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Baltimore City

Federally indicted attorney Stephen Snyder has his law license again

The personal injury lawyer who’s well known for his slogan “Don’t just sue them, Snyder them,” Stephen Snyder, will be able to practice law again after a judge reinstated his law license Friday.

Maryland Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader granted Snyder’s request to reinstate his license, making him a member of the state bar again, according to a court order.

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“Mr. Snyder has not been found guilty or convicted of a serious crime,” the court order says, and therefore “currently lacks a basis to continue” his suspension.

Snyder, who gave up his law license in 2020 after federal prosecutors charged him with extortion, asked the Supreme Court of Maryland to reinstate his law license earlier this month.

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In the court papers seeking to restore his right to practice law, Snyder called the charges against him “extremely weak.” The 46-page filing lays out why Snyder, 75, said he should be allowed to regain his law license and also why he thinks he’s innocent of the federal charges against him.

Federal prosecutors charged Snyder with extortion under the federal Travel Act, claiming he tried to shake down the University of Maryland Medical System in 2018 for $25 million by seeking a consulting agreement that would prevent Snyder from suing the hospital for 10 years.

Snyder does not deny approaching the hospital board and asking for the money, instead claiming it cannot be extortion because the idea of his consultancy was his client’s idea. In one instance, Snyder claimed his client, identified as “M.S.” would not settle with the hospital unless it hired him on as a consultant.

Hospital officials disagreed, and the case was settled anyway with a meeting to discuss Snyder’s consultancy scheduled for a week later. The hospital then canceled that meeting, according to court records, and its counsel notified former Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein in the summer of 2018 about Snyder’s demands. Eventually, authorities started investigating and secretly recorded some of Snyder’s meetings with hospital officials.

“[Snyder] had been a successful practitioner [of law] for 50 years,” his attorneys wrote about his proposed consulting agreement and meetings with hospital officials. “He clearly had no reason to extort money or desire to place himself into criminal jeopardy, especially at his age [73 at the time] and station in life generally.”

Proceedings have been delayed in part by the pandemic and by many procedural filings to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Snyder could not be reached Saturday for comment.


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