Michael U. Gisriel, a former House of Delegates member, a real estate attorney and former Baltimore Sun columnist, was disbarred for cashing a $1,000 check belonging to his former clients.
In a decision issued Thursday, the Maryland Court of Appeals said Gisriel's conduct in his client's case was exacerbated by his "hubris" in handling the check.
Two judges on the state's highest court dissented and called for a suspension rather than disbarment, noting no prior disciplinary action against Gisriel, who has been a member of the Maryland Bar since 1976.
Reached at his law office in Towson, Gisriel said he'll continue work as a lobbyist in Annapolis and provide real estate title services.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed, especially after my unblemished 32-year legal career," he said.
Gisriel was a member of the House of Delegates from 1987 to 1991 and was a writer for the Sun's Q&A; column on real estate issues in the late 1990s.
The matter stemmed from a 2004 incident in which Gisriel was mistakenly sent a settlement check intended for his former clients. Gisriel argued that his behavior was unintentional, while the court said his action was dishonest.