Two well-known Baltimore criminal defense lawyers were reprimanded by the state's highest court for letting an unsupervised secretary take charge of their personal injury cases and not giving a client her money, which resulted in the client's getting sued for a debt.
The sanction against Warren Anthony Brown and Lawrence Barry Rosenberg, who were law partners from 1990 to 1993, is the mildest that the Court of Appeals can impose. The Attorney Grievance Commission had asked that their law licenses be suspended for a year.
"I'm glad it's finally resolved," said Brown, who since 1993 has had a practice exclusively in criminal defense work and has represented police officers, other attorneys, and from 1994 to 1998 sponsored a gun buyback in the city. "Every major or minor decision for the last 5 1/2 years, I have thought about this."
Rosenberg could not be reached yesterday.
The court's ruling relied on findings made by retired Baltimore Circuit Judge Richard T. Rombro, who blamed the financial and management violations on ignorance and negligence. He noted that the attorneys had no experience in personal injury work and relied so heavily on a secretary that they did not know a client had not received money she was entitled to. They repaid the client.