –  –

in separate legal matters, failed to comply with remedial conditions as required under consecutive Conditional Diversion Agreements (“CDA”)1 for prior misconduct concerning her trust account; failed to secure safeguards during an illness to ensure a timely appeal for her client or otherwise protect her client’s interests in conformance with the Rules of Professional Conduct; and mismanaged her attorney trust account by repeatedly accumulating negative balances, depositing unearned fees, and maintaining improper record-keeping practices.

Respondent, Erica S. White, a member of the Bar of Maryland, represented Keith Fleming (“Mr. Fleming”) in a divorce and custody matter (“Fleming matter”) and Karma Sewell-Carpenter (“Ms. Sewell-Carpenter”), in a landlord-tenant dispute (“Sewell matter”). Between March 2012 and November 2013, Respondent was under a CDA with Bar Counsel for prior misconduct involving mismanagement of her attorney trust account.

Respondent’s CDA was later amended (“Amended CDA”), then subsequently revoked in Conditional diversion in attorney disciplinary matters is distinguishable from the imposition of a sanction. See Attorney Grievance Comm’n v. Cappell, 389 Md. 402, 419A.2d 112, 122 (2005). Maryland Rule 16-712(b)(3) grants Bar Counsel the authority to “enter into and implement Conditional Diversion Agreements” with attorneys in order to remedy misconduct. An attorney may be eligible for conditional diversion when his or her professional misconduct was not the result of the following: any willful or dishonest conduct, the cause or basis of the misconduct can be resolved through remediation or alternative programs or mechanisms, and the disposition is in the best interest of the public and the attorney’s clients both present and prospective. See id. at 421, 886 A.2d at 123.

April 2014 due to Respondent’s non-compliance with the terms of the CDA. (collectively, “CDA matter”).

On December 30, 2014, Petitioner, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, acting through Bar Counsel, filed with this Court a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action (“Petition”) against Respondent, based upon her representation of Mr.

Fleming and Ms. Sewell-Carpenter, non-compliance with the CDA and Amended CDA, and the mishandling of her trust account throughout this period (“Trust Account matter”).

Bar Counsel alleged that Respondent violated the following Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (“MLRPC”): 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 Respondent violated Maryland Rules 16-606.1 (Attorney Trust Account Record-Keeping), 16-607 (Commingling of Funds), 16-609 (Prohibited Transactions), and Md. Code (1989, 2010 Repl. Vol) § 10-306 of the Business Occupations & Professions Article (“Bus. Occ. & Prof.”) (Misuse of Trust Money).

By Order dated January 9, 2015, this Court transmitted the matter to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and designated the Honorable Edward R.K. Hargadon (“hearing judge”) to render findings of fact and conclusions of law. On April 17, 2015, both parties participated in a scheduling conference call with the hearing judge, setting a hearing for June 24, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. On or about June 22, Respondent informed the court that she

–  –  –





Respondent. Ms. Sewell-Carpenter, Edwin Karr (“Mr. Karr”), Investigator for the Attorney Grievance Commission, Anne Deady, Esquire (“Ms. Deady”), the law practice monitor assigned to Respondent under her Amended CDA, and Laura Burrows, an attorney who worked with Respondent on an unrelated matter, testified on behalf of Bar Counsel.

Respondent represented herself and testified. On September 4, 2015, the hearing judge filed with this Court findings of fact and conclusions of law, determining that: (1) relative to the Fleming matter and Respondent’s CDA and Amended CDA violations, she violated MLRPC 1.1, 1.4, 1.15,2 8.4(a) and (d), and Md. Rule 16.606.1; (2) regarding Respondent’s false statements and misrepresentations to Bar Counsel, she violated MLRPC 8.1(a) and (b), 8.4 (a), (c), and (d); (3) relative to the Sewell matter, she violated MLRPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.16(d), 8.4(d); and (4) regarding the Trust Account matter, she violated MLRPC 1.1, 1.15(a), 8.4(d), Md. Rules 16-606.1(a)(1)-(3), 16-607, 16-609(b) and (c), and Bus. Occ. & Prof. § 10-306.

On September 22, 2015, Bar Counsel filed its recommendation for sanctions, requesting indefinite suspension with the right to apply for readmission after six months, and took no exceptions to the hearing judge’s findings of fact or conclusions of law. On September 23, 2015, Respondent filed general exceptions to the hearing judge’s findings

–  –  –

9, 2016.3 On February 9, 2016, we heard oral argument. Respondent conceded that she engaged in professional misconduct relative to the alleged charges, but attributed her actions to illness, recuperation after surgery, and difficulties experienced as caretaker of her mother until her death, which collectively impacted her practice during those periods.

For the reasons that follow, we conclude that Respondent violated MLRPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a) and (b), 1.15(a), 1.16(d), 8.1(a) and (b), 8.4(a), (c), and (d), Md. Rules 16.606.1(a)(1)-(3), 16-607, 16-609(b) and (c), and Bus. Occ. & Prof. § 10-306, and will indefinitely suspend her from the practice of law in this State with the right to apply for readmission after six months.

–  –  –

The hearing judge rendered the following findings of fact, which we summarize:

A. Respondent’s CDA, Subsequent Amended CDA, and the Fleming Matter Respondent was admitted to the Bar of Maryland on November 3, 2007, and currently maintains a law office in Baltimore, Maryland. On March 21, 2012, Respondent entered into a one-year CDA with Bar Counsel.

During oral argument, Respondent asserted that the February 9 amendment excepting to the hearing judge’s findings and conclusions corrected errors in her prior filing. However, upon our review, both filings appear to be the same.

–  –  –

engaged in professional misconduct relative to her representation of Mr. Fleming.5 Under the CDA, Respondent was required to review a Continuing Legal Education DVD on trust account management. However, two months prior to completing the CDA, Respondent failed to fulfill her obligations due to a failure to timely deposit funds into her trust account and to provide client records to Bar Counsel. As a result, on November 25, 2013, Bar Counsel amended Respondent’s CDA and assigned Ms. Deady as her law practice monitor.

The Amended CDA contained the following conditions:

Respondent will provide [Ms. Deady] with a copy of her general ledger, individual client ledgers, monthly trust account reconciliation, trust account statement, and corresponding cancelled checks on a monthly basis for her monitor to submit to Bar Counsel for the remainder of the Amended CDA.

Respondent will attend a meeting with Certified Public Accountant/Commission Investigator Charles Miller [(“Mr. Miller”)] to review Respondent’s financial records and to discuss Respondent’s trust Md. Rule 16-736(c)(2)(A) provides, “[b]y signing the Agreement, the attorney (A) acknowledges that the attorney has engaged in conduct that constitutes professional misconduct or is currently incapacitated[.]” In its Petition, Bar Counsel recounted the following facts relative to Respondent’s representation of Mr. Fleming, which we summarize: On September 11, 2011, Mr. Fleming retained Respondent to represent him in his divorce and custody matter in the General Court of Justice, District Court Division, North Carolina (“General Court”). On that same day, Mr. Fleming signed Respondent’s retainer agreement and agreed to pay a $1500 nonrefundable retainer. Although Respondent initiated pro hac vice admission to the North Carolina bar, she did not complete the process because she had no record that the retainer had been paid. Respondent did not maintain trust account records or advise Mr. Fleming of the status of his case. Respondent communicated with the General Court on two occasions, but never entered an appearance on Mr. Fleming’s behalf. Respondent contended that she did not seek pro hac vice admission because Mr. Fleming did not pay the full $1,500 retainer. In reliance on Respondent’s representation, Mr. Fleming did not seek other counsel and missed his scheduled hearing in the General Court.

–  –  –

[Ms. Deady] shall be required to attend a formal hearing/court proceeding with Respondent within two [ ] months from the new effective date of the Amended CDA and to complete a client observation form in connection with the hearing/proceeding.

[Ms. Deady] shall continue to provide reports to Bar Counsel on a monthly basis and submit each report on the 30th day of the month. In addition, Respondent shall meet with [Ms. Deady] on a monthly basis on the twentieth [ ] day of each month. During the meeting, Respondent shall discuss her Amended CDA in detail, provide any needed trust account records and/or billing documentation to the monitor, and to submit her written report of her biggest challenges and/or goals/accomplishments for the month.

Respondent’s Amended CDA shall remain in effect until July 31, 2014.

i. Respondent’s Interactions with Ms. Deady Respondent admitted that during November 2013 through February 2014, she failed to provide the information to Ms. Deady and Mr. Miller regarding her general ledger, individual client ledgers, monthly reconciliation, trust account bank statement, and corresponding cancelled checks on a monthly basis. On November 8, 2013, Respondent met with Ms. Deady in her law office, to review her files. Respondent promised to submit copies of her client ledgers, trust account reconciliation statements, and trust account bank statements per CDA requirements by November 20, 2013. Due to Respondent’s other

–  –  –

2013 report to Bar Counsel.

Ms. Deady submitted her second monthly report to Bar Counsel on January 10, 2014, which reflected that she contacted Respondent on January 6, 2014 for the required documents. However, Respondent advised that she was unable to comply due to scheduled surgery that same day. Although Respondent promised to provide the documentation after her recuperation, she did not.

Ms. Deady left a voicemail for Respondent on January 30, 2014. In Ms. Deady’s third monthly report to Bar Counsel, she advised that Respondent had not contacted her since January 6, 2014. Bar Counsel granted Respondent an eight-day extension to submit her documentation to Ms. Deady. Ms. Deady’s fourth monthly report to Bar Counsel on February 28, 2014, reflected that she contacted Respondent on February 25, 2014 to schedule an appointment on February 27, 2014, and noted Respondent’s failure to provide any documents or meet with her since November 2013. However, Respondent was unable to meet with Ms. Deady on February 27, citing a need to prepare for a motion and complications from her surgery.

On November 20, 2013, Respondent informed Ms. Deady that she had not prepared the requested documents because she had new clients and “had to attend to their cases.” Respondent was also unable to meet with Ms. Deady on November 22, 2013 after being requested to do so.

-7ii. Respondent’s Interactions with Attorney Grievance Commission Investigator, Mr. Karr In February 2014, Mr. Karr contacted Respondent regarding the impending revocation of her Amended CDA. Mr. Karr conducted an interview of Ms. SewellCarpenter on March 6, 2014, but received no response from Respondent after leaving voice messages on March 7 and 10, 2014. On March 11, 2014, Mr. Karr contacted Respondent and scheduled an interview for March 25, 2014, at 11:00 a.m.

During the hearing, Mr. Karr testified that Respondent attempted to cancel the interview, citing an impending trial and inquired whether he could provide her with written questions in advance. Mr. Karr directed her to Assistant Bar Counsel JaCina Stanton (“Ms.



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |


Similar works:

«Am J Crim Just (2016) 41:424–443 DOI 10.1007/s12103-015-9316-4 Police Body-Worn Cameras: Perceptions of Law Enforcement Leadership John Ortiz Smykla 1 & Matthew S. Crow 2 & Vaughn J. Crichlow 1 & Jamie A. Snyder 2 Received: 2 September 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published online: 4 December 2015 # The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Many people are enthusiastic about the potential benefits of police body-worn cameras (BWC)....»

«Boston Legal The Nutcrackers Season 3, Episode 10 Broadcast: December 5, 2006 Written by Phoef Sutton & Sanford Golden & Karen Wyscarver & David E. Kelley Directedy by John Terlesky © 2006 David E. Kelley Productions. All Rights Reserved. This transcript is not official or taken from the actual script. It is transcribed from watching the broadcast. Transcribed by ToxicAngel for Boston-Legal.org [version: December 8, 2006] At Crane, Poole and Schmidt, Annabelle Carruthers is the the reception...»

«Transcript of Podcast #12 Sexification with Roger Lawson The Bulletproof Executive Cool Fact Dave Asprey: Today’s cool fact of the day is that vitamin D supplements are made by exposing oils from animal skin to UV radiation. That means that vitamin D3 uses animal products so it is not vegan. It’s especially bad because if you’re vegan, there is only one source of vegan vitamin D in food and that would be freshly picked shitake mushrooms that you carefully set upside down in the sun for...»

«GUIDANCE NOTES Model Local Law No.6 (Bathing Reserves) Version 1.2 Disclaimer These guidance notes have been compiled for your information only and should not be treated as an exhaustive statement on the subject. Nor should they be considered as rendering to you legal or professional service. The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DILGP) recommends that independent legal advice be sought on any matter of interpretation of the model local laws or template subordinate...»

«AWARDS AND RECOGNITION FOR SIDLEY AUSTIN’S INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRACTICE Awards TWELVE-TIME WINNER “GLOBAL TRADE & CUSTOMS LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR” th For the 12 consecutive year, Sidley was named a global “Trade & Customs Law Firm of the Year” in the 2016 Who’s Who Legal Awards. Sidley has been honored for this award every year since its inception in 2005. “Sidley Austin LLP joins a select band of firms to dominate an area in this fashion. Its continuing success is reflected in the...»

«Muhammad Goes to Hollywood: Michael Mann’s Ali as Biopic KEGAN DOYLE ALI’S AMERICAN LIFE HAS HAD MANY ACTS, NOT ALL OF M UHAMMAD them pretty. The Ali our culture least wants to remember is the Ali of the late 1970s and early 1980s, a diminished champion engaging in mediocre fights against Leon Spinks and Jimmy Young and tragic ones against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. Ali’s later victories were not spectacular displays of fistic virtuosity or underdog miracles that knocked the world...»

«JANUARY 1997 LAW REVIEW BEACH FATALITY TESTS PUBLIC RECREATION IMMUNITY STATUTE James C. Kozlowski, J.D., Ph.D. © 1997 James C. Kozlowski Several jurisdictions (most notably Virginia, Illinois, Kansas, and Minnesota) have statutes which provide limited governmental immunity for injuries sustained in public recreational facilities. Subject to minor jurisdictional variations, these statutes typically preclude liability for ordinary negligence and require proof of gross negligence, or...»

«FILED FOR PUBLICATION Nov 21 2011, 8:56 am CLERK ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: of the supreme court, court of appeals and tax court ANNETTE BIESECKER ABHISHEK CHAUDHARY Indiana Legal Services, Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA JIM NORRIS, ) ) Appellant-Defendant, ) ) vs. ) No. 27A04-1104-SC-183 ) PERSONAL FINANCE, ) ) Appellee-Plaintiff. ) APPEAL FROM THE GRANT SUPERIOR COURT The Honorable Warren Haas, Judge Cause No. 27D03-1003-SC-380 November 21, 2011 OPINION FOR...»

«Revisión Bibliográfica sobre Trabajos de Costes de la “No Seguridad del Paciente” INFORMES, ESTUDIOS E INVESTIGACIÓN 2008 MINISTERIO DE SANIDAD Y CONSUMO Revisión bibliográfica sobre trabajos de costes de la “no seguridad del paciente” INFORMES, ESTUDIOS E INVESTIGACIÓN 2008 MINISTERIO DE SANIDAD Y CONSUMO Este proyecto ha sido posible gracias a un contrato entre el Ministerio de Sanidad y Con­ sumo y la Empresa ANTARES Consulting Edita y distribuye: © MINISTERIO DE SANIDAD Y...»

«EMPLOYEE TERMINATION LETTER & GUIDE Included: Overview Dos and Don’ts Checklist Employee Termination Letter Instructions Sample Employee Termination Letter © LEGALZOOM.COM, INC. 2008 1. Overview At some point in the life of every organization, managers will need to fire employees. There may be any number of reasons for such decisions, from downsizing and misconduct, to breaches of company policy or poor performance. Without a written employment agreement or a specific state-granted right,...»

«OIPC File No: F15-63155 Inquiry under Part 5 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) between: An Applicant and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and BC Association of Chiefs of Police (intervenor) and BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police (intervenor) and BC Civil Liberties Association (intervenor) and BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (intervenor) and Open Media (intervenor) and Canada Research Chair of Ethics, Law and Technology,...»

«Attorneys’ Fee – Getting Paid a Reasonable Fee at all Levels Including Under the Equal Access to Justice Act by Thomas E. Bush Reasonable attorney fees are necessary for survival of our law practices. Currently ALJs nation-wide are finding disabled an average of about 44% of claimants who request a hearing. As recently as 2010 (and for decades before), ALJs found disabled more than 60% of claimants. We’re winning fewer cases these days. This inevitably means lower fees overall. Some...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.