Maryland Courts

Maryland Attorneys
Disciplinary Actions FY 2013

The Maryland Judiciary provides this information as a public service. Information contained on this web site is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. For more information, or to determine if an attorney has been reinstated, please contact the Attorney Grievance Commission at (410) 514-7051.

This list is updated on a monthly basis.

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES FY 2013

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

GERACE, Michael Francis – Disbarred on June 25, 2013, effective immediately, because he failed to represent his client with competence and diligence, unilaterally increased his fee, commingled funds, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, failed to respond to lawful demands for information from Bar Counsel and upon termination of the representation, failed to protect his client’s interests.

HARDING, Supriya Miriam – Disbarred by Consent on January 2, 2013, effective immediately, for failing to represent her clients with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with her clients concerning the status of their matters, for failing to maintain unearned fees in escrow and for failing to respond to requests for information by Bar Counsel.

PRELLER, Steven B. – Commission Reprimand for failing to safekeep his client’s property, for commingling funds and for the unauthorized use of trust funds.

SCHRAMM, Clayton Henry – Disbarred by Consent on October 25, 2012, for abandoning his clients, for failing to provide diligent and competent representation, for failing to hold prepaid fees in trust and for failing to return unearned fees upon termination of representation.


BALTIMORE CITY

ALLEN, Sonja Lavita – Commission Reprimand for failing to deposit unearned fees in trust. Upon termination of representation, Respondent entered into a settlement and release of claims agreement with the client without advising the client in writing of the desirability of seeking the advice of independent counsel.

FADER, Joel Jay – Disbarred on May 6, 2013, for commingling personal funds in his trust account, for the unauthorized use of trust funds, for making misrepresentations to an administrative judge, for failing to correct said misrepresentations and for failing to ensure that the conduct of a non-lawyer employee, whom he had direct supervisory authority over, was compatible with his professional obligations.

FRIEDMAN, Mark Howard – Disbarred by Consent on April 19, 2013, for misappropriating escrow funds maintained by his law firm in connection with foreclosure actions.  He directed later-paid escrow funds to be used to cover the obligations of which the previously escrowed funds should have been used.

GARDNER, Paul W., II – Disbarred on February 11, 2013, for failing to represent his clients with reasonable diligence and competence, for failing to adequately communicate with his clients, for charging unreasonable fees, for his conflict of interest, for failing to maintain accurate client matter records, for failing to accurately account for his client’s fee payments, for failing to refund any of the fees collected, for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

GREEN, Charles Lamont – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on April 4, 2013, effective June 1, 2013, for failing to maintain unearned fees in his trust account, for failing to promptly return the unearned portion of a fee, for commingling funds, for the unauthorized use of trust funds, for failing to maintain accurate client matter records and for failing to respond to requests for information from Bar Counsel.

GUIDA, Sharon Louise – Disbarred by Consent on October 23, 2012, effective thirty (30) days thereafter, for signing multiple individual’s names to various documents filed with the Register of Wills without authorization.

HUNT, Mark Edward - Disbarred on December 4, 2012, effective immediately, Per Curiam Order. Court of Appeals Opinion to follow.

KALIN, Howard Scott – Disbarment by Consent on July 10, 2012, due to his criminal conviction for a violation of 18 USC §2422(b) in the United States District Court for Middle District of Florida on April 25, 2012.

KOBIN, Jason Ashley - Disbarred on May 2, 2013, for failing to maintain a separate trust account, for failing to hold employee withholding taxes in trust; for commingling and misuse of trust funds, for failing to keep adequate trust account records, for failing to appropriately supervise a nonlawyer employee, for failing to comply with federal and state tax obligations, for making misrepresentations to Bar Counsel and for failing to respond to lawful demands for information from Bar Counsel.

LOWERY-CLUGSTON, Noah Thomas - Disbarred by Consent on May 7, 2013, for failing to provide competent and diligent representation, for failing to adequately communicate with his clients, for abandoning his law practice, for failing to deposit and maintain unearned fees in trust until earned and for failing to respond to lawful requests for information from Bar Counsel. 

MacFADYEN, Kenneth John – Reprimand by Consent on August 20, 2012, for failures associated with his supervision of lawyer and non-lawyer employees who permitted the execution and notarization of documents in Respondent's name when not personally signed by him.

NNAKA, Godson M. – Disbarred on August 21, 2012 by Per Curiam Opinion and Order, for failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to inform clients about the status of their cases, for knowingly failing to respond to lawful requests for information by Bar Counsel and for engaging in conduct involving misrepresentation to his clients.

SCHULMAN, Robert B. – Commission Reprimand for failing to adhere to the ERISA rules and regulations governing Simple IRA plans sponsored by the law firm, and for failing to deposit employees’ contributions into their IRAs for a period up to six (6) months.  All payments were ultimately made and none of the Firm’s lawyers or employees suffered a loss.  Appropriate remedial steps have been taken in the operation of the Firm’s Simple IRA account program.


BALTIMORE COUNTY

ARATI, Shakyamunire S. – Disbarred by Consent on November 14, 2012, effective thirty (30) days thereafter, for failing to represent his clients with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with his clients, for charging unreasonable fees, for failing to complete the representation of his clients, and upon termination of the representation, for failing to take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect his clients.

BENNETT, Brian DouglasCommission Reprimand for conflicts of interest and for failure to withdraw from the case on a timely basis.

BLOCK, Steven Harold – Disbarment by Consent on October 26, 2012, for commingling personal funds in his attorney trust account, for using his attorney trust account for personal purposes, for failing to inform a client that he had mistakenly reported a judgment satisfied and misused client funds, the source of the payment of the judgment.

BURKHARDT, John K. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on October 5, 2012, for failing to complete the representation of his client, for failing to adequately communicate with his client, for failing to return his client’s file, for misrepresenting to his client the status of the case and for failing to respond to lawful requests for information by Bar Counsel.

CHAVERS, Clayborne E., Sr. – Commission Reprimand for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law on several occasions by entering his appearance in Maryland courts where he was not admitted to practice law.  Mr. Chavers’ law office is currently located in the District of Columbia.

GITOMER, Mark Lawrence – Disbarred by Consent on August 1, 2012, for failing to represent his clients with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with the clients about the status of their matters, for failing to maintain his unearned fees in escrow and for misappropriating funds from his escrow account.

KAHL, Jeffrey David – Disbarred on January 8, 2013, effective immediately, by Per Curiam Order for misappropriating funds from his law firm and attorney trust account. Court of Appeals Opinion to follow when received.

LAWSON, Jeffrey – Disbarred on August 21, 2012, by Per Curiam Opinion and Order for charging an unreasonable fee, for engaging in a conflict of interest and for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and/or misrepresentation.

LONDON, Perry AllenDisbarred on July 10, 2012, for failure to provide competent and diligent representation, and for misrepresenting to his client the status of his cases.

PATTON, Richard Valentine, III – Disbarred on June 27, 2013, for failing to appear in court on multiple occasions, for lying to two (2) of his clients and Bar Counsel and for engaging in criminal conduct.

POLITZER, Milton A. Commission Reprimand for failure to provide competent representation and to be reasonably diligent. He failed to expedite litigation and to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the matter.

POWELL, Roger Norman – Reprimand by Consent on May 16, 2013, for assisting his client in conveying property in contravention of a court order and for preparing a declaration of trust that gave him an interest in the trust property.

PREM, Wayne T. – Disbarred by Consent on September 12, 2012, effective thirty (30) days thereafter, for engaging in a scheme in which he and Richard Paul Rieman enriched themselves at the expense of a trust.

RADEBAUGH, Daniel - Commission Reprimand for failing to provide diligent representation, for failing to communicate with his clients regarding the status of their matters and for failing to deposit retainer fees in his attorney trust account.  Respondent no longer performs loan modification services for clients and has refunded attorney’s fees for the loan modification services he performed for the complainants.

REINHARDT, Richard J. Consent to Reprimand dated August 6, 2012, for failing to withdraw his appearance in a matter upon termination of representation.

RIEMAN, Richard Paul, Jr. – Disbarred by Consent on September 5, 2012, for engaging in a scheme in which he and Wayne T. Prem enriched themselves at the expense of a trust.

SNIFFEN, Kevin Edward – Disbarred by Consent on August 15, 2012, for the unauthorized use of trust funds.


CARROLL COUNTY

LOCKHART, Thomas Jackson – Commission Reprimand for his conflict of interest in preparing his client’s Will, in which his client left “whatever may be left” to him.  Respondent made the requested changes that included naming himself as personal representative and residuary beneficiary.    Upon his client’s death, he filed the Will for probate and was appointed personal representative.  His client’s children filed a Petition for Caveat and the dispute was resolved.  Over the years, Respondent never charged or collected any fee for legal services provided to his client.  He did not request any commission for serving as personal representative.

MURCHISON, Grant M. – Disbarred by Consent on June 11, 2013, effective August 10, 2013, for making misrepresentations to clients, courts, an opposing party and Bar Counsel, for failing to safekeep his clients’ property and for conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.


CECIL COUNTY

HICKEY, William F., III – Disbarred by Consent for failing to represent his clients with competence and reasonable diligence, for his conflict of interest, for failing to explain the difference between his role as a third-party neutral and his role as one who represents a client, for failing to safekeep his client’s property, for failing to maintain unearned fees in escrow.


FREDERICK COUNTY

GROVE, David Matthew – Commission Reprimand for failing to provide competent representation, for failing to keep his client reasonably informed and for failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.


GARRETT COUNTY

KEPPLE, Cristine Ada – Indefinite Suspension on June 21, 2013, Per Curiam Order and Opinion, effective immediately (with the right to apply for reinstatement no sooner than thirty (30) days after the effective date of the Order) for knowingly concealing her state of residence from her law school in order to receive the benefit of in-state tuition at that institution.


HARFORD COUNTY

FADER, Joel Jay – Commission Reprimand for failing to adequately communicate with his client about his status as an attorney, for repeatedly failing to respond to inquiries from Bar Counsel, for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law while decertified and for failing to file his IOLTA and pro-bono reports for 2010.


HOWARD COUNTY

BROWN, Linda Markey – Commission Reprimand for filing numerous pleadings and ancillary  filings with the Court, on which she signed her client’s name purported to be under oath, at the client’s request, but failed to initial or otherwise clarify to the Court that they were not her client’s actual signature.

KREMER, Dean Clayton - Disbarred on May 2, 2013, effective immediately, because he abandoned his law practice, ceased to commuicate with his clients or work on their cases, failed to return unearned fees and failed to promptly refund a fee.

PEKLO, Gary StewartCommission Reprimand for having drafted a will in which he was named as personal representative and in which he was granted a significant bequest that he disbursed to himself. He later returned the monies to the estate, but sought from the charitable beneficiaries of the will an assignment to himself of funds to which the charities were entitled, representing the same amount as he was to receive under the will he drafted. He knowingly failed to disclose this information to Bar Counsel.

PENN, Brien Michael – Disbarred on April 25, 2013, effective immediately, for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty and deceit against his employer.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY

CHAPMAN, Gerald Frederick – Indefinitely Suspended on January 31, 2013, effective immediately (with the right to apply for reinstatement no sooner than ninety (90) days thereafter) for misleading clients into believing that they were obtaining representation through a law firm, when in reality, a non-lawyer directed the representation, for sharing fees with the non-lawyer, for charging an unreasonable fee, for failing to hold prepaid fees in trust and for failing to respond to a client’s request for information.

CHRISTMAS, Patrick J. – Commission Reprimand for misconduct because he continued to negotiate transactions after his father’s death, after his power of attorney expired, for failing to promptly distribute assets intended for his siblings, for failing to promptly resolve the dispute with his siblings after being contacted by counsel, for failing to promptly respond to Bar Counsel’s first contact with him and for his delay, for more than a year, before finally initiating probate proceedings relating to his father’s estate.

FISCHER, Morris Eli – Commission Reprimand for failing to represent his client with reasonable diligence, for filing the client’s complaint late and causing the client’s case to be dismissed, for his conflict of interest by failing to advise the client, in writing, of the desirability to seek advice of independent counsel in connection with his actions, and for failing to promptly refund an unearned fee.

GORDON, Lowell J. – Commission Reprimand for failing to adequately communicate with his client, failing to file a claim on behalf of his client prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations and for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

GU, Yu – Commission Reprimand for failing to provide competent representation and failing to keep her client reasonably informed about the status of an immigration case.

JOHNS, Christopher M. – Disbarred by Consent on June 10, 2013, for failing to honor assignments securing the repayment of a loan to a third party with settlement proceeds in a personal injury matter.  Upon receipt of the proceeds, he failed to notify the creditor that he received the funds and disbursed the funds to his client.

JOHNSON, Laurence Fleming – Commission Reprimand for failing to provide competent and diligent representation to his client and for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

LUXENBERG, Deborah Y. – Commission Reprimand for failing to make reasonable efforts to ensure the firm had in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct.  Such failures permitted a substantial loss of trust/estate assets.

McCARTHY, Robert Michael – Commission Reprimand for failing to provide competent and diligent representation as Temporary Guardian of the property of his Ward.

McGLADE, Henry Donald, Jr. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on May 23, 2013, for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law after his April 24, 2012 suspension and for failing to respond to requests for information from Bar Counsel.

MILTON, Gregory J. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on January 4, 2013, effective February 4, 2013 (with the right to apply for reinstatement after ninety (90) days from February 4, 2013) for failing to represent his clients with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with his clients and for failing to respond to lawful requests for information by Bar Counsel.

OLER, Carren Susan – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on October 17, 2012, for failing to represent her client with reasonable diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with her client regarding the status of her case, for failing to refund the unearned portion of her advance retainer to her client upon termination of the representation, for failing to maintain her unearned fees in escrow, and for failing to respond to requests for information by Bar Counsel.

PAGE, Alfred Amos, Jr. – Disbarred on March 5, 2013, for intentional misrepresentations of facts to his client, the Court of Appeals, and Bar Counsel as well as misappropriation of unearned client funds.

RODMAN, Yale Dale – Commission Reprimand for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice when, acting as counsel for plaintiff, he left voice messages for the Complainant that insulted his heritage in a mock accent and other inappropriate remarks.

ROSS, David Arthur – Disbarred on August 21, 2012, for diverting payments by a client for purported legal fees in other matters, without notice to or assent by the client, for creating an unreasonable and inflated bill for services to justify the diversion, for failure to provide his client with periodic invoices, for the unauthorized use of trust funds, for failure to maintain client funds in trust and for failure to maintain required trust account records.

SHARMA, Onkar Nath – Commission Reprimand for knowingly disobeying a court order by failing to appear at a hearing on behalf of his client.

SHURBERG, Jonathan S. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on September 11, 2012, effective November 10, 2012 (with the right to apply for reinstatement no sooner than six (6) months after November 10, 2012) for misusing client funds, for failing to maintain trust records and for providing a false statement to Bar Counsel.

WATSON, Joe Donald, Jr. – Thirty (30) day Suspension by Consent on August 1, 2012, effective immediately, for failure to maintain his client’s retainer in an attorney trust account until earned, failure to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the matter, and upon termination of the representation, failure to issue a prompt refund of the unearned fee.


PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY

ALSTON, Tiffany T. – Indefinite Suspension on September 25, 2012, for failure to comply in material ways with the remedial terms of her Conditional Diversion Agreement, resulting in its revocation and the filing of public disciplinary charges.

ALSTON, Tiffany T. – While under an Indefinite Suspension imposed in a previous case decided by Opinion and Order on September 25, 2012, Respondent was Disbarred by Consent on May 2, 2013, for failing to provide competent and diligent representation, for failing to communicate with her clients, for failing to safekeep clients’ property and for failing to respond to requests for information from Bar Counsel.

BELLAMY, Denise Leona – Ninety (90) day Suspension by Consent on September 11, 2012, effective thirty (30) days thereafter, for failure to provide diligent representation and upon termination of representation, for failure to refund any advance payment of fees or expenses not earned or incurred.

BROWN, Michael T. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on December 12, 2012, effective thirty (30) days from the date thereafter, for failing to represent his client with reasonable diligence and competence. He withdrew his client’s Petition for Caveat without authority, forever barring her claim.

FLECK, Conrad L. – Commission Reprimand for failing to take reasonably necessary protective action when his client was at risk of financial harm.  He also failed to obtain the informed consent of his client before discussing and disclosing confidential information in a meeting with his client and her son’s family.

HECHT, Ross D. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on May 16, 2013, effective thirty (30) days from the date thereafter, (with the right to apply for reinstatement after six (6) months) for failing to represent his client with diligence and promptness, for failing to communicate with his client, for failing to safekeep property and for failing to respond to requests for information from Bar Counsel.

IJEABUONWU, Chike – Thirty (30) day Suspension by Consent on September 7, 2012, for failure to provide competent and diligent representation, failure to adequately communicate and upon termination of the representation, failure to take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect his client.

JONES, Cotie W. – Disbarred on August 27, 2012, by Per Curiam Opinion and Order, for misappropriation of client funds and for failing to respond to lawful requests for information by Bar Counsel.

PARKER, Jewell Rocheal – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on May 16, 2013, for failing to timely pursue her client’s matter, for failing to timely issue a refund of the unearned fee, for failing to maintain trust account records, for failing to file state and federal tax returns and for failing to respond timely  to requests for information from Bar Counsel.

WALKER-TURNER, John Wayne – Sixty (60) day Suspension on August 22, 2012, effective immediately, for lack of competence, failing to act with reasonable diligence, failing to appear at a trial, failing to adequately communicate and account to his client and for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.


WASHINGTON COUNTY

THOMPSON, Donald Benson, III – Disbarred by Consent on February 21, 2013, for misappropriating funds belonging to the law firm that was his employer.


WICOMICO COUNTY

STROTT, George Guild, Jr. – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on August 23, 2012, effective on October 22, 2012 (with the right to apply for reinstatement no sooner than thirty (30) days after October 22, 2012) for failing to provide diligent and competent representation and for failing to honor a lien in a personal injury case.


WORCESTER COUNTY

NOVELLI, Allison Elizabeth – Disbarred by Consent on October 9, 2012, for embezzling funds that were entrusted to her from her title company.


OUT-OF-STATE

BERTOLA, Marta – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on January 9, 2013, effective immediately (with the right to apply for reinstatement sixty (60) days thereafter) for appearing in a circuit court case on behalf of her husband, for making representations in court that she was authorized to practice law and for filing a motion in the same case while decertified from the practice of law.

DECKER, Michael Kenneth – Disbarred by Consent on October 18, 2012, for failing to deposit client funds in his attorney trust account, for failing to provide his client with a full accounting of such funds and for failing to comply with a court order.

DONOVAN, William Carpenter, Jr. – Disbarred by Consent on August 17, 2012, because he embezzled fees from the law firm that employed him and because he abandoned a client’s bankruptcy case.

KATZ, Gerald Isadore – Indefinite Suspension on November 19, 2012, (with the right to apply for reinstatement no sooner than his readmission to all other jurisdictions, save one, as a reciprocal action) for failing to file tax returns.

KLEINSMITH, Philip M. – Reprimand by Consent on May 24, 2013, as a reciprocal action to his March 20, 2012 Arizona reprimand.

MANCE, Robert Weston, III – Indefinite Suspension on December 3, 2012, effective immediately (with the right to reapply no sooner than his unconditional readmission to the Bar of the District of Columbia) by Per Curiam Order, as a reciprocal matter relating to Respondent’s District of Columbia 6-month suspension for numerous ethics violations. The Maryland Court of Appeals Opinion dated February 25, 2013, cited reasons for the sanction.

SAVAGE, William Mapp – Commission Reprimand for his participation in a situation in which his name was signed by another lawyer employed with the firm, by permitting the execution of documents in his name when not personally signed by him and for failing to sufficiently protect against such activity.

SELLERS, John William – Reprimand by Consent on August 24, 2012, for failing to provide competent representation, for failing to communicate with his client and for failing to obtain approval of two letter agreements without his client’s informed consent before issuing the letter agreements.

STINSON, Katrice Selena – Disbarred on August 21, 2012, by Per Curiam Opinion and Order for making an agreement to charge unreasonable non-refundable engagement fees and for failure to safekeep client’s property. Upon termination of the representations, Respondent refused to refund any portion of such fees or expenses that had not been earned or incurred.

TUN, Harry – Indefinitely Suspended on August 22, 2012, by Opinion and Order as a reciprocal action to his District of Columbia suspension for overbilling and submitting false vouchers to the District of Columbia Supreme Court for legal services rendered to indigent defendants in criminal cases.

VANDERSLICE, Patrick Edward – Interim Suspension on December 6, 2012, effective immediately, as a reciprocal action to his Delaware suspension that occurred on October 12, 2012.

WEBER, Erin Marie (ANDERSON, Erin Weber) - Interim Suspension on February 15, 2013, effective immediately, as a reciprocal action to her April 27, 2012 Order of Revocation in Virginia for embezzlement.

WEIKAL, Wendy K. (aka WEIKAL, Wendy Beachat) – Disbarred by Consent on April 15, 2013, subsequent to her Interim Suspension on April 9, 2013, as a reciprocal discipline for failing to provide diligent and competent representation, for failing to communicate with her clients, for charging an unreasonable fee and for misappropriating client funds in Maryland and Pennsylvania.