It feels like only yesterday that I was posting the names of attorneys sanctioned by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. But another year has passed! For Naughty Business of the Week, here's the fresh list of those suspended or reprimanded statewide during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

ALLEGANY COUNTY

BUCKEL, Jason Cord - Reprimand by Consent on September 28, 2010 by the Court of Appeals for defending a proceeding for which there was no basis, failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, and failure to respond to a lawful demand for information from Bar Counsel.

CROSSLAND, Edward C. - Disbarred by Consent on December 29, 2010 by the Court of Appeals for his conviction of mail fraud.


ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

COPPOCK, John E., Jr. - Commission Reprimand for Respondent’s negligent failure to maintain client trust funds in trust to pay a medical provider and for his improper disbursement of those funds to himself and another client. His escrow account checks were not in compliance with Maryland Rule 16-606. Upon learning of his improper use of funds, Respondent paid the Complainant’s outstanding medical bills. Respondent’s conduct violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(d) and Maryland Rules 16-606 and 16-609.

FOX, David E. - Disbarred on December 20, 2010 by the Court of Appeals for abandoning 3 clients, for lack of competence, lack of communications and lack of diligence in representing the clients.

GIANNETTI, John A., Jr. - Commission Reprimand for depositing earned fees from client credit card payments in his attorney trust account and depositing unearned fees in criminal cases in his operating account without appropriate notice to his clients. Client ledgers were not maintained in that they contained no running balances. Respondent wrote several trust account checks to the order of “cash.” No client funds were lost as a result of the Respondent’s conduct. Respondent has rectified the shortcomings of his client ledgers and ceased the practices which violate Maryland Rule 16-606.

HAISLIP, John E., Jr. - Commission Reprimand for signing a grantor’s name to an Affidavit of Residence or Principal Residence in connection with a deed he prepared for filing in the Land Records of Anne Arundel County without the knowledge or consent of the grantor. The recitals of the Affidavit were accurate.

STACK, Richard L. - Commission Reprimand for failure to pursue discovery, failed to pursue mitigating factors, failed to pursue his client’s defenses, failure to competently represent his client, and failure to submit monthly bills to his client throughout the representation. Pursuant to the terms of this Reprimand, Respondent is waiving any and all outstanding fees owed by client.

VENUTI, John - Suspension of six (6) months by Consent on April 20, 2011 by the Court of Appeals for his criminal conviction for failure to file federal income tax returns for 3 years.


BALTIMORE CITY

BROWN, Martin B. - 90-day Suspension by the Court of Appeals on July 27, 2010 for drawing an instrument on an attorney trust account “payable to cash or bearer...” which Respondent violated by drawing on his trust account a check payable to cash, which he then gave to his client; on 3 occasions Respondent knowingly made false statements of material fact about having prepared a release of mortgage by lying to Complainant and Bar Counsel in connection with its disciplinary investigation. Respondent’s conduct violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 4.1(a), 8.1(a), 8.4(c) and (d) and Maryland Rule 16-609(b).

BUTLER, Anthony Ignatius, Jr. - Reprimand by Consent on May 18, 2011 by the Court of Appeals for failure to notify his client in writing that he should seek independent counsel and failure to maintain unearned fees in trust. In another matter, he failed to timely notify the State of Maryland in a wrongful death action and failed to communicate with his client.

GOLDSTEIN, David Bart - Disbarred by Consent on May 3, 2011 by the Court of Appeals because he violated 18 U.S.C. §2252, in violation of Maryland Rule 8.4(b) and (d).

LEWIS, Neil J. - Commission Reprimand for Respondent’s failure to provide competent and diligent representation of clients and for failing to keep clients reasonably informed. He also failed to create and maintain an appropriate client matter record reflecting a deposit and disbursement of settlement funds received by him in trust.

O’HARE, James P. - Commission Reprimand for his conduct by requesting an employee prepare documents to create a bonding company to issue a Supersedeas Bond in connection with litigation involving a business entity in which he held a minor ownership interest. Respondent was not a party to or counsel for the matter, the employee worked for a title company, not his law firm, and the bonding company was not licensed to issue bonds. He took no steps to confirm that the bond was valid and was aware that the bond was filed in court purporting to secure payment of the judgment. While the appellee/judgment creditor could not locate the bonding company once it prevailed on appeal, the bonding company paid the judgment in full. Respondent’s conduct violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 3.3(a)(1) and 8.4(c)

SEIDEN, Richard - Placed on inactive status by Consent on October 18, 2010 by the Court of Appeals due to a health condition.

STANCIL, James E. - Commission Reprimand for Respondent’s and his law firm’s failure to pursue a client’s adoption case. At the time of his partner’s death, the Complainant’s adoption matter had been pending for 6 years. Respondent agreed to refund $1,500 of the $2,500 flat fee he received from Complainant for her case within ten (10) days of 4/30/10. Respondent’s failure to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the adoption matter was being pursued in a competent and timely manner violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3 and 5.1.