The Court of Appeals has suspended indefinitely the license of a Bel Air lawyer for filing civil lawsuits that had no merit.
It was the second time the court has sanctioned Stuart L. Alison. Alison cannot apply for reinstatement for two years, according to the 23-page opinion released Tuesday.
Maryland's highest court agreed with a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge, who found that Alison twice filed civil charges without merit, once while working as a paralegal because he was suspended from practicing law. It found that he did not deserve sanctions in a third case.
Alison could not be reached yesterday for comment.
In a case filed in Baltimore Circuit Court in 1990, Alison had sought more than $4 million in damages on behalf of a woman whose car had been repossessed when her former husband defaulted on the loan. He filed the suit under the federal racketeering law, normally used to fight organized crime, while serving a 90-day suspension from practicing law, the opinion said.
In 1988, Alison filed a breach of contract suit against former clients and attorney James A. Close, claiming that Close fTC conspired to lure the clients away from Alison and that the clients broke their agreement with him.
"This entire case generated a lot of court time, unnecessary pleadings and involvement of parties for the sole purpose of harassing [Close]," Baltimore County Judge Alfred L. Brennan Sr. said in his ruling.
Alison's actions in both cases amounted to a "pattern of harassing conduct," Court of Appeals Judge Howard S. Chasanow wrote in the Tuesday opinion.
The Attorney Grievance Commission, which brought the complaints, asked the court to disbar Alison, saying he had not learned from an earlier suspension.
In 1990, the Court of Appeals had suspended Alison from practicing law for 90 days, finding that he used "profane and vulgar language" in a courtroom and in dealing with court clerks, in violation of rules of conduct for lawyers.
In a third case the commission noted, the Court of Appeals found that Alison did not deserve sanctions for calling a driver an "idiot" and for saying that "one learns to expect to get jerked around" by insurance companies in his opening statement in a personal injury case in 1991.
Pub Date: 5/21/98